Nab Discovering Hands
Isn't it distressing that 1 out of 22 women in Delhi will develop breast cancer in their lifetime? This clearly indicates that in present times no one is untouched from the horrors of this fatal disease. While there is a notion that women who are 40 plus years of age are more likely to have breast cancer, but recently I came across a case where an 18-year-old student was suffering from this unfortunate disease.
Can you imagine the plight of an 18-year-old girl who should be completely focusing on her career and instead is now fighting with breast cancer today? This clearly indicates that we all, irrespective of our age face the risk of developing breast cancer.
Being a woman, we normally look after our family and loved ones first, but what about us? If we don't take care of ourselves then who will take care of our family and our kids?
Okay, let's put up an honest question to ourselves, How much we know about breast cancer? Its symptoms and most of all its prevention in early stages? I am sure most of us will be left with a confused face when it comes to answers.
Recently my interest to know more about it strengthened when I was informed about the amazing concept called Medical Tactile Examination by National Association for the Blind Centre for Blind Women, New Delhi.
NAB Centre for Blind Women in collaboration with a German social enterprise Discovering Hands has come up with the whole new initiative in India to help visually challenged women who harness their pronounced tactile capabilities for early detection of breast cancer.
These differently abled girls undergo rigorous training of 9-12 months and upon graduating, join hospitals as MTE's - Medical Tactile Examiners.
This technique is developed by Dr. Frank Hoffmann, a German Gynaecologist. In this methodology they train visually impaired women, leveraging their highly developed tactile sense to detect even the minutest abnormalities in breasts.
Breast cancer is one of the major diseases which is found among women in today's date. As per Dr. Mandeep S Malhotra, HOD of surgical oncology at Fortis Hospital in Delhi, “Most of the women come to know about it when they have already reached stage 2-3.” According to him, the life of 90% of women can be saved if it is detected at an early stage.
“Mammography screening is mainly applicable to those women who are above 40 years of age, however, 30% of Indian women have dense breast which are not suitable for a mammogram.” he added.
We must take note that breast cancer is rising rapidly in our country and especially in metropolitan cities.
Below are the key reasons which put women at a high risk of developing breast cancer-:
Early onset of puberty (<12 years)
Late menopause/ Hormonal therapy
No or late pregnancy
Limited or no breastfeeding
Alcohol/ tobacco consumption
The family history of breast/ovarian cancer
So girls and ladies out there, it is high time to take care of ourselves. I took time out and got myself checked by an MTE at Fortis Hospital in Vasant Kunj to ensure that I am free from any symptoms of breast cancer. The best part is that the entire procedure is completely manual and radiation free.
The MTEs use their fingers to detect any lumps by administering different pressures cm by cm on your breasts. They share the report with the Doctor. If any lumps are detected, the doctor advises the further course of action.
As the saying goes ''Prevention Is Better Than Cure'', so by doing a regular monthly self breast examination and going through a checkup with MTE every six months, you can relieve yourself from the anxiety of developing breast cancer. This will go a long way in ensuring happiness and a healthy life