Breast Cancer Awareness Day in Ukraine Date in the current year: October 20, 2024

Breast Cancer Awareness Day in Ukraine Breast Cancer Awareness Day in Ukraine is observed annually on October 20. It was inaugurated by President Leonid Kuchma in 2005 in order to promote breast cancer awareness and to facilitate the development of breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, cure, and research in Ukraine.

Breast cancer is a type of cancer that develops from the breast tissue. Although it affects mostly women (according to statistics, this type of cancer is 100 more common in women than in men), men can get diagnosed with breast cancer, too.

Breast cancer has a number of risk factors. Some of them are fixed, i. e. cannot be changed. They include physiological sex (as we’ve already mentioned above, women are much more likely to develop breast cancer than men), age (older women are more likely to develop breast cancer than younger women), and genetics (women with a family history of breast cancer are a risk group).

The modifiable (preventable) risk factors for developing breast cancer include a lack of physical exercise, obesity, alcoholism and smoking tobacco, menopausal hormone therapy, early onset puberty, a late first pregnancy or having no children at all, radiation, certain chemicals, some medical conditions such as lupus and diabetes, and more.

The most common sign of breast cancer is a lump that a person can detect with their fingertips because it feels different from the rest of the breast tissue. Other signs of breast cancer are skin dimpling or puckering, the change in the texture or color of the skin (redness, discoloration, flaking), one breast becoming lower or larger than the other, fluid discharge from a nipple or nipples, and an inverted nipple.

It should be noted that these signs, including breast lumps, do not necessarily mean that a person has breast cancer. According to statistics, less than 20% of lumps turn out cancerous; most are benign breast diseases such as fibroadenoma or mastitis. But this is not a reason to neglect your breast health; on the contrary, it is recommended to consult a doctor as soon as you notice any disturbing signs, if only to make sure that you’re OK.

According to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, 15,000 Ukrainian women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year; women aged 60 or older are the primary risk group, but breast cancer knows no age limits. About 25% of women are diagnosed at late stages, when breast cancer is less treatable, and about half of them die within a year after getting diagnosed. Because of this, it is crucial to raise awareness of the importance of self-examination and regular checkups.

Breast Cancer Awareness Day in Ukraine is marked by various events that aim to educate women about breast cancer and the importance of its early diagnosis. They include, but are not limited to, free checkups and consultations, open lectures, various fundraisers, and more. Most types of breast cancer are easy to diagnose and have an excellent prognosis at Stage 1, this is why breast cancer awareness is so important; the more women find time for a monthly breast exam, the higher the survival rate.

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