Published On: October 15, 2017 12:33 PM NPT

Awareness Is Key

Although breast cancer affects both men and women, it is most common among women. It is also the second major cause of death due to cancer among women after lung cancer. Women’s breasts contain fat, connective tissue and hundreds of tiny glands that produce milk for breast feeding during adolescence. So they are most vulnerable to breast cancer during their adolescence. 

October is celebrated as the month for Breast Cancer Awareness month. This provides an opportunity to different organizations and individuals to aware people about the disease and to raise funds for victims as well as for research purposes. Pink ribbon is the international symbol for breast cancer awareness. 

To understand if Nepalis are aware about breast cancer, Aditya Neupane and Sumit Pokharel of My City interviewed six people on the streets. Following are the edited excerptions from their conversations.

Anit Gurung
BBS student at Shanker Dev Campus 
I am aware of breast cancer as I have read about it. Breast cancer is not taken seriously in our society due to the lack of education and knowledge about the disease. People hesitate to talk about this disease and tend to hide it because it is related to breasts. Residents in rural as well as urban areas should be educated about it through different mediums like drama, story, sketches, art and others. As females are mostly affected by this disease, they should be given priority during campaigns and awareness programs. Social media is not in touch with everyone, so mass commutation like radio and television works better to educate people about the disease. 

Karina Maharjan
BBS student at Peoples College
I am not too familiar with the disease, but yes I have heard about breast cancer. It can be found in both men and women, but mostly women suffer from the disease. Due to our social construct, people wouldn’t come out in the open or talk about it even if they notice the symptoms of breast cancer. Awareness raising programs and campaigns should be organized in a frequent manner to aware people about the disease. Youngsters should be encouraged to involve in such campaigns. The condition of cancer patients in Nepal is very poor due to lack of proper healthcare facilities.

Anjana Rijal 
Student, Kritipur
Our society acts as a major villain in this case where breast cancer is not discussed in open and often. Though this disease affects both the genders, mostly women fall victim to it. The society’s lack of concern toward the disease and those affected by it makes it more difficult for the sufferers to battle. I would suggest those suffering from breast cancer to live a positive life and stay from addictions such as alcoholism. Initiation to curb the disease should be taken from individual level and families should be encouraged to discuss about the disease more freely because it is not a joke.

Bijay Rimal
Executive Officer at Oya School
The sufferers of breast cancer are ridiculed and discarded in our country and it makes it more uncomfortable to the victims to come out and share their problems. This shows ignorance and lack of awareness on our part. It is also the primary reason why many of us don’t even know if someone is suffering from the disease until it’s too late and incurable. I often talk to my family about the disease and urge them to have their health checked frequently. Prevention is better than cure, and as the disease is almost incurable at its late phase, we should always be alert and adopt safety measures.

Sabina Maharjan 
Nardevi, BBS student at Public Youth College
I have heard that breast cancer affects both men and women, but it is most common among women. Lack of education and awareness could be the reasons why people feel shy to talk about the disease. People, especially from rural areas, are unknown about the disease and its causes. Education, awareness raising programs and mass communication can play vital role in educating women. Educational institutes should also educate students about breast cancer from the grassroots level.

Shyam Lama
Scout Teacher, Greenland Children’s Academy
To be honest, I don’t really know much about breast cancer. Thus, this could be a disease that isn’t discussed much in our society. Gender barrier and disparity could be the reasons why women hesitate talking about breast cancer in public. As it is a type of cancer that could take your life, everyone should pay attention and get their health checked up in a regular manner. Education and awareness play a major role in preventing breast cancer. 

awareness, is, key,

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