Prevention is definitely the better option when it comes to life threatening diseases like breast cancer. Prevention of breast cancer within a community can be achieved in three different levels namely the Primary, Secondary and Tertiary levels. Currently, the precise source of the disease is not clearly known or understood, and this makes its prevention complex and challenging. However, over time, certain risk factors for the disease have been identified making it possible to minimize the level of contact with the risk factors within the community, with the aim of averting breast cancer.
When it comes to the primary level, prevention of breast cancer is effectively achieved through health education that informs the community of existing risk factors and informing them on how they can avoid and reduce exposure to the risk factors. Even though factors such as genetics, which are outside the control of health practitioners contribute to breast cancer risk, women in the community can engage in behaviors and practices that directly reduce breast cancer risk. The public health education will focus on promoting lifestyle change that focuses on healthy living through means of regular exercise and avoidance of saturated fats and alcohol and reduced salt intake especially during pregnancy, as a means of reducing breast cancer risk.
The secondary level prevention of cancer is concerned with reducing the impacts of cancer and this is achieved through detection and treatment of the disease. For the community, breast cancer can be presented at the secondary level through screening and early detection programs. Early detection programs such as regular mammograms screening can be conducted as a population screening strategy. Diagnostic screening on the other hand can be made affordable (free) and widely available within the community as a means of ensuring that cancer is prevented and morbidity as well mortality rates of breast cancer are reduced.
Adverse impacts of breast cancer can be potentially prevented in the tertiary level of breast cancer prevention. Women in the community can prevent the overall impact of breast cancer as well as metastasis and cancer recurrence through endocrine therapy, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or surgery. The approaches can effectively ensure that they recover from the disease or it can extend their survival. The quality of life of women with breast cancer in the community can also be improved through psychological counseling before, during and after they receive the mentioned treatment options.
- Al-Amri, A. M. (2005). Prevention of Breast Cancer. Journal of Family and Community Medicine 12(2), 71–74: PMCID: PMC3410124.
- Saquib, N., Pierce, J., Saquib, J., Flatt, S., Natarajan, L., Bardwell, W., . . . Parker, B. (2010). Poor physical health predicts time to additional breast cancer events and mortality in breast cancer survivors. Psychooncology.
- William, J. (2015, August 26). Preventive Stages Of Breast Cancer. Retrieved from breastlight.com: http://www.breastlight.com/blog/preventive-stages-of-breast-cancer/