Think Pink

 

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October is the Breast cancer awareness month.

Two years back, my mom came to visit me. On the morning of the day, she had to leave, she casually told me, “Sometimes i feel a strange sensation in my right breast.” Immediately, I examined her and felt a lump in her breast. I took her for FNAC test to the only lab open in that area ( that being a sunday and she had to go that very night). The test was inconclusive, but i being employed in the top notch referral labs of my country, got opinions from best pathologists and decided to call her back.

We got her operated in next 15 days. Luckily, it was a Stage I cancer, and today 2 and half years later, she is symptom free. She goes for a regular checkup and takes her medicine on time. I am a doctor, so I could get her treated early.

But there are many still especially in developing economies and third world countries who cannot get timely access. At Dr Lal Path labs, New Delhi, we used to see Stage 3/4 cancers in females as young as 25.

 

Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in females. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in females. Even males can get a breast cancer, though it is much more common in females. The risk of getting breast cancer goes up with age. Here are a few tips to remain aware of how we can detect an early cancer.

Breast Self examination

Adult women of all age group should perform breast self examination at least once a month.

Breast self exam can be done  as follows

  1. In the shower – Using the pads of your fingers, move around your entire breast in a circular pattern moving from the outside to the center, checking the entire breast and armpit area. Check both breasts each month feeling for any lump. Notice any changes and get lumps evaluated by your doctor.
  2. In front of a mirror -Visually inspect your breasts with your arms at your sides. Next, raise your arms high overhead.Look for any changes in the contour, any swelling, or dimpling of the skin, or changes in the nipples. Next, rest your palms on your hips and press firmly to flex your chest muscles. Left and right breasts will not exactly match—few women’s breasts do, so look for any dimpling, puckering, or changes, particularly on one side.
  3. Lying Down -When lying down, the breast tissue spreads out evenly along the chest wall. Place a pillow under your right shoulder and your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, move the pads of your fingers around your right breast gently in small circular motions covering the entire breast area and armpit.Use light, medium, and firm pressure. Squeeze the nipple; check for discharge and lumps. Repeat these steps for your left breast.

Mammogram 

Mammogram is a type of low radiation X-ray to examine the breast tissue for any suspicious areas. Mammograms can at times detect a lump before it can be felt.

Screening mammograms are recommended between 50 to 74years,  every 2 years.

If you have a strong family history i.e cancer in mother at age less than 50, consult your doctor earlier for mammograms.

Early Warning Signs

Please visit your doctor, if you notice any lump, changes in skin or appearance of breast, nipple discharge or pain.

Myths

There are rumors that bra causes breast cancer, but there are no scientific studies to prove that. However, going braless at least while sleeping, especially removing the padded and wired ones while going to sleep gives you a good night sleep.

Another, common myth is that perspirants and deodorants cause breast cancer. Again, there is no conclusive evidence for the same.

What can we do?

Maintain healthy habits

  1. Maintain a healthy weight
  2. Stay physically active
  3. Eat fruits and vegetables
  4. Do not smoke
  5. Limit alcohol consumption

 

Let’s Spread awareness about Breast Cancer.

Early detection is the best protection.

Source : Breast cancer awareness , CDC

 

 

 

Far away from the maddening crowd

 

Oh little girl! what are you thinking?

I am thinking of the sun kissed beaches,

My feet getting soaked in sand and sea,

My senses dancing to the music of waves and breeze.

Oh little one! what’s on your mind?

My mind is filled with thoughts of greens!

Lushgreen forests, with shades of red and yellow!

The symphony of a stream flowing by,

The chirpings of birds echoing in my ears.

Oh little mermaid! what you want to do?

I want to go out in the sunlight.

Just enjoy little kids play,

I want to smell the fresh baked cookies

Just sit by my window and count the stars in the sky.

Oh little lassie ! what’s stopping you?

Why don’t u go and rejoice in solitude?

Alas! The world is not my dreams O mortal one!

Its work and work!

No place for a lazy soul like me!

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Skewed “Feminism”

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Source : Hungerbrain.com

Three things happened in the last month.

First, was the movie PINK, a bold statement about respecting female choices. I wrote about that earlier. The movie was a frank resonance of all the educated girls in Indian subcontinent. The movie brought hope, my India is changing.
Second, was that Indian Supreme Court judgement which said a Hindu boy could divorce his wife, if she prevents him for staying with his aged parents. Though the decision was part ok that it upheld care of old parents, but the lack of a parallel thinking about wife’s parents and about the parents who did not have son, made the above judgement appear hollow. All the elders be it boy’s / girl’s parents need love, respect and care.
In Indian society, traditionally a girl moves to a boy’s house after marriage. In older days, this was more for economic reasons, as the sons were the earning members and girls were the homemakers. These days, at times both boys and girls move out, may be for better career prospects or lack of space in existing houses.
But coming from the honorable supreme court a statement to the effect “It is not a common practice or desirable culture for a Hindu son in India to get separated from his parents on getting married at the instance of the wife, especially when the son is the only earning member in the family. A son, brought up and given education by his parents, has a moral and legal obligation to take care and maintain the parents, when they become old and when they have either no income or have a meagre income.” So the basic ethos of this judgement left me depressed. A son is a son, has all the right to be with his family. What about girls? So should all women bring up divorce where in many families, they have to take a permission for even visiting their parents. These days, parents spend on education and upbringing of both, so what about the moral and legal obligation of girl child. HAS SHE RIGHT TO DIVORCE HER HUSBAND, IF HE REFUSES TO ALLOW HER TO CARE FOR HER PARENTS? It is the responsibility of both spouses to take care of either set of parents, that is what Indian culture is.
Last, was Chetan Bhagat’s One Indian girl. Considering it was the same author who gave us Five point someone , 2 states.. I held him in considerable awe. So I had high hopes with this one as well. But Alas, I’m greatly disappointed with his definition of feminism.
Feminism does not mean A women earning high salary, drinking alcohol, doing drugs or wearing short dresses. 
The protagonist ” Radhika Mehta” works in a high ended bank, earns a big fat salary, but all the time she needs approval from the male counterparts for her looks, her clothes. The first part in New york city, she gets in Live in relationship with a bengali boy, Debu who works in advertising. The boy is insecure because she earns more than him. In the next part, when she moves to HongKong, she falls in for her boss, Neel who is 20 years elder, married and in this part it seems, sex is the only thing on her mind. Finally, when she goes for a groom search, she rejects boys just because they are earning less than her or are ugly to look at. So where is feminism now. All throughout the book, her stand for feminism is getting her legs waxed, drinking alcohol and falling in for guys to prove that she is not a nerd.
Feminism is equal rights and respect for either sexes. Both are incomplete without each other, Be it Shiv- Parvati, Radha-Krishna, our traditional Indian culture stresses the importance of both. Over the centuries, the females began to be treated as subordinates, and though we pray to female goddesses, yet in many homes, females are mistreated.
Infact, till now in many states, sex ratio is skewed, coz of female feticide. Male child is the preferred one. Obviously because he is going to be there till end while female will get married and go to other family. Again, females are subjected to sexual crimes, and whenever such a thing happens, girls are blamed. Feminism is this basic demand of right to live, live with dignity and not be judged for where it was not her fault.

They are judged each and every day over what they wear, how they talk, what they do? Whether she is married or not married,there will be moral codes for her. If she is housewife, she will be questioned, what she did whole day. If she is work woman, still she has to manage both fronts. Though scenarios are changing but still people who come out in support are miniscule. Feminism, means this equality for basic rights, right to live, right to education, right to make her own choices. This does not translate to alcohol binging, having sex on fantasy islands and so on projected by Mr Chetan Bhagat. If extra marital affair is wrong for one, it is for either. If drinking alcohol is bad for one, it is for either. Those who do not drink, are not backward, and they might be more feminist than Radhika Mehta.
Though you interviewed so many females, you have still got us wrong, Mr Chetan Bhagat.
Yes, we need to be loved..but we do not want appreciation just to complete ourselves.

Yes, we do love our financial independence, but that does not mean that a woman who by choice gets married at 21, is in anyways less than one who didn’t.

What we wear does not give us a label of feminist…yes what we think defines that.

One Indian Girl … By Chetan Bhagat… Not Recommended.

Daily Prompt: Promises

via Daily Prompt: Promises

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
This is one of my favourite poems till date. A reminder that we will face many distractions but still we have to keep going till we fulfill each and every promise.

Musings of a wanderer – A journey to nowhere. 

How does it feel, waking up in the morning, getting dressed up for the day and going to the same moron place day in and day out? A place, which you don’t even like, yet you have to go? I know you will judge me as weak. May be I don’t have guts to change my life. I don’t have an answer for you, atleast not now.
Well, as I said every morning I would get up from the bed with heavy heart, finish my daily chores and get ready to go. I would walk down to the bus stop. This usually took me 5 to 10 minutes. Sometimes, I would be slow and signal would turn red before I could go. There would be other people on road as well, some running, some walking, some happy, some sad. There would be people on road, people on cars, all running to meet their deadlines. It was like everyone was running from something, or running for something. I could not decide what was my motivation.

Engrossed in my thoughts, I would take that crowded bus and head for destination. The bus would take me through crowded roads, tall buildings, and parks. Sometimes the bus would roll smoothly, sometimes get stuck in a traffic jam. The hurry to be in time, the hurry to punch in, the hurry would be palpable in each beat around.

At times, I felt the loneliness within me would engulf me. All these people, all the world around.. could do nothing to make me feel any other way. Like a cactus in the big vast desert, I was succulent enough to survive, yet thorny to have anyone near me. I could survive the harshness of world around. 

Days passed and the same routine followed. Me running from everything, yet coming back to the same circle daily. True, I was too scared to move on. Yet, too broken to stay back. But still I would continue hurting myself and call it destiny. 

Probably this was my destiny. Many people are scared of the darkness, of the nights.. I was scared of the day. Those long hours when I would be awake. Each hour would pinch me why I am still alive. Night was a solace. Night was peace.

Day ushered in the endless cycle of work, commitments and social obligations. Last one was what I dreaded most. How to fake that smile? Some skills can never be learnt and this was one I was so poor at. 

A few days more i reminded myself and continued in this struggle. 

I looked around and found everyone stuck in this new era of slavery .. job .. where the employer brought u and u sold yourself happily thinking someday you will earn so much that you will just rest in your life. But will that day really ever come.