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As a Partner, Relative and Friend You Can do Following to Help a Breast Cancer Survivor

Encourage the woman self examine her second breast.
Take special care and ensure that woman receives balanced diet and adequate rest.
Be affectionate. Do not pity her.

 

Social Structure, Health Infrastructure and Breast Cancer

People working in the field of women's health have realised that patriarchal structure and its norms have tremendous negative effect on women's health. Patriarchal forces do play major role in delay of diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Let us have a bird eye view on women's status in India.

It is sad that India is one of the countries where the women to men ratio is on decline. Today for 1000 men there are 929 women.

Women in India have always played a subordinate role. As a child she is usually discriminated against and/or overprotected. In the prime time of her adolescence she goes through an early marriage and becomes a mother. Her personality gets moulded out of patriarchal society's manipulation of cultural norms. As a result she does not have any decision making power. She is socialised in such a way that her life is meant for serving others and her needs are last priority. Selfless love and devotion for husband and children is considered the ultimate achievement for women. Even popular entertainment media depict the woman as suffering, sacrificing person. Having adequate food, enjoying life with children doing something for herself has never been fully accepted by society.

It is the country where women have been mainly viewed as a mothers and therefore usually she receives healthcare under the umbrella of maternal and child, health care. In such a situation, even today when the incidences of breast cancer are increasing, it has remained lower priority.

Factors Responsible for Delayed Diagnosis and Treatment of Breast Cancer

It has been observed that there is a strong linkage between socio-cultural factors and existing healthcare system in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.

Socio-cultural Forces

Women in patriarchal society are brought up with low self-esteem, which results in self-neglect. It was observed that many a time woman detects a lump in breast but due to lack of information and self neglect, she hesitates to inform about the same to her partner, relative or friend.

  • Financial dependency results in lack of decision making power among women. Even though woman wants to go to doctor for the diagnosis. She may need to take permission and a male escort to visit the doctor. Both these factors contribute in delayed diagnosis and treatment.
  • Patriarchal norms have also kept men ignorant of information on women’s concerns. Due to ignorance, men unconsciously delay the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. At the same time women are not mentally prepared to accept information on breast cancer.

Existing Health Infrastructures

Women in patriarchal society are brought up with low self-esteem, which results in self-neglect. It was observed that many a time woman detects a lump in breast but due to lack of information and self neglect, she hesitates to inform about the same to her partner, relative or friend.

  • The existing health infrastructure also plays a major role in delayed diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. At present there is a no importance of breast cancer in Primary Health Care, hence information on breast cancer is not freely available in local language. Also doctors are not equipped with knowledge and skill required for early diagnosis and treatment. In such circumstances they may not be able to guide the patient to right place.
  • There are no breast cancer preventive programme encouraging breast cancer screening by government.

For early Diagnosis and Treatment of Breast Cancer

Consult cancer specialist or. experienced doctor without feeling shy as soon as you find a lump in breast. Please undergo all required tests.

Your mental strength and determination are absolutely necessary for early diagnosis and completion of the treatment of breast cancer.

Support, warmth and companionship of relative and friends play important role in treatment of breast cancer.

 
 
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