Little Luke "Skywalker"

Friday, October 21, 2005

The Dead and The Living

With demise of our first lady, I begin to reflect on my life as well. In fact, I always reflect on my life whenever there is a death in my family or someone I know. The same conclusion that I always come to is that life is getting more and more fragile with the advancement of mankind. As far as I can see, there are far more ways we can get ourselves killed than a few hundred years ago, when people are living off fire wood, eating natural unprocessed food and treating the ill with herbs and prayers. Since we can practically do nothing much about it, we might as well live with it and cherish ourselves and our loved ones while everyone is still alive.

Since our first lady died of breast cancer, I think I will write a bit on the disease. I've even watched a talk show on TV yesterday evening, with a couple of oncologist and tumor specialist as guest speaker, answering public enquiries on the said disease as well as cervix (uterus) cancer. Talking about efficiency huh?

According to the second report of the national cancer registry on cancer incidence in Malaysia throughout the year of 2003, female breast (31%) and cervix uteri (12.9%) are the top two most frequent cancer diagnoses in Malaysian females. Both diseases actually contributed to half of all female cancer patients in the whole country. On a side note, lung cancer (13.8%) is the most common cancer among males in the country. A further analysis based on ethnic variation shows that females from all races are equally (30%) vulnerable to breast cancer. Chinese females are relatively more (14.3%) vulnerable to cervix uteri cancer as compared to Indian (11.5%) and Malay (9.8%) females.

From the age analysis, we will see that females suffering from breast cancer are mainly from the 15-49 (38.9%) and 50-69 (31.5). As you can see, breast cancer attacks females from teenagers to elderly. They account for almost 70% (or 3467 reported cases) of all cancer incidence that was diagnosed for Malaysian females in 2003 alone. As for cervix uteri cancer among females, the numbers are about a third of breast cancer.

FYI, there are various ways to detect breast cancer. As a common guideline, woman should perform a breast self-examination (BSE) at least once a month. If you do not already know how to do it, you can consult your doctor, nurse or mammography technician. Otherwise, his multimedia demonstration of BSE will provide step-by-step instruction in BSE using animation and voice-over audio clips. All mothers and female readers are encouraged to learn about this.

If the result of BSE reveals any abnormalities, you might be advised by doctor to undergo a mammogram, which is a special x-ray picture of the breast. A specially trained physician called a radiologist reads the mammogram to see if any suspicious areas exist. Routine mammography screening appears to reduce breast cancer mortality by approximately 25%. You can read more about breast cancer here.

Since J and I became parents, we are more concerned about our health as well as Little Skywalker's health. While we may concentrate more on our son's health condition, we did not forget our own healthy as well. As a habit, I encourage J to take blood test at least once a year to check for abnormality even though we are not showing symptoms of any kind of illness. Apart from that, I also force encourage J to go for examinations to detect breast and cervix cancer. So far, she has not gone for either of them since she was pregnant and is still breastfeeding. I am sure I will drag her behind accompany her for one as soon as Little Skywalker stopped sucking on her mother's nipples.

We mourn the death, we move on, and concentrate on the living...

This thoughtless rambling community message is brought to you by egghead

Jotted down by Egghead :: at around 10/21/2005 12:30:00 PM :: and invited 6 Blah(s):

6 Blah(s) by: Blogger Zara's Mama, Blogger Baby Smooches, Blogger Zara's Mama, Blogger Sue, Anonymous maria, Blogger Egghead,

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