Work-life balance keeps breast cancer at bay - GulfToday

Work-life balance keeps breast cancer at bay


A man jogs in the morning. File / AFP

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

DUBAI: A 31-year-old Uzbek male breast cancer survivor is doing well after having embraced a healthy lifestyle in Dubai.

It was at first difficult for Max Fardan to accept he was stricken with breast cancer at the young age of 24, being a fitness enthusiast back in his home country of Uzbekhistan.

“The short and simple answer is work-life balance,” said Fardan who had been clueless of the state of his health.

He only got wind of it when he went for his frequent medical consultations for his epilepsy whereby his doctor asked him to go for his Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

“When the results came in, my doctor informed me of my cancer. I could not accept. It became more difficult because my parents have both heart problems. I surely did not want to worry them,” he recollected, adding that prior and for a period of time, he felt pain all over his body and his left breast expanded.

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) based in Australia established by breast cancer survivor Janelle Hail, less than one per cent of men in the world get affected by the disease which is the second cause of death among women across the globe.

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research-World Research Fund, the countries with the most number of women breast cancer sufferers in 2018 are Belgium at 113.2 per 100,000; Luxembourg at 109.3 per 100,000; and the Netherlands at 105.9 per 100,000.

The risk factors in men, according to the NBCF, are radiation exposure, high levels of oestrogen, family history of BRCA2 and breast cancer. Men with the genetic predisposition for breast cancer are at higher risk of getting afflicted with prostate cancer at a younger age, too.

NBCF said it is the left breast of the man that normally shows the signs and symptoms namely painless lump, discharge from the nipple, and nipple redness or soreness.

Fardan is the second male breast cancer survivor Gulf Today met. The first was Sarvesh Kamat from India who immediately sought medical consultations when his seven-year-old daughter alerted him of a bloodstain on the left side of his t-shirt in Dec. 2017.

In Dubai where he decided to shift for the much-needed change of perspective in life after completing chemotherapy and surgery in Uzbekhistan, Fardan started to advocate healthy living. He never misses the required half-year medical consultations.

Fardan shares what he has learnt with Gulf Today readers:

* De-stress and relax at least once a week. Live a stress-free life. Too much stress wears down physical and mental states.

* Eat more fruits and vegetables to help fight diseases and illnesses. Go for the mixed fruits and veggies smoothie.

* Move it by physical exercises. If the gym is unattractive, go for dancing, yoga, hiking or even karate.

* Stay hydrated all day by drinking the recommended 64 ounces of water a day not only to flush out all the toxins. Water improves health.

* Be a positive thinker for mental health and stability. Learn to say “no.” Take a break.

* Keep and maintain health relationships. Let go of toxic individuals.

*  Seek medical consultations at least once a year.

* Let go of all stubborn and unhealthy addictive substances.

* Rest and sleep to refresh and recharge the body and soul.

* “Start doing today what I have given you as tips. Put it to heart.”

Fardan quoted American cosmetic surgeon and book author on improving one’s self-image: “It takes 21 days to form a new habit.”

Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Founder and Royal Patron of the Friends of Cancer Patients, FOCP, has said, “The Pink Caravan is mobilising all of society for effective breast cancer control. Their goal is not only to offer free screenings and treatment but to build a conscious community whose members understand their responsibility towards their health and are educated about the risks they face.”

She called on both, men and women, to visit PCR’s medical clinics and get screened, since breast cancer can affect men too, contrary to misconceptions.

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