Digital Health in Africa: Pharmarun at the Africa Health Tech Summit

I recently attended the Africa Health Tech Summit, also known as #AHTS23, which took place from 17th of October 2023 to 19th October 2023. The summit was all about acknowledging and celebrating digital health innovations, exploring new and exciting ways to use technology to improve healthcare in Africa.

Funmilola Aderemi

Breast Cancer: Symptoms, Types, Causes & Treatment | Pharmarun X Healthgo

Cancer can be a scary word, but as it is pink october, it is time to talk about it. In this blog post, we're going to focus on breast cancer. We'll break down what it is, how it happens, and what you need to know to stay informed.

Breast cancer is a type of cancer that affects the breast tissue, and it's more common than you might think. Many people have heard of it, but not everyone knows what it really means. So, let's start by understanding what breast cancer is and why it's important for every female to be aware of it.

What is Breast cancer? 

Breast cancer means there are some bad cells growing in a person's breast. These cells can cause problems and make the breast not work well. Breast cancer comes in different types.

Why does breast cancer happen? Well, it can be genetic, or sometimes it's because of the way the body works. Hormones can also play a role. And sometimes, environmental factors can cause it.

Types of Breast Cancer

  1. Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS): This is the type of breast cancer that starts in the milk ducts but hasn't spread to other parts of your body.
  1. Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC): IDC is more serious. It means the cancer cells have left the milk ducts and are invading nearby tissues.
  1. Invasive Lobular Carcinoma (ILC): ILC starts in the lobules, which are the part of the breast  that secretesss milk. Like IDC, it can spread to other areas.
  1. Other Rare Types: There are some unusual types of breast cancer too, like inflammatory breast cancer. These are not as common, infact,y accounts for only 1% to 5% of all breast cancers..

What Causes Breast cancer?

Breast cancer can happen for various reasons. Here are some common ones to keep in mind:

  1. Family History: Sometimes, breast cancer runs in families. If someone in the family has had it, the risk of developing it may be a bit higher.
  1. Genetic Mutations: Certain genes, like BRCA genes, can increase your chances of developing breast cancer. Genetic mutations mean changes in the genes that are inherited.
  1. Hormonal Factors: Hormones, like the ones involved in polycystic ovarian syndrome, can play a role in breast cancer. Hormones are natural chemicals in the body.
  1. Environmental Factors: Things in your environment, like the HPV vaccine, have been linked to breast cancer. These are factors from outside your body.

Symptoms of Breast Cancer 

It's important to check your breasts regularly. Why? Because symptoms detected early can help quicken the treatment process. You don't need fancy equipment – your hands are enough.

What to Look For In Your Breasts.

  1. Lump in the Breast (Lump in Breast): If you feel a lump or bump in your breast, don't ignore it. It could be a sign of breast cancer, and it's something you should get checked out.
  1. Changes in Breast Size or Shape: Sometimes, your breast might change in size or shape for no apparent reason. This can be a red flag.
  1. Skin Changes and Breast Skin Cancer: Keep an eye on your skin. If you notice redness, dimpling, or anything unusual on the skin of your breast, it's time to see a doctor.
  1. Unexplained Nipple Discharge: If your nipples start leaking fluid, especially if it's not related to breastfeeding, it's worth investigating.
  1. Pain or Discomfort in the Breast: Persistent pain or discomfort in your breast that doesn't go away should be checked out by a healthcare professional.
  1. Lumps in the Armpit (Lymph Node): Lumps in your armpit can be linked to breast issues. Lymph nodes are small glands in your armpits, and changes there can be a sign of trouble.


A mammogram is a special kind of X-ray that helps detect breast cancer. It's different from other types of X-rays. Regular mammograms are important, especially as you get older or if you have a family history of breast cancer. They can find issues even before you feel them.

Diagnosis and Staging in Breast Cancer

Medical Tests

  1. Biopsy: When doctors suspect something's not right in the breast, they need to take a closer look. A biopsy is a small sample they take to check if it's cancerous or not.
  1. Imaging Tests (like Ultrasound and MRI): Sometimes, pictures can help the doctors figure out what's going on. Ultrasound and MRI are special cameras that take pictures inside the body. They can help show if there's a problem in the breast.

TNM Staging System

Doctors use something called the TNM system to figure out how serious the breast cancer is. "T" stands for tumor, "N" stands for lymph nodes, and "M" stands for metastasis (whether cancer has spread to other parts of your body). It helps them decide the best treatment plan.

Treatment Options For Breast Cancer

In fighting breast cancer, many doctors and specialists work together as a team. This teamwork ensures the patient gets the best care possible. These are the treatment options available.

  1. Surgery.

Lumpectomy vs. Mastectomy: If you have breast cancer, you may need surgery. Lumpectomy means removing the tumor while preserving most of your breast. Mastectomy means removing the entire breast. The choice depends on factors like the size and location of the cancer and your personal preferences.

  1. Chemotherapy: 

Chemotherapy is the usage of drugs to target and destroy breast cancer cells. These drugs can be injected directly into a vein through a needle or taken by mouth as pills.. They can have side effects like nausea, hair loss, and fatigue.

  1. Radiation Therapy: 

Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams to target cancer cells. It's like using a laser to zap cancer away, and it's quite effective.

  1. Hormone Therapy: 

Some breast cancers grow because of hormones, like estrogen. Hormone therapy can help block these hormones and stop cancer from spreading.

  1. Targeted Therapies and Immunotherapy

These are advanced treatments that specifically target cancer cells. They directly target the cancer, leaving healthy cells unharmed.

  1. Comfort and Symptom Management

Palliative care is a special kind of care that focuses on managing symptoms and making the patient as comfortable as possible during cancer treatment. It's not about curing cancer, but it's about improving the patient’s quality of life.

Prevention Of Breast Cancer and Risk Reduction

  1. Diet and Exercise: Eating well and staying active can help lower your risk of breast cancer. It's like giving your body a shield against the disease.
  1. Avoiding Smoking and Excessive Alcohol: Smoking and too much alcohol can increase your chances of getting breast cancer. So, it's a good idea to avoid them or limit your intake.
  1. Genetic testing: Sometimes, your genes can play a role in breast cancer. Genetic testing and counseling can help you understand if you have a higher risk because of your family history or inherited genes.
  1. Regular Mammograms: Mammograms are X-rays for your breasts, and they're excellent at spotting breast cancer early when it's most treatable. Regular mammograms are important, especially as you get older.


With the sole passion of promoting health and well-being, two remarkable entities, HealthGo and Pharmarun, have come together with a common goal - to educate and empower young girls in schools about breast cancer while providing them with free tests.

About HealthGo

HealthGo stands as Africa's gateway to quality, affordable, and expedited healthcare assistance, driven by cutting-edge technologies like blockchain and AI. They offer teletherapy and consultations with healthcare experts, enable online purchase of medical supplies, and deliver health education in an innovative and engaging manner.

About Pharmarun

Pharmarun is a dedicated team of pharmacists, engineers, and problem-solvers determined to ensure Nigerians have access to authentic medication in a fast, reliable, and efficient manner. Their mission is to simplify the process of obtaining medication, making it hassle-free for everyone.

If you need to order any medications, use Pharmarun. We will not only deliver quality medications to your doorstep anywhere in Nigeria but also allow you to set up regular deliveries, picking when you want them.

Pharmarun provides free access to pharmacists, doctor consultations, lab test booking, and helps you take care of your loved ones, no matter where you are in the world. You can also get delivery when you order via the Pharmarun Wallet. Click here to get started.

With the Pharmarun web app, you can also check your Body mass index (BMI), Ovulation etc for free. Click here to get started.

Pharmarun is the simple solution you need to live a healthy life. Click here to get started with Pharmarun.

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