In India, breast cancer has the highest incidence in urban and rural areas and increases the death rate too. Timely screening and diagnosis, regular breast self-examination, and prompt treatment can help one to beat breast cancer.
Breast is one of the common types of cancers seen in a majority of women. It is seen when some breast cells begin to grow abnormally. There are various types of breast cancer and the symptoms are a breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue, changes in the size, shape of a breast, and changes in the skin over the breast, such as dimpling, inverted nipple, peeling, scaling, of skin surrounding the nipple (areola) or breast skin and redness or pitting of the skin over the breast. Various factors can raise one’s risk of breast cancer, and increase mortality and morbidity rates.
Dr Meghal Sanghavi, Breast Onco Surgeon, SRV Hospital, Chembur said, “Breast cancer cases are not only rising in India but even globally. Despite leading to higher deaths, there is a lack of awareness regarding this cancer. So, cases are increasing in rural and urban areas. Breast cancer is not only limited to older women. Nowadays, many young women in their 30s or 40s are getting diagnosed with it. Earlier in India, 1 in 21 women was diagnosed with breast cancer. 1 out of 8 women abroad is detected with it. Now we are moving closer from 1 in 21 to 1 in 8. The causes behind the spike in breast cancer cases are late marriages, smoking, late menopause, obesity, age, delayed pregnancies, absence of breastfeeding, lack of screening, skipping mammograms, and breast self-examination.”
Dr Sanghavi added, “Many women refrain from taking breast cancer treatment due to financial crises. But, remember that early detection of breast cancer is associated with a wide range of available treatment options, increased survival, and improved quality of life. Mammography after 40 on a yearly basis will help in early detection and reduce the number of deaths with breast cancer. One will not require chemotherapy or radiation therapy if the cancer is detected at an early stage. Regular breast screening by breast specialists, and organizing breast screening camps can aid in creating awareness regarding breast cancer. Eat a well-balanced diet, exercise daily, quit smoking and alcohol, breastfeed, and maintain a healthy weight. Timely screening can save your life.”