Saturday, June 1, 2013

Breast Cancer – Be Aware and Beware

With rapid industrialization and urbanization, the incidence of breast cancer is rising fast among Indian women. Proper awareness and proper treatment under proper guidance can help millions to reduce the brunt of this menace.Breast Cancer is the commonest cancer among urban women inIndia. As per National Cancer Registry, over 1 lakh women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. 60% of these diagnoses present at an advanced stage with less than 15% chance of survival. If these women have been diagnosed early, their survival chances can be more than 90%.

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) places incidence of the disease at 30 to 33 per 100,000 women in urbanIndia. The number of new  breast cancer cases inIndiais about 100,000 women each year and ICMR predicts there will be approximately 250,000 new cases of breast cancer inIndiaby 2015. It is reported that one in 22 women inIndiais likely to suffer from breast cancer during her lifetime, while the figure is definitely more inAmericawith one in eight being a victim of this deadly cancer.
The cure rate of breast cancer if detected early is 97 percent but, unfortunately, less than 10 percent of all the 100,000 new breast cancers diagnosed in India every year fall into this category. In India, breast cancer presents a decade earlier affecting younger women between 30 and 40 years. Unlike in the West where typically women after 50 years get early stage disease, breast cancer in Indian women occurs at a younger age and is usually presented and diagnosed at a later stage due to low awareness on breast screeningand self- examination.
There is no known single specific cause for the illness. Urbanization has bought its own share of grief with pollution in water, air, food etc. Pesticides in vegetables and other food items are known carcinogens which are creating havoc. In a W.H.O report it was stated the Indians consume pesticides 40 times higher than permissible levels in their food.
Causes like heredity, genetic mutations, environmental toxins, certain physical and chemical hazards, consumption of genetically modified food products, life style factors like stress, smoking, alcohol, eating junk food, obesity and lack of exercise are attributed to breast cancer.
The main symptoms which one should look out for are a lump in the breast or armpit, discharge from the nipples, nipple or skin retraction, thickening, ulceration and redness of skin.
Proper clinical examination by a cancer specialist is the first step. MAMMOGRAPHY is the most reliable and cheapest diagnostic and screening tool for the breast cancer detection. One should get a mammogram done once every two years after 40 years of age. This should be done once a year after age 50. Fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) and biopsy are done in the case of a suspicious or positive mammography screening to confirm the disease. Further tests to assess the disease spread - metastatic workup - are conducted once the cancer diagnosis is confirmed. Genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations can help determine one's chance of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer, if there is strong family history.

also read;
Angelina Jolie's Double Mastectomy: Q&A
Carcinoma Of The Breast (Breast Cancer)
7 symptoms tells you that you should conduct breast cancer screening

I wish health for all women and for myself,
and I wish a speedy healing to all patients

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