New Delhi, October 9-Breast cancer cases have been on a rise in major cities like Bengaluru and Delhi. On the occasion of October being the Breast Cancer Awareness Month it is important to note that in recent times, age at presentation has dropped down, with people above 30-year-olds being diagnosed with the condition.
Dr M Chandrashekar, senior surgical oncologist, Apollo Hospital says, “Bengaluru is known as the breast cancer capital of India. The incidents have risen to 34 per 100,000 people in the city. Earlier cervical cancer was the biggest threat but now it is breast cancer. This cancer was found among 40 to 50-year-olds earlier. The urban lifestyle has a lot to do with this. Factors such as childbearing being delayed, breastfeeding not being done often, hormonal replacement therapy after menopause, lifestyle changes like consuming alcohol and smoking and lack of exercises are major contributors,” as he was quoted in a major daily.
“Leading a healthier lifestyle by exercising frequently, consuming a balanced diet with fruits and vegetables and avoiding smoking and alcohol will help prevent all ailments, including breast cancer,” the doctor adds.
Dr. Mansi Khanderia, consultant medical oncologist, Mazumdar Shaw Medical Center, Narayana Health City says that the occurrence of breast cancer is not confined only to women. “The chances of it occurring among men is rare. One per cent of breast cancer cases can be men, in fact 10 to 15 per cent of these cases are because of family history; especially if a first-deOree family member has cancer. In the US, 1 out of 6 women have a chance of developing breast cancer. In India, it was 1 out of 20 women a decade ago but it is slowly reaching 1 out of 10 women. The rate of breast cancer in men has not increased as exponentially as women, although awareness and diagnostic tests have increased,” she says.
“Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women worldwide with more than 2 million new cases diagnosed in 2018, accounting for 25 per cent of all new cancer cases in women and 6,27,000 deaths from breast cancer worldwide last year. These figures highlight that prevention has a key role to play to control this disease, says Dr. Naresh Ramarajan, founder and chief medical officer of Navya, a Bangalore based clinical informatics company, founded in collaboration with Tata Memorial Centre (TMC) and National Cancer Grid (NCG).
“While early detection is crucial to fighting breast cancer, we have witnessed that a large number of women don’t know the early signs of breast cancer while others are hesitant to seek medical advice out of embarrassment or fear,” he says.
According to Dr. Naresh, the symptoms include.
Persistent changes to the breast such as thickening, swelling, distortion, tenderness, skin irritation, redness and scaliness.
Abnormalities in Nipple – Spontaneous nipple discharge. – Early breast cancer usually has no symptoms and is most often diagnosed through mammography screening.