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Home News and Update Year 2011 31.4% of city patients suffer

31.4% of city patients suffer

Times of India
18 October 2011
By , Hetal Vyas
Bangalore , India

Urbanization, Change In Diet, Lifestyle Are The Main Causes
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has predicted there will be around 1.5 million cancer patients in India by 2015, and most of them will suffer from breast cancer.

31.4% of city patients suffer
Of 100 women with various cancers in Bangalore, 31.4% suffer from breast cancer. It has overtaken the number of cervical cancer cases, which initially affected a majority of women patients.

As per ICMR figures (the last such study was done in 2008), the disease is on the rise at the rate of 3% every year. A decade ago, the figure in Bangalore was 16%, while it is 31.4% today.

“ Approximately 2.5 lakh women with breast cancer are examined in India every year, of which at least 1 lakh are fresh cases. The reasons are urbanization, industrialization, changed lifestyle, unhealthy diet and other factors which lead to hormonal imbalance,” said Dr Anthony Pais, head of the Breast Cancer Unit and Women’s Oncology department, Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Centre at Narayana Hrudayalaya.

31.4% of city patients suffer
Unfortunately, in India most women wait for the symptom of pain. “The average age for a woman to be diagnosed with breast cancer is about 47 years. There is a need to start checking once a woman touches 40. In 98% of the cases, the lump is painless, which is more dangerous,” said Dr Pais.

Says Dr B S Ajaikumar, chairman, HCG Cancer Hospital: “The primary reason for contracting breast cancer is change in diet and lifestyle. Passive smoking can also lead to it. The rate at which breast cancer cases are rising, it can be considered a chronic disease.”

Oncologists say there is a need to spread awareness. “Indian women are still shy of discussing their problem, which is why most of them learn about the cancer only when it has spread and reached an advanced stage,” said Dr Pais.

Hormonal imbalance and heredity also cause breast cancer. “Nowadays, girls attain puberty early and women reach menopause in their late 40s. This happens due to change in lifestyle and food habits which create hormonal imbalance, and is passed on to the next generation,” said Dr Linu John Abraham, consultant medical oncologist, Fortis Hospital.

Kamakshi Natarajan (name changed), a software engineer, was just 26 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer about a year ago. She visited a hospital after noticing a slight but constant pain in her left breast, which was diagnosed as a cancerous lump. A second examination showed up a lump in her right breast. Luckily for her, it was still in the first stage. She underwent various treatments, including breast implantation and reconstruction for over eight months, and has now completely recovered.

Sudha Joshi (name changed), 48, got a rude shock 18 months ago, when she went for a routine check-up to a city hospital. The doctors detected cancer tissues in her left breast: the lump was less than 1cm in diameter, and was difficult to locate. Doctors suggested that Sudha undergo radioimmunoguided surgery. Sudha was cured without undergoing chemotherapy or radiation.

Growing Numbers
USA has one breast cancer patient in every nine cancer patients; in India, there is one in every 22
Delhi leads with one breast cancer case in every 17 cases
Bangalore is close behind with one breast cancer case in 20 patients
Doctors predict that Bangalore will be the breast cancer capital in 4-5 years, with 15 to 16 cases

Fighting The Disease
Spreading awareness about breast cancer is the best way to fight it, especially in India, where rural women are still shy to visit a doctor to discuss their problems. In western countries, cancer check-ups are mandatory every six months. In our country, it is optional because the government is not very aggressive about promoting healthcare facilities. Niti Raizada Narang |
Medical oncologist, vikram hospital
Every woman, especially those with a family history of cancer, should undergo a mammography once a year, breast examination every two months and clinical examination of breasts once every six months. Suresh Babu | CONSULTANT MEDICAL ONCOLOGIST, BGS HOSPITAL Chances of survival in the first or second stages are very bright. If diagnosed on time, women in an advanced stage of breast cancer can live for 5-8 years and with good care, even 10 years.

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