There can be life after breast cancer

There can be life after breast cancer

Breast cancer is now the most common cancer in Indian women account for 25-30 % of all cancers in women across the country.

Breast cancer is now the most common cancer in Indian women account for 25-30 % of all cancers in women across the country. Every year almost 80,000 women die of breast cancer in India, highest in whole world. Cancer causes a huge emotional and economic burden on society. In today’s world when India is competing with world giants in its economic growth still women from breast cancer. A recent study of breast cancer risk in India revealed that one in 28 women develops breast cancer during her lifetime. This is higher in urban areas (one in 22) compared to rural areas, where the risk is lower at one in 60 women.

Breast cancer has a good survival rate provided diagnosed in early stage.

How India is different from west in breast cancer statistics?

Disease is found in younger women around 30-40 while it is a disease of 50+ women in west and due to lack of awareness and screening when it is detected it is already late. In last two decades there is shift towards younger women,Almost 48% patients are below 50. An increasing numbers of patients are in the 25 to 40 years of age, and this definitely is a very disturbing trend. And almost 60% patient does not survive due to diagnosis in stage ¾. Disease in younger women is aggressive and usually not sensitive to chemotherapy as they are ER/PR /HER2 negative.

Breast awareness campaign should be taken as national programme like polio so disease can be detected in early stage in asymptomatic phase where it is still in stage 1 and 5 year post treatment survival rate is good. We cannot prevent but can detect it in early stage and patient can have life after even marked with cancer.

Almost 6 to 8% of breast cancers will be hereditary, and will be pass down the family.Your genes determine your risk for developing certain cancer due to a change in the genetic material (called as a germ-line mutation ) , or DNA and predisposes to developing cancer.

If many family members suffer from one or other type of cancer, it is an indication that there may be inherited predisposition to cancer, and other members come in high risk category for cancer Development. BRACA gene s is a type of genes where chances of developing ovarian, breast and colorectal cancer are very high.

Key to early detection is breast awareness programme. Education, examination and screening tool like mammography and breast ultrasound. Along with these screening tests lifestyle modification also plays a role.

Breast feeding reduces the breast cancer development
Avoid toxic chemicals in food like microwaving food in plastic,High temperature barbecuing, grilling or frying meat
Prolong intake of estrogen containing pills
Prolong use of cholesterol lowering medicines more than for decade
Be active and reduce obesity

7 points to watch for breast cancer

1. Any lump in breast – although all lumps are not cancerous but it needs evaluation
2. Any change in breast size
3. If nipple is indrawn
4. Puckering of skin
5. Blood discharge from nipple
6. Change in skin colour
7. Swelling in armpit

-Dr. Ragini Agrawal
Gynecologist & Director of W-Hospital by Pratiksha, Gurgaon
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