Doctors in the city have warned that the number of deaths due to breast cancer has risen. Going by statistics, at the current rate of increase breast cancer will have overtake cervical cancer by the year 2020.

October is observed as national breast cancer awareness month. In the Capital, 3,000 women get breast cancer every year while 1,000 women die of it. Doctors, however, state that the cure rate of over 98 per cent is expected in the early stages of breast cancer if detected and treated.

“Women in Delhi and other metros are more prone to breast cancer than women in rural areas. As October is the national breast cancer awareness month, spreading awareness about this cancer is important. However, the death rate from breast cancer can be drastically reduced by early detection and prompt treatment by cancer specialists. Cure rate of over 98 per cent is expected in the early stages and many women in the early stages of cancer are getting cured,” said Galaxy Cancer Institute Department of Radiation Oncology director Dr. Dinesh Singh.

“The majority of women in the early stages of breast cancer don't need complete removal of breast, as only the tumour is taken out giving excellent cure and maintaining normal body shape. Newer targeted medicines are now available for treatment which kills only cancer cells and spares the normal cells hence improving cure rates and reducing side effects,” added Galaxy Cancer Institute director Dr. Arun Kumar Goel.

Breast cancer is one of the commonest malignancies afflicting women. It is currently estimated that one in 14 of all female children born will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Breast cancer risk increases with age. Sixteen per cent of women aged between 40-60 years have breast-related problems, and complain of breast lumps. In most of the cases, these breast lumps may carry a potential breast cancer risk. A family history of breast cancer will increase the risk of developing breast cancer in a woman by three to five times.

This month then is aimed at creating awareness about cancer.

“This awareness is to be generated not only in rural areas, but also amongst women in big towns who lack knowledge too. The rising cancer incidence makes cancer prevention and treatments a priority. Half the population is still unaware that cancer prevention is possible through newer treatment available and early detection is beneficial,” said Dr. Goel.

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