Cancer surgeons and cancer conquerors had a loud and clear message to share!

Breast cancer continues to remain a taboo issue in the country and has become a major impediment in early detection of the disease and subsequent treatment to women.

Due to this very reason, more than 60 per cent of the breast cancers detected in the State and elsewhere in the country are in advanced stage, the doctors pointed out.

In a panel discussion on ‘Beast Cancer-Challenges and Choices, organised by Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation (UBF) on Monday, doctors advised women (above 40 years) should go for a mammogram test at least once a year.

“Women in India keep their family ahead and neglect their health status. Women feel that they should sacrifice for the family. But, women do not realise that their health is linked to the happiness of the entire family,” says noted writer Shobhaa De, who participated in the discussion.

CEO and Director of UBF, Dr. P Raghuram pointed out that it was very important for Indian women to undergo frequent testing for breast cancer, at least once a year.

“In Western countries, breast cancer among women is common between 60 to 70 years. However, in India, for reasons unknown, the age group is 40 to 50 years. That’s the reason why, every women above 40 years should undergo mammogram test once a year,” Dr. Raghuram advised.

The breast surgeon also maintained that there was a need to develop breast surgery as a sub-speciality.

“There are no specialised courses on breast cancer surgery in India. There are a lot of ethical questions because untrained doctors tend to prescribe unnecessary tests at the costs of the patients,” he said.

The panel discussion featured talks of well known artist Ananda Shankar Jayant and associate professor in microbiology, Dr. Anuradha who conquered breast cancer successfully.

“Once detected, women should not feel that their life has ended. In fact, women should have the courage to take the ailment head-on and treat it as one chapter of their life,” they said.

The panel discussion was moderated by CEO of Fernandez Hospitals, Dr. Evita Fernandez.

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