It is second most common cancer with an estimated 1.15 lakh new diagnoses

On account of ‘International Breast Cancer Ribbon Day’, Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre has plans to join hands with voluntary organisations to create awareness of breast cancer.

Addressing a press conference, Ramesh Ardhanari, Medical, MMHRC, senior consultants, Department of Oncology, K. S. Krishnakumar, R.Vijaya Bhaskar, Krishnakumar Rathinam and P. Anantha Selvakumar explained incidence of breast cancer, its detection, reasons and treatment options available.

The team of doctors supported with slide shows said that breast cancer is the second most common cancer (after cervical cancer) with an estimated 1.15 lakh new diagnoses and second most common cause of cancer related deaths with 53,592 breast cancer deaths in 2008.

Breast cancer accounts for 22.2 per cent of all new cancer diagnoses and 17.2 per cent of all cancer deaths among women in India.

Breast cancer in urban areas of India is three times higher than in rural areas with big cities like Delhi, Mumbai Chandigarh and Trivandrum accounting for most cases and North Eastern states having low per cent of incidence of breast cancer.

The incidence is high among most developed nations than the least developed but the mortality rate is high in the developing and least developed nations as awareness is not high and cases are reported only in the advanced stage of cancer.

Shocking statistics

Statistical details show that by 2020 an estimated number of 1, 23,634 patients could die of breast cancer. The incidence of breast cancer is high among women in the age group of 40 to 50. MMHRC on an average sees 250 to 300 patients coming for treatment every year apart from referral cases which number around 100. Indian Council of Medical Research report says that 1 lakh cases of breast cancer are reported every year.

Reasons for breast cancer include sedentary lifestyle, obesity, abstinence of breast feeding to babies, having children late and alcoholism. Apart from this genetic factors also count in other cases.

Treatment options for women diagnosed with breast cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy and other targeted therapies. Modified radical mastectomy is the most common procedure used for breast cancer patients in India.

However, doctors claimed that early detection of breast cancer helps to get rid of it completely.

Breast cancer screening includes three methods of early detection, breast self examination which could be done monthly, a clinical breast examination that could be done once in three years and the mammographic screening that could be done annually by an individual starting at the age of 40.

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