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Incidence of breast cancer growing, says expert

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Oncologist A.Y. Rao addresses an awareness meet organised by The Hindu in association with A.Y. Rao Cancer Centre on the occasion of National Day of Gynaecological Cancers, at Navajeevan Bala Vikas Kendra in Vijayawada on Thursday.
Oncologist A.Y. Rao addresses an awareness meet organised by The Hindu in association with A.Y. Rao Cancer Centre on the occasion of National Day of Gynaecological Cancers, at Navajeevan Bala Vikas Kendra in Vijayawada on Thursday.

Special Correspondent

VIJAYAWADA: The cancer of the cervix is at the top among different kinds of cancers affecting women in India, but an increase in the incidence of breast cancers can be predicted taking into consideration the global trends, oncologist A.Y. Rao has said.

He was addressing an awareness programme conducted jointly by the A.Y. Rao Cancer Centre and The Hindu to mark the National Day of Gynaecological Cancers at the Navajeevan Bala Vikas Kendra in Autonagar here on Thursday.

Addressing the social workers of “Hitoshi”, an arm of Navajeevan Society, Dr. Rao said breast cancer was in the number one place in all the developed countries.

While the developed countries were able to cure most of the cases by going in for early detection, women in India for various reasons were coming to the oncologists at the terminal stages. “In developed countries, women undergo a test that predicts the propensity of a woman to get breast cancer and go for breast removal. But in India, the scenario is just the opposite, with women going for treatment in the last stages.”

Quoting statistics, Dr. Rao said out of the 1.26 lakh women who were diagnosed with cancer of the cervix in India, 70,000 died. While a few decades ago all cancer patients succumbed to the disease, 45 to 50 per cent of the cancer patients were being saved today due to advances in medicine. In another couple of decades, medical science would have advanced enough to find a cure for most of the cancers, Dr. Rao said.

Making a power point presentation, the oncologist explained to the predominantly lower middle class women and social workers who attended the meeting in good numbers, what care women should take for early detection.

The propensity to cancer could be reduced among women by vaccinating them against viral infections that lead to the development of cancers. He said breast cancer could be detected in the early stages by periodic checking for lumps. Asked if there would be pain during such examination, Dr. Rao said that in the early stages there would be no pain and that was why most women ignore them.

V.V. Raja Rao, Senior Deputy Regional Manager, The Hindu, thanked Dr. Rao and Navajeevan Society for promoting awareness on cancer.


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