Pointing out that the predicted incidence of breast cancer in India by 2015 would be 2.5 lakh cases, Director and Chief Oncologist of Sri Ramakrishna Institute of Oncology and Research P. Guhan said that the month-long awareness activities, including free consultation, would be held at the hospital.

Addressing mediapersons on Saturday, Dr. Guhan said that the programmes held to mark breast cancer awareness month were aimed at increasing awareness among public about early identification and treatment of the disease.

“Even if it is detected early, breast cancer could be cured using non-radiation treatment methods. There are many misconceptions about the disease. For example, if detected early there may not be any need to remove the organ,” he added.

“The increase in incidence of breast cancer is attributed to change in lifestyle. Most of the cases were reported in metros. Early menarche, late menopause, late marriage (after 30 years), first pregnancy at the age of 30, use of long-term oral contraceptives, obesity, alcohol and abstaining from breast-feeding, were the key factors that led to the disease,” he said.

According to him, according to hospital records in Coimbatore district in 2011-12, 25 out of one lakh persons in urban areas were detected with breast cancer while it was 14 out of one lakh in rural areas.

Dr. Guhan pointed out that breast cancer could be easily detected by effective and periodic screening involving self-examination, regular check-ups with family physicians/gynaecologists and simple tests like mammogram.

This is the ninth year of ‘Project Deepam’ organised by the hospital which involves free screening and awareness programmes on breast cancer.

Free consultation for breast cancer, including free pap smears and mammograms, for eligible women would be organised at the hospital thoughtout October. Kiosk with touch screen equipment to clear doubts on breast cancer would be set up in Coimbatore, Erode, Tirupur and the Niligiris, he said.

National Service Scheme members of Bharathiar University would distribute pamphlets on breast cancer in Coimbatore, Tirupur, Erode, Dindigul, the Niligiris and Karur as part of the project.

Free coupons for screening will be available at The Hindu office from October 1. For further details contact 0422 4389797.

The Hindu is the media partner for the event.