Cancer control is a major challenge for the government as the number of cases are rising, said Anupriya Patel, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, on Friday. Patel was in the city to inaugurate the 4th Annual Conference of the Breast Imaging Society of India (BISI) at PGIMER. In her speech, she highlighted the increasing incidence of breast cancer and related deaths in India due to lack of awareness regarding the breast screening examinations and presentation in the advanced stages.
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“The incidence of non-communicable disease is on the rise. Breast cancer has become the single most health concern in our country. Available statistics show the cases of breast cancer rising at an alarming rate among the female population in India,” she said.
“In fact, breast cancer has replaced cervical cancer as the leading cause of deaths among women in India…cancer control is a major challenge for the government and in India, it is estimated that there are 3 million cancer patients at any given point of time with about 2/3 present in advance and in incurable stages at the time of diagnosis.”
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Patel further said that new cancer cases are 14 lakh every year according to a 2016 estimate. “There are about 6-7 lakh deaths due to cancer in India annually…the cancer cases will rise further,” she added.
“In the last decade, it has become more common than cervical cancer. The incidence of breast cancer in India is 22.9 per one lakh women in India as compared to 39 per lakh women worldwide,” the minister further stated. She said the government has initiated several schemes for the prevention of cancer.”
Professor N. Khandelwal, head of the Department of Radio Diagnosis and Imaging, PGI, in his inaugural address, dwelt upon the various challenges related to the early diagnosis of breast cancer and other breast diseases, including the large volume of patients, inadequate imaging facilities and lack of availability of trained dedicated radiologists in the field of breast imaging.
A PGI statement said there were sessions on the imaging of the breast at the mammography level and various image-guided interventions in breast disorders. Dr Michael Linver talked about basic challenges faced by radiologists in their day-to-day reporting in mammography and how to tackle them.
Dr Jennifer Harvey, University of Virginia, delivered a lecture on the Art of Triangulation in the breast lesions for their correct localisation in mammography.
“A two-hour session was dedicated to image-guided breast interventions which included ultrasound guided core biopsy, stereotactic breast biopsy and MRI guided interventions. This was followed by hands-on workshops for the delegates for these interventions in the evening,” the statement said.