The Chandigarh Breast Cancer Trust is going to create awareness about breast cancer by holding an exhibition of posters on different aspects of the disease at the Moti Ram Arya School,Sector 27,Chandigarh on October 13-14. Besides,in collaboration with the ASHA JYOTI project of PGI,free mammographic screening on site for women will be done. Along with this there will be a provision for a breast health check up on site.
The event will be inaugurated by Dr Neelam Man Singh on October 13.
Initially there may be no outward signs of breast cancer. As the disease advances,outward signs develop and these include a lump in the breast,nipple discharge,thickening of skin,distortion in the breast or swelling in the armpit. It is important to remember that cancer is not the only cause of such signs and therefore when a female develops such signs she should go to a doctor to get herself checked up. No symptom or sign is minor enough to be ignored.
Early detection and diagnosis improve the chances of cure of the patient. In early breast cancer the surgeon may be able to save the breast and yet treat the cancer effectively. Depending on the risk assessment for future relapse,further treatment in the form of chemotherapy,targeted therapy or hormonal therapy may not be required at all or may be simpler to administer in early breast cancer.
Despite all recent advances in breast cancer,the best method of treating breast cancer is by early detection. The single largest impact on breast cancer in the country will come from raising awareness of breast cancer.
In India,the most authentic statistics about breast cancer incidence in India are available from the ICMRs Population Based Cancer Registry under the National Cancer Registry programme. All data from these registries show that breast cancer is the number one cancer in women in all urban areas of India. It is very evident from the various statistics,that the incidence of breast cancer is rapidly rising,amounting to a significant percentage of all cancers in women. Breast cancer is the commonest cancer in urban areas in India and accounts for about 25% to 33% of all cancers in women. If these percentages are converted into actual numbers,the numbers are very high. It is estimated that about 100,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in India every year and of these at least 40,000 will die from breast cancer. This number is expected to double by 2015. Combine this with the fact,that over 50% breast cancer patients in India present in stages 3 and 4,which definitely impacts the survival. This is because the cancer in India is diagnosed at a relatively more advanced stage.
In India,the average age of breast cancer patients range from 44 years to 49 years of age. Breast cancer occurs a decade earlier in Indian women when compared to the western statistics. Young age has been associated with larger tumor size,higher number of metastatic lymph nodes,poorer tumor grade,low rates of hormone receptor-positive status,earlier and more frequent loco-regional recurrences and poorer overall survival.
The incidence of breast cancer is increasing in the developing world due to increasing life expectancy,increase in urbanization and adoption of western lifestyles.