Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in urban areas as it constitutes more than 30 per cent of all cancers in females. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, in rural areas too breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women after uterine cervix cancer.
ICMR has projected that one in every 10 Indians will be at risk of developing one or the other type of cancer by the middle of this century and that cancer will become the number one killer by then. In females, the two most common cancers are breast cancer and cervix cancer. Over 1,00,000 new breast cancer patients are estimated to be diagnosed annually in India.
A significant proportion of Indian breast cancer patients are younger than 35 years of age. Dr Tushar Patil, senior oncologist, Sahyadri Hospital, Pune, says, “Young age has been associated with larger tumor size, higher number of meta-static lymph nodes, poorer tumor grade and poor outcomes in terms of survival. Marriage at an early age, early and multiple childbirths and breastfeeding for longer time is a common norm in Indian societies. The urban class is moving away from this trend with late age childbirth and little or no breast feeding due to changing social values. These changes are partly responsible for the increasing breast cancer incidences.”
World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the month of October as ‘Breast Cancer awareness month.’ Sahyadri Specialty Hospitals had organised a free health talk on Breast Cancer Awareness.
Dr Patil, medical oncologist and Dr Vinod Gore, oncosurgeon, Sahyadri Hospitals delivered the talk.
Dr Gore said that rehabilitation of the patient after cancer surgery is very important as a cancer patient has to face various social, economic and most importantly psychological problems during this period.