Breast Cancer has become the most common cancer in our country. The most shocking of all statistics is that every 8 minutes one woman loses her life. Sadly, this number has been on increase since 2012 when India recorded the highest number of Breast Cancer patients and hence Breast Cancer Awareness becomes all the more essential.
Breast Cancer Awareness
In India, every 4 minutes, one woman is diagnosed with Breast Cancer
Our country has seen an increase in the age group of 30 to 50 and this trend shows that the same is likely to increase. Women are more prone to contract breast cancer than men. This probably is due to more vulnerability to hormones which increase breast cells (such as estrogen and progesterone).
Unfortunately, this cannot be prevented, but Breast Cancer Awareness among women of all ages can be done and this post aims to do the same.
India has a low survival rate for breast cancer, with only 66.1% of women diagnosed with the disease between 2010 and 2014 surviving whereas in countries like Australia or USA the survival rates are as high as 90%.
The most important reason for the low survival rate is Breast Cancer Awareness and its treatment. Since many women are unaware of the signs and do not go /opt for regular testing, many patients reach hospitals when they are already in their 3rd or 4th stage.
Breast Cancer Awareness begins with regular screening & should be made mandatory
What stops women from getting a regular screening in India?
Lack of breast cancer awareness –
Breast cancer is a non-existent reality for a majority of people till they hear a near or dear one suffers from it. Women still do not consider this deadly and ignore the early symptoms.
They think that regular screening like blood tests, full body check-up or mammograms are costly, unnecessary and are not beneficial. Also, the family does not support women getting regular/yearly tests.
Availability of diagnostic centers –
Families and women are unaware which hospital/center to visit in case if something happens. Signs to look out for and who to reach out in case of doubts. In fact, 40% of hospitals across India are not sufficiently provided with high-quality cancer care facilities.
Good and knowledgeable oncologists
You probably did not know this but India has a shortage of surgical oncologists and radio-therapists. For every 10 lakh cancer patients, there are only 2000 good and knowledgeable oncologists. These surgical oncologists and radio-therapists play a pivotal role in cancer treatment.
Lifestyle factors that may be able to prevent Breast Cancer
- Obesity: Being obese invites many health-related issues and it is also one of the factors that heighten your risk of breast cancer
- Drinking alcohol: Women who have a large alcohol intake may have increased risk of breast cancer.
- Pregnancy: Women who have had a pregnancy have a greater risk of breast cancer compared to women who have had more than 1 pregnancy. Also, delivering a child after the age of 35 may increase the risk of breast cancer.
- Lactation: Not feeding the baby or feeding for a shorter duration of time increases the risk of breast cancer
Breast Cancer Awareness
Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer to look out for –
- Any new lump or mass found on any side of the breast
- A sudden change in the size of the breast (increase or decrease)
- Sudden swelling
- Shrunken or inverted nipple
- Bloody or clear discharge from any nipple
- Redness in any part of breast/areola or nipple region
Breast Cancer Awareness with simple breast self-examination at home
As I have mentioned above – Breast cancer CANNOT be avoided, unfortunately, if it has to happen, it will happen and can happen to anyone. What we can do from our end is to make conscious lifestyle changes and spread breast cancer awareness among everyone.
Hope that you liked the article – Breast Cancer Awareness. If you liked this article – do not forget to like, share and comment on Breast Cancer Awareness post. Until next time – take care, stay connected with me and God Bless
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