Nagpur: “India is witnessing more and more number of patients being diagnosed with breast cancer in the age group of 30-40 years. 25 years back, out of 100 patients 7% were in 30-40 years age group while 69% were above 50 years of age. However, owing to change in social values and competitive environment, now breast cancer has grown to 16-20% in 30-40 year age group while it registers 28% in 40-50 years group women. All together almost 50% of patients who are below 50 years of age are suffering with breast cancer,” said Prasana Joshi, Joint Director and Senior Consultant, Rashtrasant Tukdoji Regional (RST) Cancer Hospital and Research Centre.
Joshi was speaking at the ‘Free breast cancer check-up and awareness camp’ organized in the hospital premises, in view of breast cancer awareness month. Dr Subhrajit Dasgupta, Director, Dr B K Sharma, Joint Director, Dr Praffula Chahande, Dr Sarita Kothari, Dr Mayoor Daigavane and other hospital staff were present on this occasion.
Change in social values and lifestyle increased cancer in urban areas:
“Early marriages, early and multiple child births and breast feeding protects female from breast cancer. However, urban educated class is moving away from this trend due to changing social values and job demand. These changes may be partly responsible for increased incidence of breast cancer in urban areas. Breast cancer is now the most common in the urban women in India and 2nd most common cancer in rural females, after cervical cancer. 1 in 30 in urban areas and 1 in 60 in rural areas are likely to develop breast cancer in lifetime,” said Joshi and added, “More than 30% of all cancer in females are breast cancer.”
Late presentation decreased survival:
“In America, 5 years survival for breast cancer has increased from 75% in 1970 to 89%. Presently this means out of every 100 women with breast cancer in US 89 women are likely to survive for at least 5 years. In India rough estimated figures is not more than 60%. More than 50% patients present in stage IIB/III/IV (advanced stage) and outcome is not good as early stage. The most important reason for late presentation is lack of awareness about breast cancer and lack of screening of the same,” mentioned Joshi.
Cancer cells more aggressive at young age:
Cancer in young age group for females tends to be more aggressive (triple negative cancer) and have poor prognosis or outcome owing to their hormones, asserted Joshi.
The month of October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It aims to raise awareness about breast cancer, its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. It helps to increase attention and support for the awareness as well as early detection. In this breast cancer awareness month social activities like lectures, exhibition, slogan competition and other awareness initiatives have also organized by RST Cancer Hospital.