Breast Cancer, 27 per cent of all cancers

Breast Cancer, 27 per cent of all cancers

Incidences of breast cancer are likely to increase in urban areas when compared to rural areas.

BENGALURU: The number of breast cancer cases in the city has risen over a period of time due to various medical reasons.

Breast Cancer is the most common type of cancer among Indian women and accounts for 27% of all cancers among women. Incidences of this cancer rise in the early 30’s and peaks between the age of 50 to 64 years. At least one woman among 28 women is likely to develop this cancer during their lifetime.

Incidences of this cancer are likely to increase in urban areas when compared to rural areas. It is one among 22 in urban areas while it is one among 60 in rural areas.

There is a need to create awareness among urban women on breast cancer. The exact cause of this cancer is not known.  However, there are several factors that affect the risk of developing breast cancer. 

The chances of developing the disease depend on a combination of the genes and bodies, lifestyle, life choices and environment.

Women are more likely to get this cancer than men. As a woman gets older, the risk of this cancer increases. The highest incidence recorded in women is over the age of 50 years.

It is said that up to 15% of women who develop breast cancer has family history whereas about 1 in 20 has inherited a fault in a gene linked to breast cancer.

Having higher breast density (a low proportion of fat) is also one of the biggest risk factors for breast cancer. Density of the breasts tends to gradually fall over time, as age is also a risk factor it does not mean the risk reduces as the breasts change. Pregnancy and breastfeeding reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Earlier, pregnancies lower the risk of cancer and the longer a woman breastfeeds the lesser the risk of cancer.

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It cannot be prevented. However, if detected early it is easier to treat. There are benefits for women who exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, do not smoke and have a low intake of alcohol. In the past, breast self-examination was advocated to help pick up cancer early. 

However, the breast examinations are no longer a part of the screening recommendations because research does not show they provide a clear benefit.

Dr. Prathima Reddy, Director, senior Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Fortis La Femme Hospital says “That all women should be familiar with how their breasts normally look and feel and report any changes to their doctor immediately.

Mammograms are advocated as a screening procedure to pick up early cancer.  These can be done from the age of 50 onwards at regular intervals as recommended by the doctor”.

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