Bangalore sees a 5% increase in the number of women with breast cancer over the last five years.
Breast cancer has become one of the leading cancers in the city with around 38 per hundred thousand cases reported this year by the Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology. 5 years ago the incidence of breast cancer was 36 per hundred thousand.
Dr. CV Ramesh (oncologist at KIDWAI memorial institute of oncology), said, “Breast cancer is a hormone-related cancer. Patients if detected early have an almost normal life span. The detection happens on a screening basis. About 10% of breast cancers are genetic, other than that because of the lifestyle. Unfortunately in India women come to the hospitals for cancer with advanced disease.” He also mentioned increasing age, a family history of breast cancer, radiation exposure. Obesity, drinking alcohol, having a first child at an older age and beginning menopause at an older age are other the factors contributing to the risk of breast cancer.
The Doctors say that the lifestyle of the women and genetic mutations are the main reasons for the breast cancer increase.
Farida Rizwan, a third stage breast cancer survivor said, “I felt the need to get screened after I spotted a lump in my breast. I decided for total radical mastectomy and chemotherapy 6 cycles. Losing a breast is not a big deal when it comes to losing your life. But after the surgery, there are problems because you feel your body isn’t in symmetry. We feel loss of the weight of the breast on one side and we lose hair for chemo and people will know there is something wrong with you.”
Expert in oncology, Dr Mukund NK stressed on the importance of identifying the cancer in an early stage which can be done by screening. “Majority of the cases that we come across come in stage 3 or 4 which is a late stage. If they are present in 4th stage the cure isn’t possible, only control is possible. People with a family history should come at an early age around 30-35 years.”