Breast cancer incidence high among B'lore women: Report

Urban lifestyle, genetics, stress increase risk, opines oncologist

Breast cancer incidence high among B'lore women: Report

 Incidence of breast cancer among women in Bangalore is the highest compared to other cities. As many as 36.6 women among every one lakh are diagnosed with breast cancer in the City.

According to the report of the Population Based Cancer Registry (PBCR) from 2009-2011 that was released in New Delhi recently, Bangalore tops the chart followed by Thiruvananthapuram (35.1 per/lakh), Chennai (32.6), Nagpur (32.5), Delhi ( 32.2), Mumbai (31), Ahmedabad Urban (27.5), Bhopal (27.4), Kolkata (26.1), Kollam (25.8) and Pune (23.3).  

The PBCR report says that breast cancer amounts to 27.3 per cent of the total cancer cases diagnosed among women in Bangalore City followed by cervix uteri at 14 per cent and ovarian at 5.7 per cent.  

The PBCR in India is not recorded on a par with the Registry maintained in the West as the major chunk of the rural population is undiagnosed. 

Sedentary lifestyle, weight gain and lack of physical activities are some of the common practices that were found among the urban women being diagnosed for breast cancer.
 Dr Kritika Murugan, breast cancer surgeon from HCG Hospital, says that she has seen women as young as 22 years diagnosed with breast cancer. 

“Urban lifestyle and genetics along with stress play a crucial role in increasing the risk of developing breast cancer. However, smoking and drinking cannot be completely ruled out as it only adds to risk,” she added.

Young victims

Dr Murugan says that compared to the West, India is 10 years younger as the incidence of breast cancer in the West occurs in the age group of 40-50 years, while in India it is between 30 and 40 years.  “I am finding many women in their early and mid-20s being diagnosed with breast cancer.  The 22-year-old patient who is undergoing treatment now is an IT professional with a typical sedentary lifestyle, she found a lump in her breast, she visited hospital, a scan was done followed by a biopsy, which confirmed she had breast cancer,” she added.

A positive aspect of breast cancer is that treatment can be carried out irrespective of the stage at which it is diagnosed.  Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation are the treatments available and, the sequence of treatment is based on the patient’s need.  

Counselling

“It was quite tragic to find many women who have just started their career, who are unmarried and have a whole life ahead of them. More than the treatment, it is the counselling that is required for the patient to face the disease,” added Dr Murugan.

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