KOZHIKODE: As the world observes Breast Cancer Awareness Month, doctors say the modern lifestyle makes women more vulnerable to the disease. An alarming increase of breast cancer is seen in India compared to other countries. With the aim of creating awareness and early detection, Pratheeksha, an organisation of cancer survivors, will conduct a camp on Saturday at Malabar Christian College offering free screening tests by lady doctors. They will be introducing a mammogram van that consists of all the equipment required.
“Amongst one lakh women, 35 have breast cancer. Initially, it was 15, and there is a constant increase in the number as time passes due to the present living styles,” said Dr Narayanankutty Warrier, oncologist and co-founder of Pratheeksha. Breast cancer is hormone related and caused by its fluctuation in number. The longer the fluctuation of hormones the higher the tendency of cancer.
“Hormone fluctuation is at its peak during the menstrual cycle. Due to present life conditions, studies prove that menarche starts at the age of eight which was initially 15. Even menopause is delayed by five to ten years which increases the risk of cancer” he added explaining the increase in number by 300 times. The causes include lack of physical activity, stress and delaying the age of first delivery.
“The idle age is 25 to 30. But the current lifestyle has higher tendencies to cross 30 years for first delivery and the use of contraceptive pills is increasing at a higher rate. All these can contribute to the appearances of cancer. Breast cancer is relatively high in India as 50 percent of the patients are subject to late detection” said Dr Mini Warrier, co-founder of Pratheeksha. The disease can easily be healed with 98 to 100 percent cure rates during the first stage of detection. “It’s high time to come forward and stop shying away about it. Women above twenty years should conduct self-examination every one month to understand the changes,” she added....