Chennai: Breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women and over five lakh women from around the world lost their lives to the disease last year as per a global survey by a journal. One of the main reasons owing to large number of deaths is lack of knowledge and awareness about breast cancer. While medicos state that women fail to identify early symptoms, it can be cured completely if found and treated early.
Breast cancer being diagnosed in early ages among women remains a foremost concern among oncologists who emphasize on the need of increased awareness on the symptoms and identification of breast cancer at an early age. “The cases of early breast cancer have risen in Indian women. Women in their 40s were not witnessed to be in the grip of breast cancer few years back, but now it is becoming common in the age group of 30-40. Lifestyle changes over the years remain a major responsible factor for the same,” said renowned oncologist, Dr Anitha Ramesh.
As per a study by Journal of Business Research, breast cancer claimed 70,218 lives in 2012, but the numbers have reached to around five lakh in 2016 globally. The study had revealed that the average mortality age from breast cancer has reduced from 50 years of age to 30 years of age.
“Women do not self-examine resulting in late diagnosis of the disease. Late diagnosis results in the increased number of mortalities as cancer is difficult to treat at a later stage. Lack of cancer awareness, lifestyle changes and lack of self-examination are some issues that need to be checked. A significant proportion of women consider the implementation of screening strategies like mammogram and other treatment services costly, as these are still not available at an affordable cost for all,” said Dr Bellarmine, senior consultant, Medical Oncology. Though October is identified for creating awareness on breast cancer, public health authorities need to take initiatives to make the treatment and services affordable to put an end to mortalities due to the disease.