Breast Cancer Fast Facts
All one can philosophically say to a woman asking such a question is that ‘bad things happen to good people also’.Several risk factors for breast cancer have been well documented. However, for the majority of women presenting with breast cancer it is not possible to identify specific risk factors (IARC, 2008; Lacey et al., 2009).
Approximately 29 women per 100000 female population in India are affected yearly.
And the incidence is increasing.
In the last few years doctors at cancer centers in Mumbai and Delhi have published and presented their well researched findings in papers and at international symposia. They have observed rapid increase in the incidence of breast cancer in India, especially in the urban population.
Breast cancer is the top cancer in women worldwide and is increasing particularly in developing countries where the majority of cases are diagnosed in late stages.
World Health Organization
With so much known, the experts still struggle to answer exactly why the cell becomes cancerous. There is hope and strong sense that they will be successful in unlocking the mystery sooner than later. Once that knowledge becomes available then a definitive treatment or even development of a preventive vaccine (similar to a small pox or polio vaccine) is a distinct possibility.
At least that is the mission and the goal of those who have dedicated their career and life to achieve control of this disease.
The facts are upon us that women in our society are at an increased risk of developing a breast cancer in their life time in the 21 st century, than 100 years ago. This is not intended to raise an alarm or create a panic but essentially arm ourselves with proper information and increase awareness in our society.
There are two basic steps recommended to women as a disciplined approach to early detection.1. Breast self examination, once a month.
Thanks to Dr. Vijay Patil MD for his contribution on ‘Breast Cancer Fast Facts’ to Maina Foundation.