Breast cancer is now the most common cancer in most cities in India. Breast cancer affects women both in the developed and the developing world. In India, breast cancer accounts for 25 per cent to 31 per cent of all cancers in women.
Moreover, the average age of developing breast cancer in women has also undergone a major significant shift from 50 – 70 years to 30 – 50 years. Breast cancer is also one of the most prevalent forms of cancer in rural India.
Though the cause is not yet known but a number of risk factors have been identified. Therapies including chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery but the long treatment kill off the immune system of the patient in the process. Scientists across the globe are working on a breast cancer vaccine. Professor Gavin Painter of Victoria University of Wellington’s Ferrier Research Institute and his team are developing a vaccine to prevent the deadliest cancer affecting women.
Reports suggest above 60 per cent patients are diagnosed with the breast cancer in stage III, when becomes virtually impossible to get cured. The societal taboos and lack of awareness have also worsened the situation.
In view of the impact that cancer has on women, families and society, the government and its stakeholders must encourage dialogues on the issue. Wide awareness programmes must be executed to make the men and women aware of the disease and what are its symptoms. If detected early, the death rate can be reduced drastically and will also help the patient to recover early.
Strategic information on breast cancer must be made available to citizens. Due to social stigma, social-economic structure, conservative atmosphere, women fear to go for check-ups. Majority of the women are unaware of the symptoms of the disease. The government must also make available cost-effective treatment to reduce the mortality rate.
Photo credit: findpharmacy.com.au