The Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) diagnoses nearly 500 new cases of breast cancer every year.
This was revealed by the institute's department of histopathology here on Monday. Dr B Radotra, professor of the department of histopathology, said most such cases were from north India. "The average age of developing breast cancer," he said, "has shifted from 50-70 to 30-50. Cancer in the young tends to be more aggressive."
"It accounts for 25% to 31% of all cancers in women. According to Globocan (WHO), in 2012, breast cancer resulted in 70,218 deaths in India," he said.
On diagnosis of the condition, experts recommend a core-needle biopsy for diagnosis of a breast lump that can be either felt (palpable mass) or seen as a suspicious area on a mammogram (non-palpable mass).
Core-needle biopsy does not involve extensive surgery and has low chances of infection. If breast cancer is found, the tissue removed during a core needle biopsy also gives important information including the tumour type, its grade and if it can be used for ancillary techniques. "For decades, breast cancer has been treated based on how it looks
under a microscope. Though cancers of different patients may look similar, specific abnormalities at molecular level make each person's cancer respond differently to treatment," said Dr Radotra.