One in 5 women in Mumbai at higher risk of breast cancer
One in five women in Mumbai may suffer from abnormalities in the breast, putting them at higher risk of breast cancer, a new study reveals. Of this group, only 10% may be diagnosed in the early stages of the disease, according to the research by Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), France, in association with World Health Organization (WHO).
The study, ‘Setting up a Breast Cancer Awareness Project in Mumbai: Methodology, Experiences and Challenges,’ was recently published in the Journal of Cancer Education.
As part of the study, researchers sent more than 22,500 brochures across BARC campus every year for over three years, containing information about breast cancer awareness and invited women to clinical breast examination camps.
A total of 3,547 women reported to the camps, 704 (20%) were detected with breast lumps (584) or lesions (120). Of the 3,547, almost 50% had never practiced self-breast examinations.
Further clinical investigations found 89 women (12%) with suspicious or highly suspicious abnormalities and malignancy of which 83 were detected with invasive breast cancers.
“A total of 60% of breast cancer patients in India are diagnosed at an advanced stage where chances of survival are low. Our model of continuous awareness proved that it is possible to better the survival rate by detecting the cancer in the first two stages,” said study author Dr Anita Gadgil, department of surgery, BARC Hospital and WHO-Collaborating Centre for Surgical Care Delivery in lowmiddle income countries.