World Cancer Day : Busting myths and checking facts about breast cancer

February 4th marks World Cancer day. People who have battled and who are battling against Cancer are no less than heroes. Here goes a pat on the back for their immense strength. Since breast Cancer is one of the most common Cancers among women, let’s talk about it openly and let’s be alarmed with the myths and facts.

Breast Cancer is a leading cause of cancer death in women all over the world, accounting for more than 1.6% of deaths. In India, over 1,50,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year – a staggering number that has overtaken cervical cancer to become the most common cancer affecting women in India. With 70,000 deaths getting reported every year, a woman succumbs to breast cancer every ten minutes in the country.

More than 60% of breast cancers are getting detected at an advanced stage, several cancer patients succumb to the disease within a year of being diagnosed. Let us check out few horrifying facts about breast cancer scenario in India. The risk of breast cancer cases is on rising in India. It is estimated that 1 in 28 women is prone to develop breast cancer during her lifetime. Breast cancer accounts for nearly 25% of all new cancer diagnosed among Indians. Collectively, US, India, and China account for almost one-third of the global breast cancer cases diagnosed every year.

The high-risk group in the west is for women aged between 53-57 years, but unfortunately, Indian women in the age group of 43-46 years have become more prone to breast cancer. Every woman above the age of 25 must regularly go for “Breast Self-Examination”. There is a need to start screening one a woman turns 40. According to doctors, “no one knows for sure why younger women are developing breast cancer. It could be attributed to hormonal factors such as having children late in life, taking birth control pills or an inherited gene mutation.”

A piece of Advice: Check your breasts after you finish your monthly menstrual cycle or make it a habit to check at least once a month without fail. Don’t panic if you see or feel any lumps because it is not necessarily cancerous every time. You can use the mirror while examining your breast. Don’t forget to check the nipples because there could be changes in them as well. Don’t wait for a later age for self-examination. Once you cross 20, make it a habit to start examining your breasts.

Have you checked your bumps and lumps today?