India – Women in urban areas more prone to breast cancer
New Delhi, Oct 6 (IANS) – Urban women are more prone to breast cancer than their rural counterparts due to changing lifestyle and stress.
So says Galaxy Cancer Institute’s radiation oncology department director Dinesh Singh.
‘Every year, about 3,000 women get breast cancer in Delhi and NCR alone. Nearly 1,000 die of breast cancer every year,’ Singh told IANS.
October has been declared the national breast cancer month to spread awareness about the disease.
‘Breast cancer is one of the commonest malignancies afflicting women. In some parts, it is the most common malignancy,’ Singh said.
According to doctors, it is estimated that one in 14 of all female children born in India will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
‘Breast cancer risk increases with age. Sixteen percent of women aged 40-60 have breast-related problems. In most, the lumps may carry a breast cancer risk,’ Galaxy Cancer Institute director Arun Kumar Goel said.
‘A family history of breast cancer increases the risk of developing the disease by three to five times,’ he added.
According to a study by London-based NGO working in Punjab ‘Roko Cancer’, while nine to 15 women per lakh in rural areas are affected by the disease, the number is 25-30 women per lakh in urban India.
‘Changing lifestyle and stress are some of the reasons behind the increasing number of cases,’ Goel said.
While agreeing that lack of awareness is one of the critical factors leading to increasing number of deaths, doctors said the disease can be cured if treatment starts at the right time.
‘Cure rate of over 98 percent is expected in the first stage. Many women with stage-I cancer and are getting cured,’ Singh said.
‘Majority of women in stage-I don’t need complete removal of the breast as only the tumour is taken out, giving excellent cure and maintaining normal body shape,’ Goel said.
Nearly 60,000 women die of breast cancer in India every year. Studies say that at the current rate of increase, the disease will overtake cervical cancer cases by 2020.