Sedentary lifestyle leading to rise in breast cancer cases

BENGALURU: More young women these days are falling prey to breast cancer, thanks to sedentary lifestyle, and experts have called for greater awareness of the disease.

October is celebrated annually as the Cancer Awareness Month, to spread awareness and remove the misconceptions that people have about the disease.
Doctors say that about 90% of the patients survive for many years after diagnosis, if the breast cancer is detected in the early stages which are (Stage 1 and 2). Early detection can also lead to effective treatment and a positive prognosis.

According to the breast cancer awareness survey, about 70% of the respondents were unaware of the different treatments of cancer, while 75% women shy away from breast cancer screening.

The survey was conducted by Future Generali India life insurance company in association with Momspresso with a sample size of 2,225 respondents across 10 key metro cities.

Dr Sandeep Nayak, Senior Consultant Surgical Oncologist-Laparoscopy & Robotic Onco Surgery at Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road said, “There was a time when cervical cancer was the most common cancer among Indian women. Today the most common cancer is breast cancer, closely followed by cervical cancer. We are seeing too many young patients with breast cancer. Earlier the peak age was around 34, but now we see many in the late 20s and early 30s.”
He also said that there are a number of different surgeries on breast cancer, with the latest being a  robotic surgery, which is effective especially for reconstruction.

“At a younger age saving the breast becomes extremely important. It is also an option for many women with early-stage breast cancers. This procedure involves taking away only a part of the breast tissue instead of removing the entire breast. It is well known that the long-term result of breast conservation is similar to mastectomy (removal of breast),” said Dr Nayak.

India is becoming home to the largest population of young women with breast cancers due to the westernisation of our living habits, pointed out Prof. Dr. Somashekhar S.P.,  Chairman & HOD Surgical Oncology at Manipal Hospitals. “This is an era of minimum effective treatment with organ preservation surgery protocol with sentinel node study for best cosmetics and quality of life,” he said.

Experts say that an increase in awareness that can lead to early detection and increase in survival rate is an acute necessity. The key to cancer prevention is a healthy lifestyle which includes diet, exercise, avoiding tobacco, etc.

“A yearly health check up would help in identifying cancers in time. Also, an awareness of self to identify anything new and unusual development in the body is important”, they added.

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