मंगलवार, 22 दिसंबर 2009

Breast cancer being detected late: AIIMS

AIIMS Study: 90% Women Ask For Medical Help After Stage 1 Of Disease Awareness about breast cancer, even in urban areas of the country, is very low and only 15-20% women diagnosed with the disease are able to ‘conserve’ the affected organ, says a recent study conducted by the breast cancer clinic at AIIMS. Because of this lack of awareness, doctors say 90% of women with the illness seek medical attention only after they have crossed stage 1 of the disease. ‘‘Breast conservation is successful if we get patients in the early stages, that is, 1 and 2. But we see a very small percentage of women, about 10-12%, in the second stage or before. As the disease progresses, the involvement of the lymph nodes and other tissues increases and surgeons have very little chance of conserving the organ,’’ said Dr MC Misra, head of the department of surgery and the breast cancer clinic, AIIMS. As a result, a majority of women either have to undergo mastectomies or live with completely disfigured breasts, he added. What’s shocking is that close to 70% of women go to their doctors in the 3rd and 4th stages of breast cancer, by when conservation of the organ is very difficult and chances of cancer developing in the other breast are very high. ‘‘In our study, we found that of the 600 women who visited our clinic, breast conservation could be done in only 162 patients. And we could save a major portion of the breast in only 15-20% patients. Nearly 73% women came in the 3rd and 4th stages, where we had to remove a lot of the affected tissue. If women come in the early stages, not only can we successfully conserve the breast but also the chemotherapy dosage can be brought down,’’ said Dr Misra. Doctors say women, even in urban areas, are not knowledgeable about breast cancer. ‘‘There is a need to create awareness about breast cancer and to encourage women, especially those above 35, and who and have a family history of breast cancer, to get their breast examination and mammographies done on a regular basis,’’ said Dr Misra. Experts say women who are diagnosed with the illness in the later stages have a 10% risk of developing cancer in the other breast in the next five years. ‘‘Mastectomy is a very difficult decision, but if women are more alert about their health, this can be avoided,’’ said Dr Misra. 20 WOMEN IN 1 LAKH After cervical cancer, breast cancer is the second highest cause of death due to cancer among women. Due to lack of awareness, close to 73% of women have no option but to undergo mastectomies, says a recent study by the breast cancer clinic at AIIMS. According to the Delhi Cancer Registry, 20 women in every 1 lakh are diagnosed with breast cancer THE STUDY the Duration study of 6 years patients Number of 600 FINDINGS 15-20% women could undergo breast conservation successfully 90% women saw a doctor after stage 1 of the disease 10-12% came in stage two of the disease 70% came in stage 3 and 4 of the disease BREAST CONSERVATION Total: 162 Stage 1 19 Stage 2 90 Stages 3 & 4 24 Last stage 29 (In stage 3, 4 and the last stage, there are 10-15% chances of reoccurrence in the next 5 yrs) DOCTOR’S ADVICE Regular self examination First mammography at age 35 After 40, mammography should be done once every 2 years (Risha Chitlangia,TOI,Delhi,22 Dec.2009)

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