‘Breast cancer cases rising in Tamilnadu’

Chennai: In Tamilnadu, breast cancer cases are rising by roughly 4 per cent annually. Of every one lakh women in the State, 24.7 are affected and 52 are affected in Chennai in 2020,’ said Dr Kalaichelvi K, medical oncologist, Apollo Cancer Institutes, Chennai.

‘The proportion of advanced cases are higher in government hospitals, particularly amongst uneducated populations i.e 50% -60% of these are diagnosed at advanced stages of the disease, with delays typically owing to social stigma, fear of a cancer diagnosis and social isolation, she said, adding: ‘Incidence is also rising in younger Indian women, between 30 and 40 years of age and the most common type is triple- negative breast cancer. The increase in breast cancer in Tamilnadu can be attributed to change in lifestyle patterns like late childbirth, stressful and long working hours, and reduced breastfeeding, obesity and infertility.’

According to Dr Kalaichelvi, it is important to raise awareness on the need for breast cancer diagnosis, with the ICMR also stressing the importance of breast self-examination, which should begin as early as in 20s, as well as clinical check-ups, particularly for those with a family history of breast cancer.

‘As women grow older annual mammograms in women between age 45-49 years and once in two years between 50 to 74 years in also crucial to ensure early diagnosis of breast cancer. Women must be encouraged to make use of the available medical services, including NCD clinics present across the country,’ she said.

 

NT Bureau