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Breast cancer is a kind of cancer that develops in the breast cells. Breast cancer may affect both men and women, although it affects women considerably more frequently. It is the most prevalent kind of cancer in women, accounting for 14% of all malignancies in Indian women. According to reports, an Indian woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every four minutes. Breast cancer is becoming more common in both rural and urban India.
Since breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, experts have been doing many things to raise awareness about the disease. Doctors notice that now women are more aware than they used to. Now, they are visiting the doctor more often to get a proper diagnosis.
Earlier, women did not have much knowledge of breast cancer. But still, it was affecting women a lot. Due to lack of awareness, women used to come at a late stage to show it to the doctor. Delaying the treatment can become costly, and chances of a complete cure become less. Doctors have started noticing that women have started noticing small changes in their bodies and have started coming to the doctor at an early stage. This is leading to early diagnosis, early treatment and early recovery.
Dr Girija Patil, Breast Onco surgeon from Noble Hospital, said, "Now women are coming up early with whatever complaints they have. These are early breast carcinoma that we are getting. In the recent past, we have operated on patients at an early stage of cancer, and we have not had to remove their breasts. Women with a small lump in their breast are able to notice it and are coming forward to get it checked immediately. With women coming early, we do not have to remove a breast. We do breast conservation surgery on them."
Earlier this month, a 45-year-old woman from Nashik visited the doctor at Noble hospital after noticing some changes in her breast. She had noticed the retraction of the nipple. She did not have any lump. But she noticed the change and she visited the doctor immediately.
The doctors at Noble hospital are seeing at least one case every week where breast cancer is at a very early stage. Experts mention that they are happy that more and more women are aware now, and the possibility of a complete cure can also be increased with early detection. Doctors underline that till six months ago, they were still not getting the patients in such numbers at an early stage that they have started getting in the last three to four months.
Dr Patil added, "Women with a nipple discharge and pain in the breast after nipple discharge are also coming forward to show it to the doctor. Not all symptoms end up being cancer. But those that turn out to be cancer are at an early stage. Hence, we have seen an increase in breast conservation surgeries recently. The overall prognosis and disease-free survival increase in these women. It also has the added benefit of being cost-effective as very early breast cancer with good tumour biology may not require chemotherapy. We recently had such a patient who received only hormone therapy post-surgery, and it was a great relief to her and her family. Adding
Breast examination to regular health check-ups can go a long way in detecting early breast Cancers."
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