Most Breast Cancer is Curable if Caught Early


The opening of the MGM Tulip Speciality Breast Care Centre in India aims to help detect breast cancer early enough that treatment can lead to a cure.  The rate of breast cancer in Indian women is increasing and there are cultural obstacles that keep them from seeking diagnosis and treatment.  This delay can compromise the possibility of curing the disease.

Most Breast Cancer is Curable if Caught Early“Routine checks and use of new diagnostic techniques can both prevent and ensure early detection of breast cancer, said experts here on Tuesday.

They said there have been cases where the tumour turns malignant in 24-48 hours and so timely, and more specifically an early intervention is critical in treatment.

“As per WHO statistics, in 2015, nearly 1,55,000 women will suffer from breast cancer in India. Incidence of breast cancer is alarmingly increasing, but if detected early and treated adequately it is curable,” said Sanjay Oak, renowned pediatric surgeon and vice-chancellor of D Y Patil University.

He was speaking at the inaugural function of MGM Tulip Speciality Breast Care Centre on Saturday.

On the occasion, Oak shared the difficulties and the emotional conflicts he faced during the treatment of his spouse, Manjiri Oak, a renowned ophthalmologist. “Inhibitions, hesitation and guilt among women are mainly responsible for delay in treatment,” he said further advising to trust the doctor, take complete treatment as and when advised by them and not to stop work.

“On the night of December 3, 2009, Manjiri mentioned a small tumour that she had been sensing for a month. I was annoyed that despite being a surgeon, she revealed it late,” Oak said. He then recalled calling up his friend in Tata Memorial Centre immediately and dealing with the diagnosis of breast cancer.

He said they shared the diagnosis with the family, which helped them deal with the difficult times better.

He advised women to undergo sono-mammography (which is a combination of sonography and mammography) every year, do self-examination of the breast and in case they feel any changes, consult doctors.

Radiation oncologist at the Government Cancer Hospital, Jitendra Patel, said that mammography being a high frequency machine helps in detecting small lumps of even 1-2 cm particularly in young women. “But, sonography is the best tool for diagnosis among women below 40 years of age along with examination by self or physician. And mammography is advisable for women above 40 years of age,” he added.

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