The incidence of breast cancer in India is on the rise and is rapidly becoming the number one cancer in females pushing the cervical cancer to the second spot. The seriousness of the situation is apparent after going through recent data from Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
The rise is being documented mainly in the metros, but it can be safely said that many cases in rural areas go unnoticed. It is reported that one in 22 women in India is likely to suffer from breast cancer during her lifetime, while the figure is definitely more in America with one in eight being a victim of this deadly cancer. The problem with preventing breast cancer is that there is no one cause that can be pinpointed as being the culprit. Of course screening for the presence of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations is available though it must be admitted of being of little use in the Indian context. It is here that the task of spreading the awareness of the prevalence of this cancer and advising women on undertaking self-breast examination comes into the picture. Health officials must try and talk about this condition so that women have a say in their own health. Finally, there are procedures like mammography and Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology (FNAC) and biopsy that need to be widely publicized so that women are aware of exactly what they are letting themselves in for.