Rise in breast cancer among 20-40 age group: Doctors | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Breast cancer is not just a disease of the old. The number of women in the age group of 20 to 40 suffering from breast cancer has increased lately, say doctors.
The possible reasons range from lifestyle changes to women now becoming more open to getting themselves tested and enabling diagnosis in early stages.
Dr Tausif Ahmed Thangalvadi, medical director at NURA, said the risk of breast cancer starts rising after a woman turns 40, but it does not mean it does not affect younger women. “Women between 20 and 30 years of age must get themselves screened every alternate year,” he said and added that the reasons for rise in cases are family history, lifestyle-related causes like obesity and lack of exercise. NURA is a collaboration between Fujifilm Healthcare and Dr Kutty’s Healthcare, that offers AI-enabled imaging and expert healthcare.
Dr Thangalvadi was speaking during a press conference held recently by NURA. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is on now. Dr Thangalvadi also said that in India, every four minutes, a woman is diagnosed with cancer and one woman dies of it every 13 minutes.
Quoting from the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology’s February 2017 issue, he said: “Over the last 30 years, Bengaluru has seen the highest rate of increase in the incidence of breast cancer annually at 2.8%, compared to 1.4% for Delhi, 1.4% for Mumbai and 2.4% for Chennai.”
According to the doctor, Bengaluru’s higher incidence could be because of the large migrant population in the city as well as greater awareness among the educated urban population, pushing them to get tested.
Dr Vijay Agarwal, lead consultant of medical oncology at Aster RV Hospital, said that the overall increase in cases is also not just because of regular or increased testing. “But probably now we are diagnosing women with breast cancer in early stages, whereas earlier women with breast cancer would often be identified in the late stage, where the prognosis would be poor and these women would fall off the radar…,” he added.
Dr Nitin Yashas, consultant medical oncologist and Dr Rohit Kumar C, a consultant surgical oncologist, at Columbia Asia Hospital on Sarjapur Road (a unit of Manipal Hospitals), said many studies have shown that breast cancer in India presents at a younger age (between 40 and 50 years) as compared to the western world where it is more common after 60 years.
“It is very important to break the stigma associated with breast cancer. Early detection helps in increased chances of cure and longer survival,” said Dr Yashas.

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Sagar Biswas

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