Breast cancer is currently the most common cancer detected in Indian women. It is also the leading cause of cancer deaths in women all over the world, presently accounting for more than 1.6% of deaths. The survival rates falls down in developing countries with low-resources to fight the cancer menace. Lack of awareness and screening combined with diagnosis in advanced stages accounts to loss of life due to this disease which is treatable when caught in early stages. A majority of Indian women diagnosed with breast cancer do not have any knowledge about their condition; hence, they will blindly follow whoever leads them. Let us check out 14 horrifying facts about breast cancer scenario in India.
The risk of breast cancer cases in on rise in India. It is estimated that 1 in 28 women is prone to develop breast cancer during her lifetime.
13. Urban Influence
The occurrence of breast cancer is higher in urban areas where 1 in 22 women are prone to breast cancer, whereas in rural areas the statistics fall to much lower with just 1 in 60 women at the risk of developing breast cancer.
Breast cancer accounts for nearly 25% of all new cancer diagnosed among Indians. Collectively, US, India and China account for almost one third of the global breast cancer cases diagnosed every year.
11. Diagnosis of New Cases
In the year 2012, 1,45,000 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in India. The resources in India and clinical advances to combat the disease are not enough to reach every woman diagnosed.
10. Deaths Due to Breast Cancer
Breast cancer accounts for 20% of all death related to cancer known in Indian women.
9. Age Factor
The high risk group in the west is for women aged between 53-57 years, but unfortunately Indian women in the age group of 43-46 years have become more prone to breast cancer. Approximately 61% of Indian women diagnosed with breast cancer are in the age group of 35-50 years.
8. Regular Screening
Not many women are aware of the advantages of having regular health checkup or screening. Busy with taking care of their families, their personal health concern lies on the last rung of the ladder.
7. Victims of Quacks
A number of women diagnosed with breast cancer become victims of quacks due to their ignorance regarding the disease. Indian society is so deep rooted in myths and alternative treatment and unusual illogical beliefs, that many women actually believe that the quacks can cure cancer without surgery or chemotherapy. Many come to hospitals at a stage when everything has failed and cancer has advanced to such a stage that nothing can be done to help them.
6. Late Diagnosis
According to the statistics of WHO, more than 60% of the women are diagnosed with breast cancer at stage III or IV in India. This drastically affects the survival rate and treatment options for the patients.
5. Leading Killer
For more than 4 decades, cervical cancer was the major killer disease in India. But Breast Cancer which has been on a steady rise has over taken cervical cancer as the most common and deadly killer disease of new era.
4. Prediction for 2015
It is estimated that there will be 1, 55,000 new cases of breast cancer in the year 2015 and about 76000 women in India are expected to die of the disease. If we do not work on creating awareness and early detection of cancer, the figure could be much worse.
3. Precious Years Lost
It is sad to notice that India has the highest number of women dying from breast cancer in the world. According to DALY (Disability Adjusted Life Years) India ranks number one in the numbers of healthy life years lost due to breast cancer.
2. Cancer Capital
According to Population Based Cancer Registry (PBCR) report of the year 2013, Bangalore tops the chart with 36.6 new cases for every one lakh population having Breast Cancer. Doctors blame it on rapid urbanization and changing lifestyle of people in Bangalore.
1. Cancer Is Still a Stigma in Indian Society
Women going through Breast cancer do not speak about it openly fearing being stigmatized by their own family and friends. The attitude towards cancer from our society has made cancer patients invisible, preventing open discussion and creating a vicious cycle of fear and misinformation for the masses. This is what is hindering attempts to raise awareness about avoidable cancer risks and the importance of early detection.