Why is Breast Cancer on the rise?
Even though the survival rates for breast cancer are comparatively higher for women nowadays, breast cancer has become the most common cancer in the UK and the USA and has been continuously on the rise for several years. Moreover, breast cancer is now the most common cancer in most cities in India, and 2nd most common in the rural areas. Statistics reveal that breast cancer accounts for 25 – 32 % of all female cancer cases in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Bhopal, Chennai and Ahmedabad. The increase raises the question that why have the rates spiked up.
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this. Breast cancer is a complex disease with a variety of different causes. While some of these risks could be controlled others are largely out of our hands.
Lack of Screening and Awareness
In the recent years, breast cancer rates have spiked up rapidly especially among women aged 65-69. Healthcare, at times, is given low priority and even in major cities, people do not attend screening camps regularly. This results in quite a lot of people presenting only when indicative, and on an average, most of the symptomatic cancers are stage 2B and beyond like 3rd or 4th stage. So the breast cancer patients do not tend to survive for a long period of time as compared to their western counterparts.
While we are at an advanced stage both, medically and technologically, we do lack in the adoption of the technology and aggressive promotion of screening and awareness.
Prevention should be the Priority
Instead of debating over the poor state of the environment and the adverse outcomes associated with it, we must grab the opportunity to make prevention of such deadly diseases, including breast cancer, a priority. The irony is that despite the increasing evidence of an association between breast cancer and environment exposures, the level of awareness and measures taken towards resolutions are low. It is essential that we follow and spread awareness about the disease in our surroundings.