Breast cancer and cervical cancer can be treated if they are diagnosed well in time. It should be stressed that only through biopsy can the presence of cancerous cells be confirmed.Amazingly the late stage diagnosis of breast cancer and cervical cancer is major factor for the treatment for the patients. Also breast cancer incidence rates is higher in India and it has been reported that around 55% and 85% of breast and cancer in Indian women are detected late, leading to higher treatment cost and lesser chances of survival.Around 55% breast and 85% cervical cancer cases are detected late in Indian women.
And there are other factors that indicate the same. Take breast cancer for instance. As per the cancer registry, breast cancer accounts from 31% cancer in the Ahmedabad women. At the same time, another national level survey reports only 7% women in Gujarat have ever undergone examination of breasts. Clearly, many women do not seem to be aware enough of the growing prevalence of the disease.
Delayed Diagnosis; Root Cause
Elaborating on various factors which could be playing a role in the delayed diagnosis of breast cancer, Dr. Anjana Chauhan, Gyanec Oncologist, Columbia Asia Hospital, Ahmedabad says, “Breast cancer is the leading cancer in Gujarati women. What is troubling is the fact that only some women ever go for any kind of examination of breast. It is possible despite the symptoms, they don’t seem to understand the need for medical consultation. This could be due to unawareness, myths and secondary position of women in the patriarchal set up.
Early signs for breast cancer and cervical cancer:
Unawareness related to breast cancer symptomswhich include formation of lumps in the breast, changes in breast, lymph nodes and skin, fatigue, irregular bleeding, and so on, may be causing ignorance or negligence on their part. Stigma related to the disease or its diagnosis plays a contributory factor. The prevalent gender bias in the patriarchal society means women tend to compromise on their own health, keeping the husband, children, and family health and welfare first. Financial limitations, especially in the economically weaker sections, prevent them from visiting a doctor unless something serious happens. The early signs therefore are missed, diagnosis delayed, and chances of survival drops drastically,”
Not much is different in the case of cervical cancer, which is the second most prevalent cancer in women, and accounts for 9% of all cancer cases in Pune women. A reasonably better than breast cancer, only 25% of women in the age group of 15 to 49 years have ever undergone examination of cervix.
Cause for breast cancer and cervical cancer:
“The symptoms of cervical cancer includevaginal bleeding, unusual vaginal discharge, unusual changes in menstrual cycle, and it is possible that due attention is not being given to these symptoms.The disease is caused by the infection from human papillomavirus virus, and due to delayed medical consultation, the cancer is being diagnosed late in women. This could be rooted in lack of awareness. Women tend to ignore early warning symptoms, do not necessarily give painless vaginal bleeding the required attention, and there are other social and economic factors involved, including myths and stigma associated with disease, that delay women from seeking medical attention. It is important that regular cervical screening is promoted and so is the awareness on HPV vaccination, which can prevent the disease.“Said Dr. Anjana Chauhan
Breast cancer and Cervical cancer Treatment :
Both breast cancer and cervical cancer can be treated if they are diagnosed well in time. It should be stressed that only through biopsy can the presence of cancerous cells be confirmed. Today, there are multiple methods, such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery, and more, for treating the cancers. Only by giving due importance to women’s health, spreading awareness, and disassociating stigma from the disease can the country expects to combat these diseases strongly.