Breast Cancer Screening – Why is it important?
Did you know…?
At present, it is estimated that 1 in 23 women is likely to develop breast cancer and according to a recently concluded study, these figures are expected to double by 2030
After 20 years of age, it is recommended for every woman to regularly perform breast self-exams and go for periodic breast screenings at least once in 2 years. Most women who lead a healthy lifestyle believe that they can never be diagnosed with a breast cancer but this kind of wishful thinking can sometimes take you into troubled waters.
Like many women across the globe, you too might wonder as to why is it so important to go for a breast screening?
The answer is simple – Breast cancer can happen to anyone and early detection is the best defense against it
Regarded as the most common cancer affecting Indian women, breast cancer is also one of the most curable cancers if diagnosed early. Screening refers to medical tests and exams that help in discovering a disease that hasn’t started to show any symptoms. Breast cancers that are detected through symptoms are more likely to have already spread beyond the breast. When the cancer spreads beyond the breast, it is referred to as “metastatic” and is expected to affect to the bones, liver, and lungs. On the other hand, cancer that is detected through periodic screening exams is often smaller and still confined to the breast. Also, the earlier this cancer is detected, the less likely it is that the person would have to undergo a mastectomy (breast removal) or chemotherapy.
Breast cancer screening is often misconstrued as means to prevent this disease whereas what it actually does, is reduce the chances of late detection thus improving the survival rate of patients. Mammography is the single most screening and diagnostic technology that can detect breast cancer at an early stage. It is important to find cancers as early as possible. Lack of awareness and ignorance about this disease has resulted in late detection, especially due to many patients opting for alternative treatments offered by quacks, who claim to treat cancer without surgery or chemotherapy. Many reach the hospital at an advanced stage whereby the cancer has spread to an extent that very little can be done to help them.
Having a family history of breast cancer increases a woman’s risk for developing this disease later in life which is why screening is crucial. Similarly, the probability of being diagnosed with breast cancer increases with age, therefore women between the age group of 50 to 70 are routinely expected to go for a breast cancer screening once in every 3 years.
Breast cancer cannot be predicted but few important measures if undertaken from time to time can certainly reduce the risk and increase the odds that if cancer does occur, it will be identified early at a curable stage. Almost 90% breast cancer cases are diagnosed through advanced screening techniques. Periodic screening and early diagnosis can save lives!
Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital features a Comprehensive Breast Care Unit (CBCU) that is well-equipped with state-of-the-art radiation machines and day care chemo suites to specifically diagnose and treat all kinds of breast related diseases. To know more, visit: