Pace Hospital

MYTHS & REALITIES OF BREAST CANCER

MYTHS & REALITIES OF BREAST CANCER



  1. A) Breast cancer affects (in a study conducted in the US) one in every 11 women between the ages of 40 to 50 years.
    Yes, it is real.
    It means it is common cancer in women.

  2. B) Urban women are more affected than rural women.


A myth.


Two decades ago that was the notion. However, nowadays because of change in lifestyle, rural & urban women are almost equally afflicted with this cancer. Yes, probably urban women are more aware and might be reaching out to the doctor earlier.



  1. C) Breast cancer is incurable.


A myth.


While stage 1 (early) cancer is 78% curable, we mostly get patients to treat at stage 3 of the disease. Hence the cure rates are low.



  1. D) Younger the patient is worse the prognosis.


Reality.


Breast cancer in pre & peri-menopausal women does not report having a good prognosis.


Every year one lakh cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in India as per the regional cancer centers statistics. The number may vary.



  1. E) The cancer is "familial".
    It is real as well as a myth.
    Yes, breast cancer can run in families and have said that it is the first degree relatives and kin that are affected. True germline mutations are not common.

  2. F) The best ways to diagnose breast cancer is through PET scan and MRI


A myth.


In high-risk group of women apart from self-examination, Mammography & Ultrasonography of the breasts is accepted modalities of early diagnosis.


Mammography is advisable after age 36 in a normal population.
PET scan is never a diagnostic modality for breast cancer.
MRI Breast is usually done to evaluate recurrent cancer in the breast.


Dr. Ramesh Parimi,
MS, FRCS, FAMS,
Pace Hospitals