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How Breast Cancer Fares In India

According to the National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research (NICPR), for every two women who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer, one woman dies in India, based on estimates of World Health Organization (WHO).


In 2015, about 76000 women of an estimated 1,55,000 new cases of breast cancer  in India, have died of the disease, that is, one death for every two new diagnoses. Breast cancer is easier to cure if detected in early stages. Though all lumps may not be cancerous, but if women find a lump in her breast, it is better to get it diagnosed. The biggest concerns of breast cancer in India are late stage detection and lack of screening programs. 


Thus, in more than 60% of the cases, patients are diagnosed with breast cancer in the later stages of the disease. At later stages, it becomes difficult to treat the disease or prolong the life of the person. As it is treatable with timely treatment, we need to focus on increased awareness and better screening practices. This will help in improved survival rates. 


Unfortunately, the early diagnosed patients are very abysmally low percentage in India. Less than 10% diagnosed in stage 1 and less than 20% diagnosed in stage 2. About 60% of the patients are detected at stage III or stage IV. In younger women, the cancer is often more aggressive and does not respond to common therapies. Chances of relapsing are also more common. Men breast cancer is less talked about topic. Though rare, it is not entirely non-existent in men.

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