Failure in early diagnosis of breast cancer can claim lives of 76,000 every year by 2020, observed by group of researcher, one of whose is if Indian origin. Breast cancer is one of the common type of cancer among women. Breast Cancer killed 70,218 women in 2012, mentioned in Journal of Business research. Research also shows average age of death has shifted from 50 to 30 years.
The magnitude of the problem is enormous and has major policy implications for the Indian government, said Vijay Pereira, Associate Dean (Research) at the University of Wollongong in Dubai. Preireira points towards complex challenges at national, state and community level.
“What is clear is that healthcare at state-level must transform to deliver quality care and awareness,” Pereira said. The researchers found lack of awareness about self-examination and cultural barriers played a major role. Women sought medical care extremely late.
Women do not access health services and are reluctant to consult male doctors, neglecting their health due to family obligations. They are over-dependent on other family members. All of these cause delay in diagnosis, the researchers said. Thus, educating Indian men about the significance of early diagnosis for breast cancer, could be key to halt the disease which is turning into an epidemic, the researchers suggested. Even educated professional women do not discuss private matters about their bodies with their husbands, fathers or brothers. So it’s essential to direct health messages towards men, Fletcher-Brown said.
Rapid economic development and greater urbanization are also responsible for the rise in breast cancer rates, the researchers noted. Besides, women tend to have children at a later age and breast feeding is less, which increases their chances of developing the disease.
Working women in urban India often have a more western diet leading to obesity. That also increases the risk. The study said community health nurses had the greatest impact in raising awareness of early breast cancer symptoms. In addition, schools and media were also found to be the good channels through which awareness could be raised in young women.