Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Srinagar, Mar 09 (Only Kashmir): In a major health concern, the breast cancer is on rise in Kashmir with experts blaming the sedentary lifestyle, late marriages and bottle feeding as its main causes.
They underscored the need to strengthen the medical facilities in the Valley for early diagnosis of the dreaded disease to prevent it from reaching an alarming stage.
“There is a sharp rise in the breast cancer cases in the Valley over the years. In fact, breast cancer has reached among the first five commonest cancers including esophageal, lung and stomach,” Prof Mushtaq Ahmad, the Head of Department Medical Oncology, Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) told Media on sidelines of 15th Annual National Conference on Breast Cancer at SKICC here.
The two-day Conference which concluded today was organised by the SKIMS Medical College in collaboration with the Cancer Society of Kashmir to mark the International Women’s Day
“Over the years there has been a drastic change in the lifestyle of Kashmiris. The problem is coupled with the growing problem of late marriages and high prevalence of bottle feeding mostly by the working mothers. These factors contribute to the occurrence of breast cancer,” Prof Mushtaq said.
However, he maintained that the dreaded disease has mostly targeted urban women of Kashmir. “We have observed that women of the Valley’s urban areas in the age group of 40-50 are suffering with breast cancer due to their sedentary lifestyle. As compared to their counterparts in villages, the urban women undertake less physical activity, prefer first childbirth at late age and desist from breast feeding,” he said. Dr Rubina Lone, Assistant Professor Microbiology of SKIMS Medical College said early detection of the breast cancer can not only save
the patients’ lives but also the affected breast.
“If a woman finds any lump or unusual change in the breast during self-examination, they should immediately consult the doctor for diagnosis of the disease though tests. Even if a woman is diagnosed to be suffering with breast cancer, she should not panic as there is better prognosis and curable rate for this form of cancer. We have one of the best doctors and facilities at SKIMS to reconstruct the affected breasts to combat the emotional and psychological trauma of the patients who have undergone Mastectomy,” Dr Rubina said.
On the occasion, experts from various leading hospitals of other states maintained that marriage at an appropriate time and having kids before 30 years can lessen prevalence of breast cancer. They said that women should take the symptoms including oozing of water or blood from nipples, lump or swelling of breasts, soreness in and around the nipple or underarms without having pain, seriously as it could be the first stage of breast cancer.
There was a general consensus among the experts on the need of strengthening the medical facilities and spreading greater awareness of breast cancer among the masses in Kashmir.
After a scientific session yesterday, a special public health awareness programme on breast cancer was organised today in the Conference. During the program over 300 females from HELP
Foundation and Anganwardi workers from across the city were educated on the basics of Objective Structured Self Examination and Objective Structured Clinical Examination for early detection of the breast cancer.
On the occasion, Dr. G.S. Bhattacharya, consultant medical oncologist and clinical oncologist AMRI, Calcutta, Dr. Sanjay Sharma: President Breast Cancer Foundation of India and consultant surgical oncologist, Lilavati Hospital and Research Centre threw light on management and diagnosis of non palpable breast lesions.
Among others who spoke on various aspects of breast cancer included Prof. J.K. Singh, National Secretary Breast Cancer Foundation of India, Patna, Dr. S.S. Nayyar, surgical oncologist,
Indore, Dr. Parmeshwaran, Prof and Head Radiotherapy, Trivandrum, Dr. Harit Chaturvedi: HOD, Surgical Oncology Max Hospital, New Delhi, Prof Tanuja Seth, consultant, Tata Memorial Institute, Bombay and Dr. Ramesh Billimanga: Consultant Radiotherapy Bangalore.
(Source: Greater Kashmir a daily newspaper published from Srinagar)


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