Mumbai: More than 1,000 women have visited the first-ever breast cancer clinic set up at the state-run Cama Hospital. As per data provided by the hospital, 1,416 women consulted at the breast cancer outpatient department (OPD) between March 23 and July 24. Of them, 82 were detected with lump and their further treatment has started. According to officials, women visiting the clinic would be trained to screen others in their home and neighbourhood.
According to senior health officials, earlier breast cancer was diagnosed mostly in women above the age of 50, but the trend has changed now as women in their 30s and 40s are being diagnosed with the serious ailment.
Average prevalence rate of breast cancer is 30.7% in Maharashtra
Among all types of cancer diagnosed across Maharashtra yearly, the average prevalence rate of breast cancer is 30.7%, as per official data. It ranks seventh among the states in terms of number of cases. Hence, the health ministry has asked deans to compile data and conduct frequent studies on the pressing issue.
Gynaecologist and medical superintendent of Cama and Albless Hospital, Dr Tushar Palve, said they have received good response at the breast cancer OPD as women are coming forward for consultation without any hesitations. In an initiative aimed at increasing the patient's survival rate, Dr Palve said, “We have prepared a list and approximately 10 lakh women between the age group of 30-64 years will be examined through 49 medical colleges. The screening will be conducted in two sessions. The first session will last for two years.”
Inadequate awareness and limited access to healthcare services
Lead consultant of breast surgery at Apollo Cancer Centers in Navi Mumbai, Dr Nita S Nair, said more than 40% of cases in India are diagnosed in advanced stages due to inadequate awareness and limited access to healthcare services. “To address this issue, the state government has taken a crucial step by establishing departments in each medical college. This initiative will enable women in rural areas to access essential medical facilities,” she said.