Recent data’s reveal that breast cancer is the leading cancer among women in the world, and it is over numbering uterine cervical cancer in many of the developing countries of the world.
Even though accurate data’s are not available about incidence and prevalence of cancer in Maldives, it can be technically predicted that the change of lifestyle from traditional to modern life in Male’, will reflect on the incidence of cancer here as it has happened in neighboring countries like India.
Uterine cancer is showing a declining trend which breast cancer is making uneven and over numbering.
It has been proved that diet is the most important factor influencing human body. High intake of food rich in animal fat can lead to breast cancer. Food rich in micronutrients and fiber can lower the incidence of breast cancer.
Global results from several epidemiological studies indicate that sexual and reproductive factors affect the incidence of breast cancer. Studies show that late age at just child birth and nulliparity increase the risk of breast cancer. Familial inheritance has very strong relationship in occurring of breast cancer. The overall relative risk of breast cancer is increased to 1.5 to 3 fold if a first degree relative (mother, sister or daughter) is affected by breast cancer. The risk is increased to 5 fold if the first degree relative has cancer in both breasts. This risk is again higher when first degree relative is affected by breast cancer before attaining menopause.
Starting of menses at an early age and getting regular ovulating cycles before 12 years have been associated with two fold increase in breast cancer. Nulliparous women are also at higher risk of developing breast cancer compared with multiparous women.
Some genetic factors are operating in the incidence of breast cancer. Benign (harmless) swellings in breasts are also increasing the risk of breast cancer. Some abnormal cellular features of harmless growth are also directly related to the incidence of breast cancer.
Breast cancer occurs as painless hard lumps in the breasts. Color change of breast, orange peel appearance of skin, nipple retraction, discharge from the nipple, especially bloody discharge, swellings in arm pits etc are presentations.
Self examination of the breasts by the women is the most effective method to detect a palpable tumor mass in the breast. A specialist doctor can easily detect the tumor if it is sufficiently large to detect. Mammogram is a modern device by which breast tumors can be detected.
Breast cancer after spreading to various parts of the body is difficult to cure. Hence early detection of breast cancer is very essential to save the life of the patient. Operation, radiation and chemotherapy are the three main types of treatment. Breast cancer very rarely occurs in men.
MBBS, MD (Radiotherapy)
Dr. Thomas is available at AMDC Speciality Clinic once a month. Please contact our front office for appointments.