Experts concerned about rising incidence of breast cancer among young women

KARACHI:Health experts have registered their serious concern about rising number of breast cancer cases in women below 40 years of age in the country.

Addressing a pre-congress public awareness seminar “Breast Cancer; Is it preventable?” held at PMA House, as part of Pak-China MEDCONG 2016, speakers mentioned that while average onset age for disease is found to be 65 years in most of the countries the particular malignancy was identified in many of the below 40 years women in Pakistan.

Dr Farah Idrees Rehmani, Assistant Professor and Consultant General and Breast Surgeon of Civil Hospital Karachi and Dow University of Health Sciences, Prof Dr Muhammad Asif Qureshi, Consultant General and Laparoscopic Surgeon at Darul Sehat Hospital and Liaquat College of Medicine and Dentistry and President PMA Karachi, Dr Shaukat Malik made their respective presentations on the occasion.

Referring to growing incidence of the disease said One patient in every Nine cases of all types of cancer is of breast cancer.

Dr Farah who has also done her fellowship in Breast Cancer extensively discussed misconceptions rampant among general public about breast cancer.

“It is no more a lethal disease with severe pain that can be diagnosed only at terminal stages or that it is a disease affecting elderly people,” she said.

“Breast cancer on the contrary starts with a small size gland more often without pain,” said Dr Farah Rehmani mentioning that in other parts of world women who are usually above 60 suffer from breast cancer.

“Unfortunately it is very different in Pakistan as we are witnessing the ailment in women in their 40s and 15% of all such cases are unmarried girls,” she said.

The expert mentioned that women with a family history or their mother and grandmother may had suffered from cancer of breast or ovarian or colon are at increased risk to have the ailment.

The researcher said prolonged use of estrogens like oral pills of birth spacing can also trigger risk of breast cancer in next generation of such woman, moreover, woman delivering first baby after age of 30 years also have increased risk of breast cancer.

Dr Farah Idrees Rehmani strongly recommended that every girl assuming puberty must be taught to self examine herself and also not to ignore feeling any lump, painful or not, in her breast and ancillary.

Reiterating need for confidence among daughters and parents, the expert said girls feeling lump or glandular growth must be immediately referred to a specialist or consultant.

Moreover, she said every woman after age of 40 years should get herself screened at centres equipped with mammography facility at least once a year.