Awareness can cut breast cancer risk

DHAKA Sarita, a ninth grader of a non-government school, cannot be attentive to her study as she always remembers the face of her late mother. When she turns the page of book, her eyes become watery.

Her mother Nabila passed away one year back leaving her only child Sarita. Nabila lost her battle to incurable breast cancer as she was diagnosed with the disease lately. Sarita's father left no stone unturned for treatment of her mother. He could not keep Sarita's mother alive despite taking her abroad.

So, recalling the pain of her mother, Sarita joined the Breast Cancer Awareness Day rally at Shahbagh in the capital on October 10.

However, the story of two brothers �Soyeb and Russel � is different than Sarita. Their mother was also diagnosed with breast cancer, but it was at the early stage. She has been leading a quite healthy life for the last four years as she receives proper treatment

According to the latest report of global organisation International Agency for Research and Cancer (IARC), 12,764 women in Bangladesh are attacked with cancer every year and of them, 6,844 die.

Due to social conservatism, the women in the country cannot utter the word 'breast' openly. If any primary symptom of breast cancer is seen in the body, they try to keep it secret and that's why they visit the doctors at the last stage.

Now the deadly disease is diagnosed at the early stage thanks to introduction of screening programme side by side with enhancing awareness about breast cancer in recent years.

The physicians said 90 percent of breast cancer patients could be cured through proper and complete treatment if it is detected at the primary stage.

Specialist of Bangladesh Cancer Institute Dr Habibullah Talukdar said not only the females, males could be attacked by breast cancer.

However, the risk in the case of women is more than men as there is a lack of awareness about breast cancer in Bangladesh, he said.

Dr Talukdar said it is seen that most of those, who come to take treatment, visit the physicians at the last stage. But if they come at the early stage, they could be cured.

The death rate of women in breast cancer is the highest. Usually the risk of breast cancer among the women above 50 years is more. Alongside, those whose families have a history of such a disease could be attacked by breast cancer.

So far importance was given to make the women aware about this type of cancer, but now strong efforts are being made to alert the males. Though the rate of men to be attacked by cancer is very less.

Cancer is curable, if it is detected at the early stage. But the people of the society who are suffering from cancer have to fight with the society. At this time, sincere support of the people is very much needed, and this helps win the battle for life.

Professor Dr Nazneen Nahar of Dhaka Central International Medical College Dr Nazneen Nahar said the risk of cancer is more among those women who take child lately and who don't have any child.

Besides, the women who do not feed breast milk to her children and who take more fat and animal protein than vegetables and fruits or who are overweight could be attacked with breast cancer.

For this reason, breast screening or mammograms of the women aged between 50 and 70 should be conducted in every three years. And this examination needs only few minutes. Mammogram determines the condition of the breast of the women through X-ray.

Usually at the primary stage cancer remains so small that it could not be detected from outside. But cancer could be diagnosed through mammogram when it remains very small or at the preliminary stage. The chance of curable of the breast cancer patient is very high if her disease is detected at the early stage.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)