In an order to promote awareness about breast cancer, a three-day international conference organized at the AIIMS under the supervision of ASOMA in which experts emphasized the need for early diagnosis of breast cancer for effective treatment of the disease with increasing number of cases among women.
According to the experts, the stigma which is associated with breast cancer often delays diagnosis and treatment which put the life of a patient in danger. And the patients who opt for mastectomies, the surgical removal of one or both breasts, have also affected their lives, the experts added.
"This can be avoided if treatment is started in early stages when breast conservation is offered as the mainstay of treatment these days," said professor Chintamani, the founder president of ASOMA (Asian Society of Mastology).
The event was attended by the 350 delegates comprising of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and cancer survivors from India and other countries.
"Breast cancer is a rising epidemic in India. One in every eight women develops breast cancer at some point in their lives. There is no education rendered on the matter of diet and exercise. I urge the medical society to formulate awareness campaign regarding diet and I will be happy to provide my utmost support," said Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi addressing the conference.
She also shared the mental trauma that her family underwent when her mother suffered from breast cancer.
As per the Professor Chintamani, at least 89 out 100 breast carcinoma patients survive till five years but the picture is murkier in India.
Less communication between women with their family members leads to lack of awareness."These days there are a lot of options available for breast cancer treatment.
The main advantage of breast-conserving surgery, also known as lumpectomy, is that it can preserve the appearance and sensation of the breast. It is a less invasive surgery, making the recovery time shorter and easier than mastectomy," he said.
Early symptoms of the breast cancer are lumps in the breast which changes the shape, skin texture, inflammation or rashes over the breast or unusual discharge from the nipples. A sudden sharp pain in the breast can also sometimes indicate a serious problem.
Later signs of breast cancer may involve retraction, inward turning of the nipple, enlargement of one breast, dimpling of the breast surface, an existing lump that gets bigger, "orange peel" texture to the skin, vaginal pain, and visible veins on the breast.
ASOMA includes all specialists, nurses and associated and dedicated breast caregivers in Asia and has membership extending to all the countries.