The decision to postpone the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer could have serious consequences for cancer mortality in the coming years, say oncologists. The COVID-19 pandemic has created an enormous challenge for the treatment of breast cancer patients.
“A substantial increase in investigations has been witnessed since the blockade. We ask women to continue examining their breasts and contact their doctors. Success depends on early diagnosis and treatment and delays can lead to a higher death rate in the next decade, ”said Dr. B. Ravi Shankar, oncologist at Omega Hospital, Visakhapatnam.
Breast cancer, diagnosed early, is easier to treat and offers better chances of survival. Regular screening for breast cancer, including annual mammograms after age 40 and breast self-examination after age 30, is important for everyone.
Hospitals are doing everything possible to make them safe and accessible to everyone who needs them, as postponing breast cancer screening and treatment could lead to a higher death rate in the next decade.
During this COVID-19 trial period, experts are offering online telephone and video consultations, where they analyze the patient’s symptoms and decide the future plan of action. If the annual mammogram was delayed by the pandemic, you should call your doctor and reschedule it.
Breast cancer has become the most common cancer in urban women in India and the second most common in rural women. According to the World Health Organization, the numbers are expected to increase dramatically by 2030, due to the increase in urbanization and the change in lifestyle.
Sedentary lifestyle, along with junk food and smoking are some of the causes of the increase. In addition, family history and genetics play a role in determining a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. Women are considered to be at high risk if they have a family history of breast cancer or if they are over 50 years old, says Dr. Ravi Shankar
Women should check for changes in their breasts and talk to the doctor. They should examine the entire breast, including the nipple area, down to the armpits and collarbone, he adds.