SILCHAR, Dec 7: “In order to keep breast cancer at bay, the best way for any woman is self-examition”, pointed out Dr. R Sankarayan, M.D. special advisor on cancer control head, screening group, Intertiol Agency for Research on Cancer Lyon, France, while delivering his hospital day oration on “Pragmatic strategies for breast cancer early detection and control” at Cachar Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (CCHRC), Silchar, recently.
Before the packed conference hall of the Hospital attended by doctors, staff and nurses as well as the distinguished invitees, he said breast cancer is a problem not only in this country but in many other countries which he described as a life threatening disease.
But, after critical clinical and pathological examition, most of the cases turn out to be not breast cancer. He admitted breast cancer is taking a mecing form with 1.68 million cases at present around the globe and every year 1.45 lakh new cases are reported. It is true, as he said, mortality rate is not known, so is the cause of the dreaded disease. However mecing, Dr. R Sankarayan said ‘risk factors can be modified with change in lifestyle’.
Speaking about the preventive measures, the eminent oncologist said, “In European countries, walking and exercises are adopted as best options”.
It is also true there are factors which cannot be modified. Among them is genetic problem. The cause of concern is the susceptibility of women in the age group of 20 to 30 years to cancer. There are now techniques for detention and solution and the preventive measures are drastic. Chemo prevention is no doubt is effective but not without side effects, giving rise to complications. It is therefore advisable, Dr R Sankarayan said any new intervention has to be tested first.
The advanced study critically examines the biological sides of breast cancer. One of the most advanced techniques is mammography screening which is not possible in India, but is done in the European countries.
“It is the lack of resources in our country which inhibit the adoption of this most updated method,” Dr. R Sankarayan said.
He cited the example of Trivandrum where a systematic clinical breast examition is done and that does yield good result. All things said and done, the eminent cancer expert laid stress on “Awareness among the women in general as well as the doctors and the nurses should also carry out awareness to know the alarm symptoms and signs”.
“Awareness leads to the diagnosis of 98% of cases”, Dr. R Sankarayan said. He spoke of triple diagnosis consisting of clinical examition, mammography and ultrasonography. There is also fine needle aspiration. Breast cancer can be good or aggressive. In this country of contrasts and contradictions, Dr. R Sankarayan said fincial mechanism to treat diseases in private and public institutions is not people-friendly. He spoke of Bihar where the problem is acute with only one cancer institute.
He reiterated, “Detect early, treat and get well” for all women. He referred to Thailand as a country where universal health approach is the sine qua non of treatment of cancer.
Dr Ravi Kann, director, Cachar Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, at the outset said the Society since its formation in 1992 has continued to grow and developed. The social activists of the Society envisaged a cancer hospital in this remote part of the country and built up infrastructure which he described as a remarkable achievement. He said 3000 patients flock to this Hospital every year for treatment.
“Our approach is to make the patients get well and go home after proper treatment”, Dr. Ravi Kann added. Introducing Dr. R Sankarayan before the assembly, Seetha Lakhsmi Kann gave a brief academic qualifications and achievements of the great cancer expert.