Breast Cancer Trends in India

Breast cancer, also considered the most common form of cancer in women, accounts for 14% of cancers affecting Indian Women. According to a survey in 2018, there were 1,62,468 new cases and 87, 090 deaths. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) stated that breast cancer cases are expected to reach 17.4 Lacs in 2020.

  • 1 in 28 women develops breast cancer in India.
  • In urban localities, 1 in 22 women is affected by Breast Cancer.
  • In rural areas, breast cancer affects 1 in 60 women.

Breast cancer, also considered the most common form of cancer in women, accounts for 14% of cancers affecting Indian Women. According to a survey in 2018, there were 1,62,468 new cases and 87, 090 deaths. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) stated that breast cancer cases are expected to reach 17.4 Lacs in 2020.

States in India with the maximum occurrence of Breast Cancer

According to the latest reports, the highest rates of breast cancer in the country is prevailing in the state of Kerala. Other states with high rates of breast cancer are Mizoram, Delhi, Karnataka, and Haryana, with Mizoram leading in the most number of deaths, followed by Haryana and Karnataka.

Breast Cancer: Survival Rate

In India, breast cancer survival rates are quite low, primarily because on-time diagnosis and treatment are not carried out. The post breast cancer survival rate in Indian women is only 60%, as compared to 80% in the US. Breast cancer is both treatable and curable, only if it is detected on time. The way to do it is by keeping a track of family medical histories, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, regular breast examinations after a woman enters her 30s, or undergo preventive surgery or take preventive drugs.

Breast Cancer in Pregnancy: In very rare cases, breast cancer is also diagnosed during the pregnancy phase of a woman’s life. Although it can be traumatic and result in additional strain both for the mother and the unborn child, there are multiple treatment options that can control cancer while protecting the child.

Breast Cancer Treatment in India

The overall costs an individual has to bear for Breast Cancer treatment in the country is USD 4000, i.e., an approximation of ₹3,00,000.

Chemotherapy Radiation Therapy PET Scan Surgery
₹22000-₹36600 Approx. ₹2,15,238 Approx. ₹18000 ₹1,60,000- ₹2,10,000

The treatment plan is a multi-phase process, involving surgery, followed by radiation therapy and/or hormonal therapy, followed by Chemotherapy. The treatment plan for breast cancer largely depends on the diagnosis and breast cancer stage. Depending on these two factors, the phases in your treatment can or may be eliminated.

Self-examination is the most recommended pathway for early detection of breast cancer without incurring any costs or complications.

Breast Cancer: Self-Examination

25% of women detect the onset of breast cancer by Self-Examination. Self-examination is a safe, hassle-free way of becoming familiar with the look and feel of your breasts. Self-examination is usually performed in five simple steps.

Step 1: Visual examination of the breasts

With arms by your sides or on your hips, stand or sit in front of the mirror shirtless and braless.

  • Check for ridged, dimpled, or puckered changes in the size, shape, and symmetry of both the breasts.
  • Lift the breasts and check whether the ridges at the edges are symmetrical.
  • Check if the nipples of your breasts are inverted, or turned in.
Step 2: Raise Your Arms

Stand or sit in front of the mirror with your arms raised. Check for signs of watery, milky, or yellow fluid or blood leaving out of one or both nipples.

Step 3: Feel your Breast Lying down

One should use their right hand to feel the left breast and the left hand to feel the right breast., The first few finger pads of your hand with the fingers flat and together should apply a firm, smooth touch, in a circular motion.

Step 4: Cover the entire Breast

Check the whole breast from top to bottom as well as side to side, i.e., starting from the collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and again from the armpits to the cleavage.

Step 5: Feel the Tissue
  • Use light pressure for the skin and tissue just beneath the naked skin.
  • Use medium pressure for tissue present in the mid of the breasts.
  • Use firm, strong pressure to feel the tissue deep in the back.

Knowledge is Power. Only the right awareness about breast cancer and early diagnosis can help reduce the surging numbers of breast cancer cases in our country.