Withpoor lifestyles, obesity, inactivity and unhealthy diets contributing to a worrying rise in incidence of breast cancer, the need to improve screening and early detection is key to reduce high death rate from the disease. Oncologists say making new age prognostic tests available to all patients can significantly improve treatment outcomes and quality of life of patients.
Prognostic tests such as CanAssist Breast can help Oncologists devise customised treatments for patients and allow them to treat a number of patients even without chemotherapy.
“Till a few years back, all breast cancer patients had to be treated uniformly and administered chemotherapy. However, new age prognostic tests such asCanAssist Breast along with hormone receptor tests now allow Oncologists to identify patientswith a low risk of disease relapse who can be successfully treated without administeringchemotherapy drugs. This results in much less treatment related side effects, betteroutcomes, improved quality of life and also cost savings. In fact, many of patients can avoid chemotherapy if all undergo the tests in early stages of the disease,”said Dr. Shyny Reddy, Medical Oncology Consultant at Yashoda Hospitals.
Most top international Oncology bodies including ESMO, NCCN and ASCO today recommend the use of prognostic tests to guide use of chemotherapy in early stage breast cancer patients. Prognostic tests are increasingly being used in India to customize treatment procedures and reduce difficult side effects of treatment.[SM1]
Oncologists say making prognostic tests available to a larger number of patients can significantly improve disease outcomes apart from improving quality of lives of patients.[SM2]
“Largescale disease screening programs and awareness campaigns are required to enableearly detection of the disease in India, which can help significantly improve survival rates. At the same time, prognostic assessments must be made availableto a larger number of patients through government subsidies and incentives to Indiancompanies conducting these tests,” said Dr Reddy.
Breast cancer incidence has risen significantly in Telangana in recent years. Experts say changing lifestyles, consumption of unhealthy food, lack of physical activity, delayed age of childbirth as well as reduced breastfeeding years are factors that contribute to increased risk of breast cancer among women.
“Over the past 20 years, we have seen a worrying rise in incidence of breast cancer in India with more women under 50 years of age being diagnosed with the disease today. Urbanisation and changing lifestyles are primary contributors to this trend. Prevalence of smoking, unhealthy diets and processed foods, obesity and a pandemic of physical inactivity are factors contributing to increasing incidence of breast cancer. Delayed age of child bearing, reduced time periods of breast feeding also increase risk of breast cancer among women. Eating healthy antioxidant rich foods including fruits and vegetables, reducing intake of processed foods, ensuring atleast 30 minutes of daily exercise and avoiding smoke and drink are essential to reduce risk of all cancers. Is important to undergo annual breast cancer screening after 40 years of age, particularly if they have had a family history of the disease,” added Dr Reddy.