October is breast cancer awareness month, an annual campaign that seeks to educate the public on the impact of breast cancer and how early diagnosis can help those affected.
In line with the protocol, the Velammal Multispeciality Hospital organised a special programme for the faculty of its engineering college here on Saturday.
The audience was cautioned that the average age of women diagnosed with breast cancer had shifted by two decades. Earlier women between 50-70 years were getting the disease but due to change in lifestyle and peoples’ eating and activity patterns, the younger population, between 30-50 years, was becoming vulnerable.
Oncology Head at Velammal Medical College S. R. Dhamotharan, and Medical Oncologist R. Rajkumar addressed the 300-strong gathering of teachers and other staff to stress the need for a healthy lifestyle.
“Early detection is essential in management and treatment but often due to ignorance, fear, and social stigma, women present with stage III or IV cancer which requires surgery and extensive treatment,” Dr.Dhamotharan said. If detected early, then in most cases treatment is less aggressive and chances of recovery are much better, he added.
Dr. Rajkumar pointed out that breast cancer can affect men also, though the prevalence is much higher in women. While two per cent of all breast cancer patients are men, 31 per cent of all women cancer patients have breast cancer. But everybody should watch out for the symptoms and do self-examination besides annual check-up, he said.
Chairperson CII-Young Indians Poornima Venkatesh, Director Velammal Medical College V. Karthik Muthuramalingam, and Vice-Chairman of Velammal Education Trust Ganesh Natarajan also attended the event and reiterated that good health is in our own hands and we should follow what the medicos advise us.
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