Breast cancer is a matter of concern in today’s world as the cases are increasing at an alarming rate and younger women are becoming susceptible to this disease. It can be thwarted if diagnosed at an early stage with prompt treatment. Breast cancer is also one of the major causes of mortality among women.
Situation in West Bengal
The future looks scary as a new global study by GE Healthcare estimates that by 2030, the number of new cases of breast cancer in India will increase from the current 115,000 to around 200,000 per year. Breast cancer is now the second most common cancer diagnosed in Indian women after cervical cancer.
According to Globocan data (International Agency for Research on Cancer), India is on the top of the table with 1.85 million years of healthy life lost due to breast cancer. 'Healthy life lost' is defined by years lost due to premature death and being incapacitated by the effects of breast cancer. Lack of awareness, coupled with late diagnosis, result in the death of women mostly in rural areas. Among all forms of cancer, the rate of occurrence of breast cancer is 21% in West Bengal.
A new ray of hope for early diagnosis
‘MagicTorch’, as it is said, is a primary diagnostic tool to be used by a city based cancer institute. Any cancerous development can be detected at an early stage just by flashing the torchlight.
• Accuracy rate is 98% as claimed by the doctors. • Cost of each device is Rs 18,000. • From November, it would be taken to different districts to screen rural women. • 20 women can be screened in an hour making it time efficient. • The screening with this device will be free of cost for everyone. • The device developed by US-based researchers has been imported by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Cancer Research Institute. • The device has to be used in a darkened room. The red light of the torch will help to see the veins and arteries under the skin of the breast as dark lines. In case of any cancerous development (micro-calcification, the early stage of development), the light would not pass through, thus creating a shadow. • If any cancerous formation is detected by the device, it should be followed by mammography for confirmation.
Early detection of cancer with the help for this the product will help hasten the treatment process. But still this torch should not be the only means of cancer detection. Additionally, the test should be performed by a medical practitioner only. Other primary screening tests should also be carried out by the doctors along with the torch test for foolproof assessment of the risk.
Lifestyle change and other environmental factors are responsible for increase in cancer rate. Breast cancer is very common now-a-days. Routine breast examination should be done by women of all age group.
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