MARGAO: Renowned blood cancer specialist from SL Raheja Hospital, Mumbai Dr. Ashay Karpe on Tuesday stated that health education is the need of the hour with regard to increasing breast and ovarian cancer cases in Goa. He also claimed that on an average per year 200 breast cancer cases are reported in Goa.
He was speaking to reporters on the sideline of the 'Stay Strong' initiative by Aster Institute of Oncology, Aster Hospital Margao.
"Breast and ovarian cancers, the two inter-related diseases, are more common in India and in Goa than the rest of the world. The number of deaths in India is much higher due to the late diagnosis of these two cancer cases because Indian women don't screen themselves regularly. If 100 new cases of breast and ovarian cancers are detected, 50 will die in India, only 19 in the US and 25 in China," Dr. Ashay said.
He also said that there is an alarming rise in breast cancer cases in Goa. In India 70 to 80 percent of cases are found at the advanced state and it is only because of identification of diagnosis at a very late stage. Adding further he said, "Goa is the women's cancer capital of India owing to late marriage, delayed childbearing, unhealthy lifestyle, etc. Breast cancer prevalence in Goan women is much higher than the national average according to some studies. Also, middle-income and high-income groups show more prevalence of breast and ovarian cancers compared to low-income groups," Dr. Ashay added.
According to him if people of Goa and especially women modify their lifestyle 50 percent of cancer cases can be avoided. Keeping this pressing need in mind the 'Stay Strong' free screening camp for breast and ovarian cancer for women above 35 years of age is being organized. The camp is basically an awareness program. "AIO is the best cancer center in Goa, reinforced by an experienced medical oncology team from Mumbai who travels twice a month to complement our surgical expertise," said Dr. Judith Das.
She further said that if your first-degree relatives-meaning your parents, siblings or child has breast or ovarian cancer, your chances of developing them simply double compared to women with no affected first-degree relatives. Hence we urge all such Goan women to take some time for themselves for the sake of their families and screen themselves at our center.
"The easiest way to diagnose cancer is that women should examine their breasts. If you found anything then go to the doctor. This camp will teach women how to examine own breast. Will tell what changes to be the lookout," she added. While Dr. Sujoy Das said, "Our Stay Strong initiative pledges to offer Rs 2000 worth free tests for breast and ovarian cancer screening to all pre-registered women of Goa," he added. Dr. Sujoy is the managing director of Aster Hospital, Margao.