Breast cancer is one of the main causes of concern for Indian women. However, if detected early, breast cancer can be treated. Therefore, awareness about the various breast cancer stages can help in a timely and proper diagnosis and treatment.
To contribute towards the awareness of breast cancer, we interviewed Dr. Anusheel Munshi. He is the Head Of Department of Oncology, Manipal Hospitals, Dwarka. He has over 15 years of experience in his field. His areas of expertise include radiotherapy treatment with the most advanced technology such as IMRT, IGRT, and 4D treatment.
Common Questions About Breast Cancer
We requested Dr. Anusheel Munshi to share his views on breast cancer. He answered our questions, which are given below:
Ques 1. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in India. Nearly 1 in 28 women are likely to develop it during their lifetime. Can this risk be reduced? What kind of preventive measures can women take?
It is correct that breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. It is the number one cancer that has overtaken other cancers. Considering it as one of the most serious problems, we need to understand why is it happening.
Various risk factors are related to breast cancer. These risk factors could be multi-factorial. They could be related to your lifestyle, personal habits, genetics or family history. So all these factors could play an important role in causing breast cancer.
Ques 2. Today’s way of living is a very sedentary one. It is inclusive of long working hours, stress, unhealthy diet, and lack of exercise. Do these factors contribute to the risk of breast cancer? If yes, what would be your message to the young girls about it?
This is an accurate statement. Our lives have become busy and stressful. Our diet is not healthy, which means we are having fatty or unhealthy food that can cause obesity, and lead to breast cancer. Furthermore, habits such as smoking and drinking alcohol can also cause breast cancer.
Giving birth, especially below the age of 30 years, is one of the factors that can reduce breast cancer. Due to the changes in lifestyle, we are delaying these things. So this is contributing to the risk of breast cancer.
All these things including lifestyle, modernization, westernization, our habits, increase the chances of causing breast cancer.
My message, especially to the young female population of India would be to develop awareness and the right habits right from childhood because, once the habits develope, it’s very difficult to change. So please adopt the right habits from the teenage. Try to control your weight without being under-weight. Do a bit of exercise daily.
So all these things can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. It would reduce the risk of not only breast cancer but even other diseases.
Ques 3. How important is breast cancer screening? How can one perform a self-examination at home?
This is a very important question and this question must be in everyone’s mind. So first of all, coming to the question of breast self-examination. Now breast self-examination is a way in which the lady herself can examine her breast. And it can be done in the homes.
The details of self-examination are available on different websites. For more information, read the article Breast Cancer Symptoms, Types and Risk Factors
In brief, you need to do an inspection, which means standing in front of a mirror and observing if there is any difference in the shape or size of your breast. If you find any kind of changes or pain in the breast, you must consult a specialist.
Coming to breast cancer screening, it is very important but you have to keep a few things in your mind. Many procedures are performed for the screening of breast cancer such as mammography or MRI. The best way to understand them is by visiting a specialist.
Ques 4. What limitations do you face concerning patient education while treating cases of breast cancer?
See, when we treat the patients of breast cancer, the things that come up are ignorance, myths, and misconceptions in patients and their families. Sometimes it is very sad to see patients carrying their lumps for months without disclosing it to their family members. This is either because of social stigma, a general fear of the detection of cancer or the cost of treatment.
It’s very sad when we see situations like these. Many of these cases can be treated completely if it is detected at an early stage. Because of the delay, we also can’t do much for them.
Ques 5. There is a lack of awareness about breast cancer in men. How common is that and what are the risk factors?
That’s a very important question and very few people are aware of breast cancer in men. So yes, breast cancer can happen in men. Although, if you see the overall breast cancer data, there are around 2% or 3% of cases of breast cancer in men.
The risk factor that could contribute to breast cancer in men could be age, lifestyle, food and other genetic factors.
Ques 6. What is your approach at Manipal Hospitals Dwarka for the management of this disease?
At Manipal Hospitals Dwarka, we have very unique and robust technology for the treatment of breast cancer. New patients, who have been detected with breast cancers are brought to a multidisciplinary tumor board.
A team of specialists sit and discuss each individual’s case. We have to understand that breast cancer cannot be handled by a single specialty or a single doctor. This is done to manage cancer at the initial stage and to give the best suitable treatment for the patient. This evidence-based approach is followed by Manipal Hospitals Dwarka for the treatment of breast cancer.
Ques 7. After creating awareness about breast cancer, what should be the next step that individuals must follow?
All of us need to be aware of breast cancer. But this doesn’t mean you should be frightened. This is something that needs to be discussed with the specialist. Try to get as much information as possible from the right sources.
We commonly see that patients first go to google to find out about the medical problem and get many responses. The patient may get confused or sometimes frightened. So, it is important to get information from a specialist or a verified source.
For a priority appointment or more information, contact us at +91 8010994994 or book an appointment with Dr. Anusheel Munshi here –
This write-up was contributed to Credihealth by Dr. Anusheel Munshi.
About The Doctor
Dr. Anusheel Munshi is a Head of the department of Radiation Oncologists at Manipal Hospital, Dwarka, New Delhi. He has an experience of over 15 years in his field.