Doctors For open discussion on the Birds and the Bees.
Timely detection through self-examination is the most effective way to fight breast cancer.
This way the bottom line of an interactive session on Breast cancer risk reduction at Magadh Mahila College in the city on Thursday. Organized under the aegis of Cancer Awareness Society (CAS), the event had eminent doctor of Paras-HMRI lecturing the college girls on the causes and also answering their queries. CAS president T P Sinha and Magadh Mahila College principal Ms.Asha Singh were also present on the occasion.
Girls needed to attend such a session was evident from the ignorance they displayed about the breast cancer before the session began. Puja kumari, a 2nd year history student, told TOI she did not know how to examine her breasts. Nor does she discuss the bird and the bees with her mom or friends. Akanksha, a student of BCA part-1, was also attending such an event for the first time. Very few students knew about breast self-examination through the internet.
Dr. A A Hai gave a Powerpoint presentation on breast cancer. He said, “It is high time teachers and parents openly discussed breast cancer or other sex –related issues with their wards. Cancer can be cured if detected in early stage and the best way to detect it in early stage is breast self-examination.
According to him, every lump in the breast is not necessarily cancerous. But it should not be ignored. “Immediately consult a doctor if you find any lump in one or both the breasts, dimpling on the skin of the breast or change in the appearance of nipples, he said.
The eminent medical expert also taught the students how to do self-examination bringing all the fingertips together and then gently palpating the breasts. “If you suspect anything wrong, don’t postpone disclosing it to your parents and consulting a doctor,”said Dr. Hai.
As for the causes of cancer, Dr. Hai said, only 5 to 10% cases are hereditary while 90 to 95% cases can be attributed to the western lifestyle which we have of late been adopting. Some of the reasons are late marriage, delayed pregnancy, fewer children, and lack of exercise, weight gain, hormone manipulation, fatty diet and junk food, absence of fresh fruits and vegetables from the diet and intake of tobacco, alcohol, anti-ageing drugs and oral contraceptive pills.
Dr. Mitali Dandekar also urged the students to discuss such issues. “Discussing anything about breasts or any other sexual organ should not be considered a social stigma. Such things should not be hidden,”she said. Dr. Shekhar Keshri talked about the various ways through which breast cancer could be treated.