Mumbai Metropolitan Region is spanned over more than 6000 sq Km and with a population of 26 million, it is one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. There are facilities available for every aspect of Breast cancer management like diagnostic and imaging centers, hospitals, surgeons, oncologist, Radiation centers, Genetic clinics, rehabilitation centers, palliative and hospice centers etc. but the best ones are scarcely dispersed. Very few centers are providing all under one roof. As a result, panic-stricken patients have to on run amok seeking the best of best facilities spending their precious time and finances to be simply misguided or left miserably clueless. Often, patients are not offered the up-to-date treatment options either because the health provider him/herself is unaware of the recent advances in Breast cancer management or is inadequately skilled in the specialty or the facility is simply not available in the center where the patient is seeking her consultation /treatment. For example, losing a breast is never a option now a days. There are various options and protocols available to conserve the breast even when cancer is in locally advanced stage or multicentric. Various oncoplastic surgical options can give you beautiful breast shape, volume and symmetry even after cancer surgery. This can not only be cosmetically sound but also completely safe ontologically. Same goes with Sentinel lymph node techniques to avoid morbidity by unnecessary armpit clearance. Many times, you are left unaware of these options. Its our vision and mission to bridge these gaps and to provide multidisciplinary comprehensive care to you and your dear ones, guide to choose the best option for your disease and facilitate and provide the care in accessible centers nearby your residences in affording cost.
Its proven that key to success in breast cancer management is its early diagnosis. Breast screening by Breast Self-Examination and regular screening mammogram has made it possible. Unlike developed countries, Breast cancer screening is neither yet a national policy nor is covered by any health insurance in India. Lack of awareness, scarcity of centers and cost of imaging are some of the leading reasons why its underutilized. Let us look at the figures. A 2018 report of Breast Cancer statistics recorded 1,62,468 new registered cases and 87,090 reported deaths in that year in our country. Breast cancer projection for India during time periods 2020 suggests the number to go as high as 1797900. In urban India ,like Mumbai, the age adjusted incidence rate is as high as 40 per 100000 which is way above the national average of 28. More than 2/3rds are diagnosed in their late stages. One in every 30 women poses a risk of developing breast cancer and one in two dies because of it. The figures are alarming and it’s to be noted that , they are in the absence of wide spread Breast Screening programme. It may be only a tip of an iceberg.In this situation, the community itself must be responsive and aware.
The onus falls upon our shoulders to create awareness and make these facilities accessible and affordable.
Let us be ready to fight this new ‘Pandemic’.
Dr. Tushar Jadhav
Mumbai Breast Care