Breast Cancer Should be Accorded Due Importance to Curb!

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  • The very mention of the word cancer evokes dreadful and forbidding images of people painfully succumbing to the disease after suffering for a prolonged period. We all have been brought up on a steady diet of how cancer affects an individual through the medium of cinemas as well as television serials. Pictorial representations of the vagaries of cancer have had the desired effect on the psyche of the people is stating the obvious. For example, illustrative depictions are made mandatorily to be displayed on cigarette packets have had more than salutary effects in dissuading the habituated people from persisting further with the luxurious but a killer habit.

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  • Yes, awareness campaigns, information blitzkrieg, dissemination about the fatal disease have indeed served the purpose but there is an imminent case for pursuing the same more aggressively to reach out to the humongous population promptly. As we all are aware, there is any number of dreaded cancers out there afflicting millions around the world. Out of the several, one of the most noticed variants in women especially is the breast cancer spreading its horrific tentacles silently resulting in greater fatality. The month of October is observed as Breast Cancer Awareness the world over solely intended to spread details about the same far and wide.
  • Note that Breast cancer is now the commonly diagnosed cancer in the world, making up 11.7% of all new cancer diagnoses. No different in India as the disease is rapidly rising here too. Reports emerging suggest that one in 22 urban women and one in 60 rural women are staring at the risk of getting afflicted. Unfortunately, unlike in the West owing to dogged activism by women’s groups that has succeeded in destigmatizing breast cancer to a large extent, back here in India the situation is quite contrasting as disgrace surrounding the disease is all-pervasive and prevalent. Needless to mention, we are yet to catch up on several fronts.

  • Most of us would be aware that a pink ribbon is synonymous with breast cancer in the West, cricket fans would nod in agreement as Sydney Test every year in Australia is observed to spread/create awareness, as also philanthropic campaigns, advertising, and marathons have further raised awareness levels. Sadly, delays in detection and treatment are the main reasons leading to the more complex and life-threatening situation here. Add to this, cancer or for that matter any disease is a most feared diagnosis for the poor. The situation gets further complicated as the widely rampant gender disparity in access to healthcare also compounds women’s misery.
  • There are several challenges faced by the poor women who are known to underuse health services courtesy lack of affordability, lack of transport, dependability on men, less time than men, and most obviously, the world is still skewed in its treatment vis-à-vis men. Women representing families and institutions grossly underplay their physical suffering and well-being. Need not look far than the way screenings for common conditions like heart disease, or even mental illness afflicting women are not only under-researched but also considered less important. Women like men should be accorded equal standing for lives of both genders are no less than one another.

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