Breast Cancer Across The World
Breast Cancer awareness in developed and developing countries
A presentation at Northwestern Kellogg School of Management, Chicago, IL during the pre-launch of the foundation on October 20th, 2017 speaking about the issues related to Breast Cancer in the advanced countries like US & also in the other developing countries.
Breast Cancer Screening
Over the years, Breast cancer has been afflicting and engulfing our society. Breast cancer is the top cancer in women both in the developed and the developing world. About 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. Breast cancer frequency is also increasing rapidly in developing countries where most cases are diagnosed in late stages.
Detecting Breast Cancer Earlier can save lives by Breast screening processes:
Mammogram: The most recent American Cancer Society guidelines recommend women ages 40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual Breast cancer screening with mammograms (x-rays of the breast) if they wish to do so. Women age 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year. Women 55 and older should switch to mammograms every 2 years or can continue yearly screening. All women should be familiar with the known benefits, limitations, and potential harms linked to breast cancer screening .
Limitations of mammogram:
· Dense Breast: A false-negative mammogram looks normal even though Breast cancer is present. Women with dense breast have more false-negative results. Breast tissue is composed of milk glands, milk ducts and supportive tissue (dense breast tissue), and fatty tissue (non-dense breast tissue). Mammogram determines the ratio of non-dense tissue to dense tissue and assigns a level of breast density. Dense breast tissue makes it more difficult to interpret a mammogram, since cancer and dense breast tissue both appear white on a mammogram. On a mammogram, non-dense breast tissue appears dark and transparent. Dense breast tissue appears as a solid white area on a mammogram, which makes it difficult to see through. Dense breast tissue can make it harder to find cancer on a mammogram. Mammograms are important but 50% of cancers in dense breasts are missed because both dense tissue and cancer appear white on a mammogram.
Supplemental tests for breast cancer screening with Dense Breast may include: 3-D mammogram breast tomosynthesis; Breast MRI; Breast ultrasound; Molecular breast imaging (MBI)
· A false-positive mammogram looks abnormal even though there is no cancer in the breast. Abnormal mammograms require unnecessary extra testing (diagnostic mammogram, ultrasound, sometimes MRI or even breast biopsy) to find out if the change is cancer
· Radiation exposure: Because mammograms are x-ray tests, they expose the breasts to radiation. The amount of radiation from each mammogram is low, but it can still add up over time.
Clinical Breast Exam
A clinical breast exam is an examination by a doctor or nurse, who uses his or her hands to feel for lumps or other changes.
Self Breast Exam Being familiar with how our breasts look and feel can help us notice symptoms such as lumps, pain, or changes in size that may be of concern. These could include changes found during a Breast self-exam. We should report any changes that we notice to our doctor or health care provider. Please find below a protocol to do Breast self-exam for both women and men since Breast cancer rate in men is also increasing and most men with Breast cancer seem to have experiences of shock and subsequent embarrassment, battling the “stigma” of having a predominately woman's disease. Breast Cancer Hub produced the Breast self-exam card in multiple languages for both women and men, in collaboration with Male Breast Cancer Coalition, Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute & Kurlbaun Illustration, the authentic correct protocol to follow. https://www.breastcancerhub.org/news-2/self-breast-exam-cardhttps://breastselfexams.org/self-breast-exams-cards/
Embarrassment, Taboo and Ignorance: In many parts of the developing world, in-spite of women doing so well in every sphere of their lives, even in educated and economically solvent segments, Breast cancer mortality is high due to lack of awareness and early detection screening. Breast cancer screening is a low priority and the knowledge of self-breast examination, clinical breast examination & other screening methods is very limited. Women & family members even hesitate to mention the word cancer in “Breast”. It’s the shyness & embarrassment society imposes. It’s the stigma, awkwardness and taboo of using the word “Breast”. Let’s strive together in our journey against Breast cancer by coming out of the stigma, awkwardness and taboo of using the word Breast! #TogetherWeSaveLives #BreakTheBreastTaboo
Lopamudra Das Roy, M.Sc, MBA. Ph.D
Future topics & highlights to cover under Breast Cancer across the world
Types of Breast Cancer
Key risk factors
Breast Cancer diagnosis & treatment
Stay tuned- More to come!!
Embarassment, Taboo, & ignorance
STIGMAS RELATED TO BREAST CANCER IN INDIA
Breasts make women attractive and feminine, but did you know 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime? The incidence in India is alarmingly increasing every year and the death rate is very high compared to other parts of the world due to lack of awareness and early detection. We women are so busy balancing work and family that our own health takes a back seat & becomes our last priority. We women and family members even hesitate to mention the word cancer in “breast.” It’s the shyness & embarrassment society imposes. Do moms, aunts, daughters of our society openly talk about breast with parents, family members or friends? Let’s strive together in our journey against breast cancer by coming out of the stigma, awkwardness and taboo of using the word Breast! We the women, if we come together, we can show the world that we can fight Breast Cancer with pride and dignity!
featured videos on embarrassment, taboo, & ignorance
Real time interviews to depict and unravel the truth on embarrassment & taboo prevailing across the society even today, 2018! Interviews in local languages, summarized in English! Eye-opener incidents that tells us…this is just the start, we have a lot to overcome!
Interview with Dr. Chethana Thirthahalli, Interesting facts about Breast Cancer in India
Interview with Dr. Ravi Kannan, Breast Cancer scenario in Assam, India
Interview with Dr. Sarbani Giri, speaks about the facts associated with Breast Cancer stigma in India
Part-1, Interview with Nandini Gogoi Dutta in Assamese, summarized in English, about Breast Cancer in India
Interview with Dr. Sarmistha Bhattacharya, speaks about the realities on Breast Cancer in India
Interview with Dipali Saikia in Assamese, summarized in English, about Breast Cancer in India
Role of diet – How antioxidants play a role in protecting our body from cancer
Article on "Breast Cancer and Inflammation-Role of Diet"
by Dr. Lopamudra Das Roy, Founder and President, Breast Cancer Hub Foundation
Exercise & how it helps in cancer – Scientific perspective
Stress & its role in cancer
myths & truths
Will bring into limelight all the myths associated with Breast Cancer – bringing before you the Truths, authenticated by data & publications – Stay tuned!
self breast exams
Breast Cancer Hub produced Self Breast Exams card in collaboration with Male Breast Cancer Coalition http://malebreastcancercoalition.org/, Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at HCA Midwest Health https://sarahcannon.com/; https://hcamidwest.com/; and Kurlbaum Illustration; in simple words for both women and men. Breast Cancer Hub will distribute the cards free and the cards will be available in local languages to reach all the segments.
"On June 9th, 2018, I reached out to my Indian network of friends and family across the world, via WhatsApp groups requesting to help with translation of Breast Self Exam (BSE) cards from English to Indian languages so that we can reach out to the population of India who cannot read or understand English. I am sincerely thankful to those who volunteered to help in the translation, and proof reading. Thank you so much for your time and efforts! Without you, the Indian Languages BSE cards would not have been possible!! More languages in the process!
Thank you, Peggy Miller from Male Breast Cancer Coalition, for building the final cards!”
—Lopamudra Das Roy, Founder of Breast Cancer Hub
DOWNLOAD THE SELF BREAST EXAM CARD
breast cancer stories
MALE BREAST CANCER
India outreach-Shock & Surprise that Men can have Breast Cancer too
India Outreach-June 27-August 22, 2018
Breast Cancer in Men in India
Breast Cancer Hub is a global network and addresses both women and men Breast Cancer. With regard to Men Breast Cancer, we are collaborating with Male Breast Cancer Coalition.
In India, the scenario of Breast Cancer survival in women is less compared to the US. So, when we bring Male Breast Cancer in picture, the situation is worse. During my India outreach, I am meeting women and men from both urban and rural sectors. There is a reaction of surprise and shock that Men can have Breast Cancer too! Those who are from Medical background are aware of the situation but in general, the scenario is that Men hardly know that they can get Breast Cancer!
During this trip of India, my goal is to help people of India, to pass on the message that not only women but men can have breast cancer too! I am distributing free of cost the Breast Self Exam cards that we produced in collaboration with Male Breast Cancer Coalition and Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at HCA Midwest Health. I am very proud and happy that the acceptance of the Breast self exam cards and the eagerness to learn more about Breast cancer in Men is very positive, and I am trying to convince that if any man is detected with Breast cancer, he is not alone. There is a huge non profit foundation in US – Male Breast Cancer Coalition working relentlessly and trying to reach out and help anyone associated with Male Breast health. Please come together and help Man with Breast Cancer fight the disease!!
Interview with Dr. Geeta Manjunath on Male Breast Cancer scenario in India
Interview with Mr. Devarajan Kalladan, discussions about Male Breast Cancer in India
Faces of Male Breast Cancer Awareness: BRET MILLER
Male Breast Cancer Coalition's Mission
The Male Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC), a not-for-profit patient advocacy organization, brings everyone together to educate the world about male breast cancer.
When diagnosed with breast cancer at age 24, Bret promised his surgeon no man would ever feel alone when hearing the words, “You have breast cancer.” After a very close friend’s husband was diagnosed with breast cancer, Cheri began her mission to end the stigma and feelings of abandonment associated with a male breast cancer diagnosis. As a result of a connection made on Facebook, together Bret and Cheri formed The Male Breast Cancer Coalition in 2014.
MBCC shares stories from male breast cancer survivors all over the world. Learn more here and find resources for men and their families navigating through what is usually a women’s only club. MBCC also honors lives lost in the “In Memoriam” section.
We are on a mission to build awareness through the wisdom and experiences of survivors. We visit high schools and colleges around the country sharing journeys and educating audiences. Our survivors want students to know every individual is his/her own best advocate for their bodies. We participate in events around the world to raise awareness of male breast cancer. We attend conferences, so we can become more knowledgeable and advocate. Until we educate everyone, including the medical community concerning the need for more testing and clinical trials focusing on men with breast cancer, our mission continues to be an uphill battle.
We want people to be informed. Breast cancer does not discriminate and we want everyone to know “Men Have Breasts Too.”
We Are The Male Breast Cancer Coalition.
Bret, Cheri, Peggy and Bob
As Peggy always says, “Together we will change the world.”
in memoriam: MARLYN WASHBURN
Marlyn's wife Patricia Washburn recounts the story of her husband, who sadly passed from breast cancer in 2017.