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PREVENTIVE CARE KNOWLEDGE CENTRE

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What are the primary reasons for older women in India to undergo breast cancer screening, and how does it benefit them?

Written By Samarth Staff | Medically Reviewed by Dr. Anup Bagchi, MBBS, Geriatric specialist

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women in India, with increasing incidence rates among older adults. Breast cancer screening plays a crucial role in early detection and treatment, significantly improving outcomes and survival rates. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), breast cancer accounts for 14% of all cancer cases among Indian women, with the highest incidence rates observed in older age groups. However, early detection through screening can significantly reduce mortality rates and improve quality of life.

Here’s why undergoing breast cancer screening is essential:

Regular breast cancer screening can detect abnormalities in the breast tissue before symptoms appear, allowing for early intervention and treatment. Mammograms, the primary screening tool for breast cancer, can detect tumors at a smaller size, when they are more likely to be treatable. Early detection increases the chances of successful treatment and reduces the risk of cancer spreading to other parts of the body.

Not undergoing breast cancer screening can lead to late-stage diagnosis, resulting in more aggressive treatment options and poorer prognosis. Delayed detection may also limit treatment options and increase the risk of complications. In India, where access to healthcare services can be limited, early detection through screening becomes even more critical for older adults.

The recommended frequency for breast cancer screening varies depending on individual risk factors and guidelines. However, for most women aged 50 and above, annual mammograms are recommended. Additionally, clinical breast exams by healthcare professionals are also essential components of screening, providing a comprehensive evaluation of breast health.

References:
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). (2022). National Cancer Registry Programme: Consolidated Report of Hospital-Based Cancer Registries 2020.

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