Breast cancer cases on the rise in Nepal

  • Even men are suffering from breast cancer

Kathmandu, October 8

As Breast Cancer Awareness Month is being celebrated all over the world to raise awareness about breast cancer and its health effects there has been an increase in the number of breast cancer patients in the country.

From among the estimated 3,500 to 4,000 new cancer patients in the country, 200 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed each year. “Every year the number of breast cancer patients is increasing by five per cent,” informed Dr Prakash Raj Neupane, medical director at Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital. As per the data provided by the hospital, 120 patients underwent surgery for breast cancer in the hospital in the fiscal 2016/17.

The risk factors for such an increase in breast cancer are sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, delivery of children after the age of 30 years, family and personal history of the patients etc. “Anyone with the family history of any kind of cancer is at high risk of breast cancer,” said Dr Neupane.

Women between 40 and 45 years, and 60 and 65 years are reported to be suffering from breast cancer. Anyone with the lump/s in the armpit, skin, wound or bleeding from nipples is strongly advised to visit the nearby doctors for the detection of their cancers in an early stage.

It is not only women who are suffering from breast cancer but men too need to be aware of breast cancer as they too are likely to suffer from the disease. Bhaktapur-based cancer hospital has been treating 12 men suffering from breast cancer at the moment. Men aged above 60 are suffering from breast cancer.

When people age, the risk of cancer too increases. Besides, in some men the lumps in their breast do not go away as they grow up, which may result in breast cancer.

“Men also need to remain aware as cancers are genetic,” said Dr Neupane.

For early detection of breast cancer, doctors advise people to undergo a mammogram test after reaching the age of 21 and check if there are any lump in one’s breast and skin. In addition, one should modify the risk factors for cancer.