Cancer patients hide illness

56 pc breast cancer patients shy away from consulting docs

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, April 8:

Fifty-six per cent of breast cancer patients reach out to cancer specialists for treatment when tumours are at the advanced stage, it was disclosed at a daylong workshop on breast imaging.

Speaking at the workshop, Dr Prakash Sayami, professor at the Department of Surgery, TU Teaching Hospital, said the scenario had emerged because the patients were shy to disclose their conditions and gynaecologists had not been able to identify the disease and refer the patients to cancer specialists.

According to a data, 544 people — 538 females and six males — were found to be suffering from breast cancer between 1993 and 2005.

Of the total female patients, 94.4 per cent have children. While the oldest patient is 94, the youngest is 15.

Dr Sayami said 40 per cent of the cancer patients disappear after one year of treatment.

The workshop was organised under the aegis of the Department of Radiology, TU Teaching Hospital, the Nepal Radiologists Association and the Radiology Mammography International


Dr Richard Hirsh of the RMI said that radiologists need to study the patients’ history and take note of vital facts so that timely medical service can be provided.

According to a data provided by the TUTH, out of 8500 patients, 2.65 per cent have cancer, while 12.06 per cent have benign lesion.

The TUTH will start screening for mammography for patients up to 40 years and above from this year.

Professor Dr Sunil Pradhan, the Head of Department, Department of Radiology and Imaging, said conventional mammography can detect breast cancers in 85-90 per cent cases in early stages.

“There is a need to educate women about the risk of breast cancer as Carcinoma of Breast is the second commonest malignancy among females in Nepal.”

“Self-examination followed by mammography and ultrasonography are becoming increasingly available in Nepal for the diagnosis of breast diseases.”

The RMI also handed over a new Lorad Mammography machine worth Rs 80 lakh to the TUTH. The RMI had provided a Mammography machine in 1994.