BP Health Desk
The number of patients suffering breast cancer is increasing alarmingly and so the death rate due to lack of awareness in early detection and unwillingness in taking treatment for a number of causes like social taboos.
About 12,764 new breast cancer patients are detected every year while the number of deaths from breast cancer annually is 6,846 across the globe and the situation in getting worse day-by-day.
As a result, breast cancer has become one of the top category cancers affecting Bangladeshi women and third deadly on the list of cancers for both men and women in Bangladesh.
Speakers observed this at a scientific seminar on ‘Breast Cancer Imaging’ at the auditorium of the BIRDEM hospital at Shahbag in Dhaka. Bangladesh Society of Radiology and Imaging organised the event on Tuesday.
Referring to the data of World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the speakers said, “65.5 percent of breast cancer patients delayed their diagnosis by more than six months, although 83 percent of them found lumps in their breasts or had other symptoms of breast cancer.”
Speakers blamed social taboos and unawareness as the main reasons for unchecked breast cancer and delay in early detection.
“October was the month of breast cancer awareness. October has ended up but breast cancer has not. Rather it is the emerging problem in women health. In USA, one in every eight women is suffering from breast cancer. So it is very important to make the social awareness for early check up, early detection of breast cancer to lessen the sufferings of advanced breast cancer and improve the mortality rate”, speakers opined.
Professor Mizanur Rahman, head of dept, Dhaka Medical College Hospital attended the seminar as chief guest with Professor Enayet Karim, President of Bangladesh Society of Radiology and Imaging in the chair.
Dr Shahriar Nobi, secretary general of the society delivered address of welcome while Dr. Bishwajit Bhowmik and Dr Fatema Doza moderated the seminar.
The speakers talked about the importance of imaging in screening of breast cancer. Though mammogram was previously an important tool for screening of breast cancer, now-a-days ultrasonography plays immense role in screening as well as diagnosis. With the advent of newer technology newer machines are innovated which increases the sensitivity and specificity as well.
Digital breast tomosynthesis, ultrasonography with elastography, ABVS (automated breast volume scanner), MRI, PET- CT, bone scintigraphy – all these modern imaging equipments are available in Bangladesh for detection, staging and to see the response of treatment, the seminar was told.
Breast cancer surgeons gave emphasis on the social taboo that nobody likes to consult a doctor in early disease. It is very important to break the social taboos in order to lessen patients’ sufferings in advanced disease and to reduce mortality rate in breast cancer. Moreover, the role of radiologists is very important in detecting early breast cancer.
Oncologists are the group of doctors who serve cancer patients through different type of therapy like chemotherapy and radiotherapy. They told that now-a-days all modern facilities are available in Bangladesh in treatment of different stages of breast cancer. Government should give more emphasis in buying modern machines which can serve the people at government level. The number of cancer centres is very poor in Bangladesh. So government as well as private initiative should be encouraged in establishment of more cancer care centre.
Radiology and imaging specialists concluded that they have organised this CME in combination with the physicians and survivors in order to create more awareness to the society and country.
They also depicted a plan of “one stop cancer care centre” through which a patient can have all the facilities from diagnosis to treatment and counseling under a single umbrella. With the hope of creating more conscience among the People will lessen the morbidity and mortality the CME ended – early imaging and early detection; saves life and best protection.
“One of the things usually found that shame attached to speaking about sexual organs and reproductive health. This causes a lack of communications with friends and mothers about these subjects. The second thing is the unwillingness to go to a doctor and be examined if they found a lump or something not right with their breasts,” speakers opined.
A total of six thematic presentations were made in the seminar by renowned specialists and experts in the field.
Dr Syeeda Showkat, Associate Professor of BSMMU presented a paper on ‘Screening for breast cancer, BIRAD categorising and DBT’, Dr Mahbuba Azim Moonmoon presented paper titled ‘BIRDEM- Elastography a new paradigm to differentiate benign from malignant breast lesion’, Dr Fatema Doza, Associate Professor, NICVD presented paper on ‘ABVS and advanced breast imaging’.
Dr Bishwajit Bhowmik, Associate Professor, BSMMU presented paper titled ‘Intervention radiology in breast disease’, Prof Dr Saif Uddin Ahmed, professor of surgical oncology, BSMMU spoke on surgical aspects of breast cancer and Prof Dr. Qazi Mushtaq Hussain, head, Department of Radiotherapy, Dhaka Medical College & Hospital spoke on breast cancer, oncology and imaging.
Radiology and Imaging specialists, oncologists, cancer surgeons and few cancer survivors took part in the continued medical education programme.
Among few breast cancer survivors Ms Lazul Laila, a senior research fellow of microbiology from Melbourne University was present in the seminar.
Passing her reaction, laila emphasised necessity of counselling and follow up of the cancer patients.
She said concept of the ‘ Cancer survivors centre’ can help the patients with appropriate treatment after proper consultation, appropriate follow up for upgradation of staging of cancer and psychological counselling of patients. The society should come forward to strengthen the association of cancer patients.