2,000 Sri Lankan women die annually of breast cancer
By Eunice Ruth
In Sri Lanka, around 2,000 women die annually due to breast cancer, said Director of the National Cancer Control Programme, Consultant Community Physician Dr. Janaki Vidanapathirana. Speaking to Ceylon Today, she said, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, where incidence in Sri Lanka is steadily on the rise the last few years. Annually, 3,000 to 3,500 women get infected with breast cancer and each day, 10 new patients get admitted to hospitals for treatment. She added 25 per cent of the registered cancer cases are for breast. Dr. Vidanapathirana further pointed out that the majority of breast cancer cases are women who lacked awareness of the disease and its symptoms. She stated, consumption of alcohol also caused breast cancer.
Early detection was key to effective treatment, she observed. However, genetic predisposition to breast cancer was not a factor that could be completely cured.
The disease afflicts mostly women over the ages 40. She said however there is a lesser possibility of men too getting the disease. All women, Vidanapathirana added, should conduct a self examination once a month and if any difficulty is experienced, they should consult a doctor immediately for a medical check-up. She requested all women to be aware of the disease by following preventive measures while also urging women not be scared or feel ashamed to inform about the disease or to visit a hospital in this regard.