It is a known fact that women have a longer lifespan than men. But this comes with its own drawbacks and one of them may be an increased risk of cancer. And gynaecological cancers top the list here. In recent years, there has been an increase in cancer cases among women. Breast, ovarian and uterine cancers have gradually been increasing among Indian women. Though many factors can be attributed to this development, like unhealthy eating habits, addiction to tobacco and alcohol, obesity, late marriage and late pregnancy, etc, many experts think that one factor may also be that now more and more women are coming forward for cancer screening. There is also more awareness around breast and cervical cancers in women. To get a better insight into this subject, we reached out to Dr Aravind Ramkumar, Senior Consultant – Surgical Oncology, Fortis Hospital, Cunningham Road.
Top cancers in women
According to Dr Ramkumar, the top four cancers among women, especially in Bangalore are breast and gynaecological cancers. As he says, “As compared to data from 1982, there has been an increase in the incidence of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, cancer of corpus uteri and a reduction in cervical cancer incidence. The cumulative risk of developing any cancer in the age group of 0-74 years is 1 in 6 for women in Bangalore.”
Causes of gynaecological cancers
There are many causes of gynaecological cancers. Dr Ramkumar says that there may be multiple factors related to the increased incidence oof such cancers. This includes –
- Better diagnosis
- Better reporting
- Genetic causes
- Lack of physical activity
- Alcohol consumption
- Obesity to name a few.
He further says that breast cancer has been known to be linked to early menarche, late menopause and not involving in breast feeding.
Take precautions, save yourself
If you are aware of the cancer risks in women, you can take steps to take precautions and stay safe. Prevention of cancer is possible. The risks can be cut drastically if you take a few simple precautions. Dr Ramkumar share a few tips.
- You must discuss with your doctor when you take hormone treatment like contraceptive pills, intrauterine contraceptive device, and hormone replacement therapy after menopause.
- Go for regular screening for breast and cervical cancer. It is effective and inexpensive.
- Avoid commercially available synthetic sanitary napkins that do not have the ingredients displayed on the packaging.
- Be aware about the signs and symptoms of cancer in women
- Lead a healthy lifestyle
- Go for environment friendly living
- Seek timely medical help.
Today, because of lifestyle and stress, cancer has become a scary reality of life. But with the right knowledge and awareness, you can avoid this dreaded disease.
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