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Letters to the Editor

Beware of breast cancer

November 12, 2022 00:00:00

Bangladesh has a high incidence of breast cancer. The number of breast cancer patients is increasing every year in the country. More than 13,000 women in our country are infected with breast cancer, while over 7,000 die of the disease every year, according to the data from the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Most Bangladeshi women are unable to identify symptoms early as they feel hesitant to get examined or consult a doctor about changes in their bodies. Although there has been increased awareness about the disease and the need for regular check-ups in urban areas, most rural women remain unaware and do not have access to proper healthcare support. Hospitals in rural and remote areas should be equipped with adequate facilities and healthcare providers.

According to a study, we need at least one cancer centre for every one million people. As such, some 160 cancer treatment centres are required to be set up across the country. But at present there are only 20 centres in the country. The number cannot be said to be adequate at all. Due to social stigma and prejudices, many women here do not want to talk about their breast problems. As a result, the disease is discovered in most cases in the third or fourth stage. It is because of this we have to raise awareness among women so that they become more careful about their health, particularly about the risk of breast cancer.

Over the last few years, we have adopted new techniques and treatment methods, which have improved the chances of curing the disease if it is diagnosed at the right time. We have also seen better tolerance, less severe side effects of treatments, and improved survival rates. Therefore, we need to de-stigmatise breast cancer and initiate long-term awareness campaigns so that women take prevention measures and receive an early diagnosis to treat the disease before it becomes life-threatening.

Badsha Faysal,

Jurain, Dhaka,

[email protected]

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