According to the National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Indian women, accounting for 27.3% of all female cancers. The incidence of breast cancer is increasing in India, with a reported 23% increase between 2010 and 2016.
There is a strong genetic component to breast cancer, with studies estimating that around 5-10% of all cases are due to inherited genetic mutations. In India, the most common genetic mutation associated with breast cancer is the BRCA1 gene. Other less common mutations include the BRCA2 gene and the PALB2 gene.
The prevalence of breast cancer mutations in India is not well known, but some estimates suggest that around 1 in every 500 Indian women carry a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. This means that there are potentially hundreds of thousands of women at high risk of developing breast cancer in India.
There are several initiatives underway to improve breast cancer awareness and screening in India. However, there is still a long way to go in terms of providing accurate and affordable genetic testing for women at high risk of developing the disease.
2. The impact of genetic mutations on breast cancer risk in India
There is a great deal of scientific evidence that supports the role of genetic mutations in breast cancer risk. In India, where there is a high incidence of breast cancer, mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are associated with an increased risk of developing the disease. A recent study showed that women with these mutations have a three-fold higher risk of developing breast cancer than those without them.
The impact of these genetic mutations on breast cancer risk in India is significant. Women with these mutations are more likely to develop the disease at a younger age, and their risk is higher even after taking into account other risk factors such as family history and lifestyle choices. These findings underscore the importance of genetic testing for women with a family history of breast cancer.
While the impact of genetic mutations on breast cancer risk is significant, it is important to remember that they are not the only factor that contributes to the disease. Other risk factors such as family history, lifestyle choices, and environment also play a role. Nevertheless, these findings highlight the importance of genetic testing for women with a family history of breast cancer, as it can help them make informed decisions about their health.
3. Current genetic testing and counselling practices for breast cancer in India
There is currently no government-mandated genetic testing or counselling program for breast cancer in India. However, several private companies and hospitals offer these services. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has released guidelines for genetic testing and counselling for breast cancer, which suggest that women with a family history of the disease should be offered genetic testing and counselling. However, these guidelines are not mandatory, and it is up to each individual facility to decide whether or not to offer these services. At PreGenic Solutions, we also cover Breast and Overian Cancer. In India, we are the most transparent and detailed test. If you want to get your DNA checked, check out our product.
Several organisations, such as the Breast Cancer Screening Foundation and the Indian Cancer Society, also offer breast cancer screening and counselling services. There is a lack of awareness about these services among the general population, however, and many women are not aware that they exist. As a result, uptake of these services is low.
4. The prevalence of breast cancer in India
Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Indian women, with the disease accounting for 27% of all cancers in women. The incidence of breast cancer is increasing in India, with a reported 23% increase in new cases between 2010 and 2016. The majority of breast cancer cases in India are diagnosed in women aged 50 years and older. However, the disease is also increasingly being diagnosed in younger women, with cases in women aged 20-49 years increasing by 5% between 2010 and 2016.
5. Symptoms of Breast Cancer
There are many possible symptoms of breast cancer. A woman should see her doctor if she notices any of the following changes: a lump or thickening in the breast or underarm area, a change in the size or shape of the breast, dimpling or puckering of the skin, an itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple, fluid coming from the nipple (other than breast milk), redness or scaliness of the nipple or breast skin, changes in how the breasts look during your menstrual cycle. Breast cancer may also cause general symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss and pain in the breast or elsewhere in the body. If you have any concerns about changes you’re experiencing, please see your doctor.
Summarized Symptoms of Breast Cancer are:
Change of size in one or both breasts
Discharge from either of your nipples
A lump in your armpits
Dimpling on the skin of your breast
A rash around your nipple or a change in the appearance of your nipple.
6. Managing your breast cancer risk through lifestyle and genetic information
There are many things you can do to manage your breast cancer risk through lifestyle and genetic information. You can make changes to your lifestyle, such as quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising regularly. You can also get genetic testing to see if you have certain genes that put you at higher risk for developing breast cancer. If you have a family history of breast cancer, you may want to consider getting tested for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. You can also talk to your doctor about other ways to reduce your risk, such as taking certain medications or having surgery.
Other scientifically proven methods are listed below: