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Epidemiological Correlates of Breast Cancer in South India

  • Babu, Giridhara Rathnaiah (Public Health Foundation of India, University of California Los Angeles) ;
  • Lakshmi, Srikanthi Bodapati (Indian Institute of Public Health-Hyderabad, Public Health Foundation of India) ;
  • Thiyagarajan, Jotheeswaran Amuthavalli (Centre for Global Mental Health, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College)
  • Published : 2013.09.30

Abstract

Background: Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer in women globally and represents the second leading cause of cancer death among women (after lung cancer). India is going through epidemiologic transition. It is reported that the incidence of breast cancer is rising rapidly as a result of changes in reproductive risk factors, dietary habits and increasing life expectancy, acting in concert with genetic factors. Materials and Methods: In order to understand the existing epidemiological correlates of breast cancer in South India, a systematic review of evidence available on epidemiologic correlates of breast cancer addressing incidence, prevalence, and associated factors like age, reproductive factors, cultural and religious factors was performed with specific focus on screening procedures in southern India. Results: An increase in breast cancer incidence due to various modifiable risk factors was noted, especially in women over 40 years of age, with late stage of presentation, lack of awareness about screening, costs, fear and stigma associated with the disease serving as major barriers for early presentation. Conclusions: Educational strategies should be aimed at modifying the life style, early planning of pregnancy, promoting breast feeding and physical activity. It is very important to obtain reliable data for planning policies, decision-making and setting up the priorities.

Keywords

Breast cancer;epidemiology;South India

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