Dr. Shekhar Salkar, a leading oncologist from Goa revealed that nearly 60 per cent of the breast cancer cases reported in Goa are amongst a relatively young population of women below the age of 55.
He said that while six per cent of the cases are in the age group of 25 to 30 years, 50 per cent of the cases are women aged between 35 and 55 years.
He attributed changed lifestyles including late marriages and delayed motherhood as the main causes of this disease afflicting the younger population. He further revealed that 40 per cent of the women in Goa are unmarried at the age of 40.
Speaking to media persons at a function held to commission the mammography machine at Manipal Hospital specializing in cancer care at Dona Paula, Dr. Salkar said that over the last three years, the hospital has treated around 3,000 cancer patients.
He said giving birth to the first child after the age of 30 increases the chances of developing breast cancer by 30 per cent and added that avoiding breast feeding also contributes to breast cancer occurrence amongst women.
While opining that mammography machines help detect the cancer at an early age so that treatment can be carried out without amputating the breast, he advised women from the age of 25 to practice self breast examination.
Quoting figures, he said a person has seven per cent chances of developing breast cancer if her family member had it and further said that if two family members suffered from the disease, the chances of another sibling suffering from it is 13 per cent.