The cancer incidence reports suggest that of all cancer types, Sri Lankan females are most susceptible to breast cancer.
The probability of development occurs in one for every nine females in Sri Lanka. However, this does not mean that it is a disease affecting only women. Out of the 2300-2500 total cases reported last year, 110 were men.
People with sedentary lifestyles and a family history of cancer are at higher risk of developing breast cancer. The rise in breast cancer is mainly due to a lack of awareness about the disease and its preventative measures. Dr. Shreen Willatgamuwa, Resident Family Physician at Durdans Executive Wellness Centre says: “Women should get themselves screened as early as 30 years, continuing till 60 years. If a family member has been diagnosed with breast cancer, they are advised to get themselves checked 10 years earlier than the age of onset of the family member. Perhaps the most important action family members can take is to encourage their loved ones to undergo breast cancer screening.”
Breast screening usually consists of a physical examination, followed by either a breast ultrasound scan or a mammogram. A mammogram will be suitable for women above 40 years, while an ultrasound scan is for women below 40 years. Meanwhile, men should be aware of a breast cancer possibility and get a doctor’s opinion if any abnormality is detected. In addition, a genetic screening can be done to verify the risk of developing breast cancer in the event a family member has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Durdans Hospital’s comprehensive breast screening programme provides patients with individualized care for cancer prevention, detection and treatment. The Durdans Executive Wellness Centre offers breast cancer screening, genetic testing, breast cancer diagnosis and treatment with referral to the relevant specialists. Patients also receive regular follow-up and continuous care with the same doctor who will give the necessary advice and counselling.