Early detection and screening effective way to combat Breast Cancer: Dr. Shabnam Bashir
Dr. Shabnam Bashir is doctor of par excellence. Trained in Colorectal and Breast cancer surgeries & cytoreductive surgeries from Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai and in Robotic surgeries from USA. She is currently practicing in Kashmir and leading the breast cancer awareness related things in Jammu and Kashmir.
In an exclusive interview with News Kashmir, she talks to Farzana Mumtaz and Rameez Makhdoomi.
How was the response especially from the society towards your recent events on breast cancer awareness been ?
This is such a effort that I wanted to do since long time. I hold basically two events Pinkathon, in October and Blueathon in March. The basic motive is to create awareness related to diverse aspects of breast cancer awareness. The response is quite good from public.
Do you believe that shyness with women with reference to breast issues is going?
This is a deep rooted issue and does not go easily. When I starred two years back the situation was tough and lot of taboos were there. But with effective participation of youth the situation has improved. We did event with music and Fine arts and there illustrations and art helped us. The need of the hour is to involve more educated youth as we are doing to end the taboos and inhibitions related to the breast cancer. I would again and again reaffirm that early detection and screening is the burning need to combat effectively breast cancer.
How to detect breast cancer in male ?
98 to 99 percent breast cancer cases are in women and the rest are in men and transgender . Due to specific genes or mutations related to them in some cases the breast cancer cases are found in men too and by going for screening it can be detected.
How far is breast cancer currently widespread in India?
This time due to changes in lifestyle and habits ovary cancer is the leading cancer among the women. The breast cancer threat is more common among urban women than in rural women in India . First we used to have cervical cancer at top .Breast cancer is also increasing due to food adulteration and life style changes . According to credible studies , 1 out of 60 have risk and astonishingly 1 out of 20 urban women have risk of breast cancer.
Due to robust national programme focusing on screening and vaccination the cervical cancer has abated in women . Ovary and breast cancer are challenges for women especially from rapid urbanization, poor diet and pollution.
How widespread is cancer in Kashmir?
We get cancer figures from the cancer registry. In States like Karnataka we have to notify cancer cases if we adopt same here then only we can achieve correct figures on it. Like we have had nodal officers working and notifying on Tuberculosis in Jammu and Kashmir.
No doubt the cancer is challenging disease among men and women. We need to rely on population registry to get figures. In population registry few years back we had oesophagus cancer leading in Kashmir. The cancers like Lung, Colon, Breast are also leading here.
The need is to make good diet habits to avoid cancers especially avoid too much of non vegetarian, fast food and we have to avoid too much salt .
Many cancer experts believe that more vegetarian diet should be included as opposed to non vegetarian to escape from cancer?
Yes the too much of non vegetarian items in diet increase chances of different forms of cancer, while as the vegetarian items like Tomatoes and potatoes have anticancer properties .
Lastly, do you believe cancer treatment is back breaking for poor humans and there families?
There is no doubt that for poor people and their families the disease is financially, emotionally and physically draining both for them and there families. If in the country early detection happens more frequently that can save poor people from lot of burdens.