In a proactive effort to elevate awareness of breast cancer, Apollo Cancer Centres in Mumbai organised a 5 km walkathon at the Mini Seashore Ground, Vashi, Navi Mumbai. Held in honour of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the initiative sought to shed light on the criticality of early breast cancer screening and detection. It also celebrated the valiant journeys of breast cancer survivors. The event saw the participation of over 1,200 individuals from various walks of life, including homemakers, professionals, students, and NGO representatives.
Esteemed personalities like Babasaheb Rajale, the Deputy Municipal Commissioner for Solid Waste Management at NMMC, Santosh Marathe of Apollo Hospitals’ Western Region, Dr Kiran Shingote, Dr Nita S. Nair, Dr Tejinder Singh, and Dr Rajesh Shinde of Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai, jointly inaugurated the event.
Breast cancer remains the most prevalent form of cancer among women globally, with more than two million diagnoses annually. In India, the statistics are particularly alarming. Every four minutes, an Indian woman is diagnosed, and every eight minutes, one succumbs to breast cancer. A recent report by the ICMR in December 2022 highlighted a higher incidence of cancer in women compared to men in India. The data indicates that out of every 1,00,000 women, 35 will contract cancer each year. In urban Indian settings, 1 in 22 women face the risk of encountering breast cancer in their lifetime. Worryingly, 40 per cent of female cancer patients in India approach medical professionals when their cancer is already at an advanced stage.
Dr Nita S. Nair- Lead Consultant Breast Surgery, at Apollo Cancer Centres Mumbai, said “Women’s risk for cancer is influenced by non-modifiable and modifiable factors. Non-modifiable factors are those beyond an individual’s control such as increasing age, genetic mutations, a family history of cancer, and age of menarche/menopause. Modifiable factors can be altered through lifestyle choices and include obesity, unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, poor diet, and lack of physical activity, exposure to harmful chemicals. Obesity is both a risk factor for breast cancer and a risk of recurrence. Today’s walkathon is our attempt to encourage fitness and health. Breast cancer awareness includes awareness for fitness and wellness”
Dr Tejinder Singh- Senior Consultant Medical Oncology, Apollo Cancer Centres, Navi Mumbai highlighted, “The survival rate of patients particularly women with breast cancer is poor in India as compared to western countries due late stage of disease at presentation and delayed initiation of cancer-directed treatment. Today, around 40 per cent of breast cancer cases in India come to the doctor only at a locally advanced stage. Hence, we encourage women aged 40-74 years to undergo routine screening mammography, as early detection enables timely intervention & reduction in long-term complications.”
Santosh Marathe- Regional CEO-Western Region, Apollo Hospitals said, “Apollo Cancer Centres, Navi Mumbai has a very comprehensive unit including the best of technology, full-time senior clinicians, experienced & well-trained nursing teams, and an advanced rehab program. We have recently launched the landmark Apollo Women’s Cancer Prevention Clinic where our focus is on early detection, which is our strongest tool in the battle against breast cancer. This clinic is managed by our senior female clinicians providing a personalised and timely service to the female population. We aim to empower women to prioritise their well-being, encouraging them to engage in preventive behaviors and make informed decisions that prioritise their well-being. We are confident that we will be able to make a significant impact and improve treatment outcomes.”