”Various studies have indicated that late-stage breast cancer diagnosis is associated with people living in rural and inaccessible areas, poverty, low education levels, lack of awareness, and inadequate access to care,” the study said
The five-year survival rate of women patients who were diagnosed with breast cancer stands at 66.4 per cent across 11 geographical areas in India, according to a study.
The five-year survival rate refers to the percentage of people who are alive five years after diagnosis. It does not include those who die from other diseases.
The study, which was published in ‘Cancer’, an interdisciplinary journal of the American Cancer Society, was conducted among 17,331 patients who had breast cancer diagnosed between 2012 and 2015 from 11 Population-Based Cancer Registries (PBCRs) in India.
The PCBRs are Kollam, Thiruvananthapuram, Mumbai, Wardha, Ahmedabad-Urban, Kamrup- Urban, Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim, Tripura and Pasighat.
”Population-based cancer survival is a key indicator for assessing the effectiveness of cancer control by a health care system in a specific geographic area. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in India, accounting for over one quarter of all female cancers,” said the study titled ”Breast cancer survival in India across 11 geographical areas under the National Cancer Registry Programme”.
The five-year age-standardised relative survival rate was 66.4 per cent, it said.
Mizoram (74.9 per cent), Aahmedabad-Urban (72.7 per cent), Kollam (71.5 per cent) and Thiruvananthapuram (69.1 per cent) had the higher survival rates than the national average, the study, which was published in the journal on January 6, said. Pasighat had the lowest survival rate at 41.9 per cent.
”In India, patients diagnosed with local-stage cancer have a 4.4 times greater five-year survival rate than those diagnosed with distant-stage cancer. In addition, patients older than 65 years had a 16 per cent lower chance of survival compared with those aged 15-39 years,” it said.
Though there has been an improvement in breast cancer survival in India, the rate is lower than that in developed countries such as the United States (90.2 per cent), the study noted.
”This could be attributable to delayed diagnosis and timely access to treatment facilities, which are significant contributors in improving cancer survival. Breast cancer survival rates in the Mizoram, Ahmedabad-Urban and Kollam areas were comparable to other countries in the South East Asian region,” it said.
This study confirmed a consistent pattern observed in other studies, indicating a decrease in survival as the age at diagnosis increases.
”Various studies have indicated that late-stage breast cancer diagnosis is associated with people living in rural and inaccessible areas, poverty, low education levels, lack of awareness, and inadequate access to care,” the study said.
”Newer treatment options, such as targeted therapies and immunotherapies, have been shown to improve the prognosis of certain subgroups of patients with breast cancer, but access to such expensive choices are extremely limited in a low-income to middle-income country like India,” it said.
The study said breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer in women around the world, accounting for one quarter of all female cancers. Breast cancer deaths in the South-East Asia region are expected to increase to 61.7 per cent by 2040. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in India, accounting for 28.2 per cent of all female cancers, it said.
The World Health Organization’s Global Breast Cancer Initiative framework seeks to reduce the worldwide burden of breast cancer by implementing health promotion, early detection, timely diagnosis and comprehensive breast cancer management techniques.
The study note that In India, women with breast cancer lost more years of disability-adjusted life. Randomised clinical trials conducted in the country also revealed a significant increase in lower stage of tumour detection for women who underwent clinical breast examination versus no screening.
Breast cancer screening is provided to eligible individuals who appear for health care services in India under the National Programme for Noncommunicable Diseases.