Breast Cancer: Experts Speak On The Rising Trend Of The Disease Among Young Women

Breast cancer is a global concern with nearly 2.3 million cases diagnosed worldwide, resulting in 685,000 deaths annually. In India, breast cancer comprises 27.7% of all new cancer cases in women, with one woman diagnosed every 4 minutes and one death occurring every 8 minutes. Lifestyle factors, genetic mutations, and delayed motherhood contribute to increased risk, emphasizing the importance of prevention measures.

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer across the world. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that there were nearly 2.3 million cases of breast cancer diagnosed across the world. Also, 6,85, 000 deaths were reported globally. In India, 27.7% of all new cancers detected in women in 2018 were breast cancers, according to Breast Cancer India.

The report also states that one woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, in India, every 4 minutes. One woman dies of Breast cancer, in India, every 8 minutes. It is important to understand the risk factors of the condition and take the necessary steps that can help prevent the disease.
Dr Anupama Mane, Consultant Breast Surgeon at Ruby Hall Clinic Pune said that in the western countries breast cancer usually occurs more in the elderly population, however, in India, it occurs more commonly in at least a decade younger women.

This is attributed to genetic factors like BRCA 1 and 2 mutations or lifestyle factors like obesity, Sedentary habits, junk food diet, not having children, not breastfeeding etc. All the lifestyle changes due to rapid urbanization are predisposing factors for the increase in breast cancer in younger women in India,” said Dr Mane.

Speaking of the prevalence of the disease, she says that 1 in 28 women in India are likely to develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Studies suggest 25-30% of breast cancer cases in India are diagnosed in women under 40, compared to around 15% globally.
Adding to it, Dr Reshma Puranik, Consultant medical oncologist and hemato-oncologist, DPU Super Specialty Hospital, Pimpri, Pune said postponing motherhood until after 35, coupled with reduced breastfeeding due to busy schedules, elevates breast cancer risk. Additionally, habits like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption contribute to this risk. Sedentary lifestyles, exacerbated by high stress levels and lack of exercise, further escalate the likelihood of breast cancer in young women.
Dr Aravind Badiger Technical Director BDR Pharmaceuticals speaks from an pharmaceutical perspective. He said, “There has been a concerning trend of breast cancer diagnosis among younger age groups, mighlighting the urgent need for comprehensive interventions tailored to the Indian population.

‘From an Indian pharmaceutical perspective, it is imperative to recognize the unique challenges and Opportunities in combating breast cancer. While survival rates have shown improvement globally, disparities in access to healthcare and treatment remain prevalent in India. Therefore, there is a pressing meed for the pharmaceutical industry to develop affordable and accessible therapies that cater to the Specific needs of Indian patients.”

Dr Badiger also shares that addressing the care gap goes beyond medical interventions and necessitates a holistic approach. This involves raising awareness about breast cancer risk factors, promoting early detection through screening programs, and providing psychosocial support to patients and their families.


Does Sleeping In Your Bra Cause Breast Cancer?

Wearing bra to bed limits your breast movement, causing breast pain
It is a popular belief among many women that sleeping in a bra can stunt breast growth or even cause breast cancer. However, as opposed to popular belief, there is no medical evidence that says it is bad to sleep with a bra on.
According to experts, wearing a bra to bed limits your breast movement causing breast pain and leading to an uncomfortable sleep.

“Sleeping in your bra itself does not directly increase the risk of breast cancer. There is no credible scientific evidence to support the idea that wearing a bra while sleeping leads to an increased risk of breast cancer. However, there may be an indirect association between sleeping in a bra and breast cancer risk,” Dr. Anupama Mane, Consultant Breast Surgeon at Ruby Hall Clinic told Times Now.

How is sleeping in a bra indirectly related to breast cancer?
According to Dr. Mane, women who mostly wear their bra to sleep for support are often heavy-breasted and overweight. “Obesity is a known risk factor for breast cancer. Thus, the indirect link lies in the correlation between heavy breast size and the increased risk of breast cancer due to obesity. However, it’s essential to note that this association does not imply causation,” she added.
Does sleeping in a bra prevent your breasts from sagging?
As you age, your breasts begin to sag, and whether you wear a pushup bra or not, it would not matter. According to doctors, it is a natural and completely normal phenomenon. Muscle ligaments in your breasts stretch over time, leading them to sag.
A few other common reasons for breasts to sag include:
Traits like skin elasticity, breast size, and tissue density can play a role in how your breasts may look over time.
Gravity can take a toll over time.
Body habits
Constantly gaining and losing weight can cause a loss of elasticity.
Hormonal changes during menopause
Menopause brings in a decrease in estrogen, which can cause breast tissue to lose elasticity.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Since the breasts grow during pregnancy, there’s a higher chance the breast tissue will stretch and the ligaments will become loose.
The nicotine in cigarette smoke causes elastin to break down in the body, which causes the skin to droop.
What causes breast cancer?
Breast cancer happens when breast cells mutate and become cancerous cells that multiply and form tumors. This cancer typically affects women aged 50 and older, but it can also affect men, as well as younger women.
Doctors say several risk factors may increase your chances of developing breast cancer. A few of these include, “genetics, lifestyle, hormonal influences, and environmental factors. While obesity is indeed a risk factor for breast cancer, it’s just one of many potential factors, and sleeping in a bra is not among the established risk factors,” said Dr. Mane.
What are the complications of breast cancer?
The most significant complication is metastatic breast cancer as breast cancer spreads to other areas of your body, including your brain, bones, liver, and lungs.
According to studies, 1 in 3 women who have early-stage cancer later develop metastatic breast cancer. 1
How to sleep with your bra on?
• If you choose to sleep with your bra on, make sure you wear something that is loose, soft, and flexible, which means you can wear your old bra. • Do not go for underwires at night.
• A bra with cotton fabric is always a good choice because it is breathable