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Breast Cancer Awareness: When Should You Start Screening? An Oncologist’s PSA

Dr Shiveta Razdan shares five things everyone should know about getting screened for breast cancer.

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Video Producer/Editor: Garima Sadhwani

Breast cancer accounts for 13.5 percent of all cancer cases in India. It also accounts for almost 11 percent of cancer-related deaths in the country, according to data from the 2020 Globocan study.

These figures are concerning. Especially considering that the American Cancer Society had in 2017 stated that 50-70 percent cases of breast cancer are preventable if "risk-reducing" behaviour and lifestyle changes are adopted by people.

To put it simply, early detection can help in treating breast cancer in a timely manner.

Dr Shiveta Razdan, Consultant, Breast Oncology, Amrita Hospital, Faridabad, shares five things everyone should know about getting screened for breast cancer.

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#1 Start Screening Early

You can start doing self breast examinations from the age of 20. You can do it on the fourth or fifth day of your menstrual cycle.

If you don't get periods, you can do it on any day once a month.

#2 Mammograms Are Safe

Mammograms use low-dose radiation beams to screen your breasts and don't cause cancer.

"The benefits of screening using a mammogram will significantly trump any minor effects they may cause."
Dr Shiveta Razdan

#3 Get Screened Regularly

From the age of 40 onwards, get screened through mammograms at least once a year or once every two years.

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#4 Hereditary Breast Cancer Can Be Prevented

Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer can be prevented. If you have a family history of breast cancer, get checked by a professional.

#5 Breast Cancer Linked To Unhealthy Lifestyle Choices

"Breast cancer has been linked to lack of physical activity, unhealthy diet, a lot of alcohol consumption, and smoking. If you opt for a healthier lifestyle, this can be prevented."
Dr Shiveta Razdan

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