October is celebrated as breast cancer awareness month. According to studies, around 2.25 million estimated individuals are living with cancer and it contributes to approximately 8% of total deaths in India.
The rapid rise in number of breast cancer cases has been associated with growing urbanisation and rapid lifestyle changes. Various research in western countries shows that majority of breast cancer cases were reported in stage I or II of the disease, whereas in India, around half of the cases were reported in advanced stages. The importance of early diagnosis has been highlighted by most cancer guideline to save life.
Getting a proper care proves to be time consuming & confusing to common citizens at the initial stage of cancer as they generally prefer to go to a local untrained physician, or quack, who often do not recognise the malignancy. Moreover, widespread public misunderstanding, extremely limited awareness in understanding of breast cancer symptoms, prevention, treatment, existing social stigma and structural inequalities across sociocultural groups pose as barriers to early detection.
Many studies in India found that the knowledge of breast cancer risk factors was low. For example, age at menarche and menopause is considered as two strongest risk factors of breast cancer. Some studies found that the awareness levels of risk factors related to age at menarche and menopause among women was limited between 1% and 28%.
One of the important tool in early diagnosis of breast cancer as per latest American college of radiology (ACR)/American cancer society (ACS) guidelines is use of mammography as a screening method. Based on these guidelines and to bridge the gap of public misunderstanding, confusion & limited awareness, a simple, one of a kind, free QR based online tool has been developed by Dr Chandan Tiwari (a young practising radiologist from Chhattisgarh currently based in Delhi) for women to check their eligibility from the comfort of their home for screening mammography.
This can be checked anywhere and anytime by just scanning a QR code. Women have to answer few question and submit their responses. There is no need to download or install any app. This tool can also be used at mass health camps. If this tool recommends for Screening mammography, it is advisable for you to visit your nearest doctor & get yourself checked. Women can also check their eligibility by visiting www.s-met.co.in.