DIBRUGARH, July 23 - In a significant medical research, a team of doctors have discovered that contrary to the western countries, the young women of Assam suffer from biologically aggressive breast cancer, which is also again slightly lower than rest of the country.
The study funded by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) under North-east seed grant in a tertiary care hospital in Upper Assam has revealed that the average age of women suffering from breast cancer in the region is 44.64 years which is lower than the national average age (approximately 50 years) and much lower than the western countries, which is 65 years. In other words western women mostly suffer after attaining menopause in contrast to Indian counterpart, the study indicated.
This study was carried out by Dr Gayatri Gogoi, Assistant Professor of Pathology and Cancer Researcher from Assam Medical College here along with co investigators � Dr Mondita Borgohain, Professor of Pathology, Dr Projnan Saikia, Professor of Pathology and Dr SA Fazal, Associate Professor of General Surgery of Assam Medical College and Hospital here. The team of researchers found that women are more prone to the disease during reproductive age unlike the western women.
It must be mentioned here that in 2007-2011, the hospital based tumour registry of Dibrugarh and Guwahati found that for unexplained reasons women from Assam suffer this cancer in very young age. The core objective of the study was to understand the scenario of breast cancer in women of Assam, according to the principal investigator Dr Gayatri Gogoi. The research was carried out basically to trace types of breast cancer common in women in Assam, their average age of diagnosis and at what stage it was commonly detected.
The study has shown that 63% women belonged to less than 45 years age group and commonest age group revealed 36-45 years. Results of the study reveal that only 40% of breast cancers fall in mild or moderately aggressive in opposed to 70% in USA whose response to hormonal treatment is very good. Alarmingly an aggressive Pattern O, called as triple negative breast cancer was found much higher in proportion. As high as 38% women in the study were falling in this aggressive category than normally accepted range 12-23%. Moreover, the mean age of this group was only 35.77 years only. This is also comparable to a paper published from Dr B Barooah Cancer Institute, Guwahati based on the types of breast cancer treated in the institute, which showed 31% of this aggressive triple negative breast cancer type and their mean age was 40 years only, the study revealed.
Based on the findings, the researchers concluded that young women in Assam suffer biologically aggressive breast cancer. The conclusion drawn from the study suggested that the findings must be used to generate awareness among women in Assam so that they visit health care facility more frequency, screen by mammography and undertake clinical breast examination to get detected in early stage for early cure.
The study has recommended women having family history of breast or ovary cancer to be more careful and regular in checks up. However, it is not known yet as to why there is cancer in such young age or why more triple negative is found in this geographic region.