Breast Cancer - The changing face

History traces detection of Breast cancer (malignant breast neoplasm) in Egypt to as early as 1600 B.C. Over the centuries, a wide variety of explanations were proposed, with no conclusion given till date. At one point in time, breast cancer was treated as divine punishment by patients. In the modern era, advances in medical sciences and technology, improved detection and treatment regimes have made significant progress in treating breast cancer. These changes have helped several breast cancer patients overcome initial hesitation and come forward for treatment.

Breast cancer-a cancer that affects the breasts or mammary gland-is the second most common cancer after lung cancer and is the fifth most common cause of cancer death world wide. The risk of developing breast cancer in women is 100 times more frequent when compared to men.

According to American cancer society, in 2012, approximately 226,870 new cases of breast cancer in women are expected to be detected while the number of deaths is expected to be 39,510.

Breast cancer incidence and death rates increase with age. In the US, women aged between 20-24 years had the lowest incidence rate, 75-79 year old women had the highest incidence rate and according to 2011 Breast Cancer Fact Sheet, 50 per cent of women who developed breast cancer were 61 years of age or younger at the time of diagnosis.

The relative survival rates for women diagnosed with breast cancer are found to be 89 per cent at 5 years after diagnosis, 82 per cent after 10 years and 77 per cent after 15 years. In India, however, the overall 5 year survival rate for breast cancer patients does not appear to be even 60 per cent presently because over 50 per cent breast cancer patients in India present (get diagnosed) in stages 3 and 4, according to PBCR's report

New discoveries are helping to create new metabolic strategies for cancer prevention and therapy. The cover story in this issue of Asian Hospital & Healthcare Management, Mohammed Jaloudi and Jihad Kanbar from Tawam Hospital, Al-Ain, Abu Dhabi, UAE, give their focus on the complexities of breast cancer and how public perceptions about the disease have changed over the past few decades. The authors also detail how recent advances in molecular and genetic sciences are creating novel therapeutic strategies showing way for the future hope. The future of breast cancer treatment should be faced with optimism.

In other articles, Gloria N Eldridge, Initiative Director, Strategic Innovations for Health Care Reform, USA talks about Strategic Innovations in Care Transitions for High- Cost Populations; Dennis M. Seymour, Chief Security Architect, Ellumen, Inc., USA talks about Risks Associated with Medical Devices and Mobile Medical Devices; Dennis Kaiser, Principal, Perkins+Will, USA talks about how Integrating technology with a healing environment greatly improves the patient experience; Feisal Nanji, Executive Director, Techumen LLC, US talks about Cloud computing and many other interesting topics covered by other industry experts.

Prasanthi Potluri

Prasanthi Potluri

Editor Asian Hospital & Healthcare Management.