NEWS

18 – One Of Fiji’s Youngest Who Developed Breast Cancer:  Dr Munshi

“The youngest patient I had was 22 years of age. One of my colleagues had a patient who developed breast cancer who was 18 years of age.
20 Oct 2021 13:51
18 – One Of Fiji’s Youngest Who Developed Breast Cancer:  Dr Munshi
The month of October has been designated as breast cancer awareness month.

There is a high possibility for younger women to develop breast cancer as it is the number one killer in Fiji.

According to General Surgeon Dr Munshi breast cancer is a disease that not only affects women that are 50 or more years of age.

 

Risk factors

He said the biggest risk factor for developing breast cancer is being female.

“The youngest patient I had was 22 years of age. One of my colleagues had a patient who developed breast cancer who was 18 years of age.

“When breast cancer develops in women who are younger, it tends to be more aggressive and lethal.”

Adding to this, late presentation for breast cancer has been a risk factor that Dr Munshi says has led patients to late treatment.

Dr Munshi added that when breast cancer is diagnosed at its initial stages, there is a good probability that with definitive treatment a cure can be achieved.

“When cancer has spread beyond the breast to distant sites such as bones, liver and the brain, cure is not possible.

“It is vitally important that anyone who has a breast lump or any other worrying breast symptoms, present to a medical doctor as early as possible so that a diagnosis can be made.”

As pinktober remembers families and friends who may have had breast cancer, Dr Munshi said it was important to raise awareness about the killer disease.

Dr Munshi added that age is the second most important risk factor in developing breast cancer.

He said most women develop breast cancer when they are more than 50 years old.

“Previous breast cancer in one breast puts you at a higher risk of developing breast cancer in the contralateral breast.”

The longer a woman is subject to the influence of the naturally occurring hormone, estrogen, Dr. Munshi said the higher the risk of them developing breast cancer.

“Under this risk factor are issues like having menarche at an early age and menopause at a late age, nulliparity or having your first child at a late age and the use of estrogen containg contaceptive pills.”

 

Signs of breast cancer

Dr Munshi explained that it was important for women to be aware of the signs of breast cancer for early treatment.

He said in the scenario where cure is not possible, palliative treatment is offered to optimise the patient’s life.

“The first spot a breast cancer will spread to are lymph nodes under the arm. More distant spread occurs to the lungs, liver and bones such as ribs, spine and hip-bones and the brain. To detect whether there is spread, a Computed tomography (CT) of the chest and abdomen are done as well as bone scans.

“Overseas, a positron emission tomography (PET) scan may also be done. When we know whether the cancer is confined to the breast only or whether it has spread beyond the breast, the aim of treatment becomes clear.

“If the tumor is confined to the breast and not spread to distant sites, the aim of treatment is cure. Once cancer has spread beyond the breast to distant sites, cure is not possible and the aim of treatment becomes palliation.”

Dr Munshi advises women to regularly examine their breasts for presence of any lumps.

“Should a lump be found, early presentation to a medical professional is vital. Early diagnosis and subsequent early treatment of breast cancer saves lives.”

Feedbacklaiseana.nasiga@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



Fijisun Ad Space


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Tower Insurance
Advertise here
Covid 19 - SPC
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper