Breast cancer in South Asia: A Bangladeshi perspective
Cancer Epidemiology , Volume 38 - Issue 5 p. 465- 470
South Asian countries are facing a hidden breast cancer epidemic. A significant proportion of the breast cancer cases occur in premenopausal women. Knowledge of the various aspects of breast cancer in different geographical regions is limited in South Asia. In this article, we review the Bangladeshi perspective of the epidemiology, risk factors, pathology, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. As in other developing countries, because of the lack of breast cancer awareness in Bangladeshi population and inadequate access to health care, most patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage of the disease. Early detection has a crucial impact on overall treatment outcomes. To battle against breast cancer in resource-limited countries like Bangladesh, it is not feasible to set up a parallel health service system solely dedicated to cancer. Therefore, a cost-effective public health strategy is needed which could reach a large number of women in the country. Considering all these issues, we propose an innovative female-based primary healthcare approach focused on awareness, screening and early detection of breast cancer in Bangladesh. This preventive strategy could be a model for other resource-limited developing countries.