Breast Cancer Scenario in a Regional Cancer Centre in Eastern India over Eight Years - Still a Major Public Health Problem


In spite of screening and early diagnostic tests, the upward trend of breast cancer has become a matter of great concern in both developed and developing countries. The data collected by Population Based Cancer Registry in Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, a regional cancer centre in Kolkata, from 1997 to 2004 gives an insight about the scenario of Breast Cancer in this part of Eastern India.The total no of female breast cancer cases were steadily increasing from 1997 to 2001 and only slightly lower from 2002 to 2004. and majority were in the 40-49 year old age group during this period. The next most commonly affected age group was 50-59 years. Regarding the distribution according to treatment, the main modality was surgery and radiotherapy followed by combined surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy and then combined surgery and chemotherapy. The commonest type was ductal followed by lobular cancer. In this eight year study in CNCI, status of patients on last day of the respective year was assessed. Number of patients alive was 43.5% in 1997. The percentage gradually increased up to 2000 and then gradually decreased to 47.4% in 2004. Also with every passing year, percentage mortality gradually decreased from 25.7% in 1997 to 16.8% in 2004. Better pattern of care (diagnosis and treatment) was reflected in this picture. However, lost to follow up, which also implies non compliance to treatment, increased to 30.8% in 1997 to 35.8% in 2004. Due to the small number of male breast cancers, only female cases were considered. In conclusion, breast cancer continues to be a major problem in Kolkata, India