March in Delhi to sensitise people about breast cancer on Feb 10

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New Delhi, Feb 6 (UNI) Come February 10 and thousands of men and women from all walks of life will embark on a march through the streets of Delhi to sensitise people about breast cancer, the fourth largest killer disease in India and the most prevalent cancer among women in the capital.

'Walk for Life', a walk to sensitise people about the ever-present and growing threat of breast cancer in India, will witness the participation of over five thousand people, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's wife Gursharan Kaur, former Indian cricket captain Kapil Dev, fashion designer Ritu Kumar and others from the world of politics, fashion and those from the international community.

Being organised by CanSupport, in partnership with the international community in Delhi, along with active support of the US ambassador and his wife, the five-km walk will be flagged off on Sunday morning by the Prime Minister's wife.

Addressing a press conference here last evening, the president of CanSupport Harmala Gupta said,''The walk will help raise the much needed funds for cancer patients as well as draw attention to the impact of the disease on all sections of our society, both in India as well as worldwide. All funds raised for the walk will go directly to CanSupport and will be used to raise awareness about cancer as well as create more facilities to improve the treatment and care of cancer patients and their families.'' The walk will begin from the Central Civil Services sports ground at Vinay Marg and pass through Panchsheel Marg, Shanti Path and Satya Marg before returning to Vinay Marg.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Siddharth R Sahni, a consultant in surgical oncology at the Artemis Medicare Services Pvt Limited in Gurgaon, said,''Cancer is a disease which, if not detected at the right time, can be fatal. Most patients are detected with cancer when it is in its advanced stage.

''At such a stage, medicines are of little help and treating the whole spectrum of pain--physical, emotional and spiritual--is a challenging task.'' He said the situation with regards to breast cancer is grave in India compared to that in the US.

''One in 30 women in India are likely to get breast cancer as against one in 10 women in the US. Also, in India, the average age at which women are detected with breast cancer is 10 to 12 years less than that in the US,'' Dr Sahni added.

He said that as per figures released by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) in 2003, one lakh new cases of cancer are reported in India every year, of which nearly 49,000 are incurable.

He said there have been a phenomenal rise in the number of women suffering from the disease in metros like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore.

Dr Sahni added raising awareness for the disease in India was very important to bring down its incidence in the country.

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