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'Pink' October aims at spreading breast cancer awareness worldwide

Written by: Staff
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Mumbai, Oct 29 (UNI) The month of 'Pink' October is dedicated for spreading awareness about breast cancer by Oncologists around the world, especially HER2 (Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2) positive breast cancer.

Breast cancer is probably one of the greatest fears for women. It is the leading cause of death in women aged between 35 to 55 and the second leading cause of death in women of all ages around the world, claim statistics. It is estimated that eight to nine per cent of women develop breast cancer in their lifetime. In fact, in India, breast cancer accounts for 20 per cent of the total cancer-related diseases and is largely prevalent among urban women.

Says Dr B K Smruti, practicing Oncologist at Lilavati and Bombay Hospitals, ''About 25 per cent of women suffering from breast cancer are HER2 positive.'' HER2 is a gene that directs the growth of special protein in the cells in the breast making the cancerous tumour more agressive to treatment, she adds.

Research has shown that in case of women with HER2 positive breast cancer, the tumors grow faster. There is also an increased risk of spread and there are greater chances of the tumor coming back.

Compared to women with normal breast cancer (HER2 negative) HER2 positive condition reduces the life expectancy of the woman by approximately half.

The search for a cure for this deadly disease has led to the development of a breakthrough line of therapy called targeted therapy which helps combat complicated forms of the disease effectively.

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