“There is an emergency consult for you in the ER”
” What is it?”
“The patient has a huge lump in her left breast!”
On entering the ER, i saw a 40 something female patient agitated and gasping for breath with a huge lump in her left breast easily visible from a distance of 5 feet.
Putting her on a Oxygen mask, when i got an urgent Chest Xray, i found that there was fluid in her lungs.
On taking a closer look, i found a lump of size over 15 cms with areas of ulcerations on it.
It was a stage 4 breast cancer.
On probing deeper i got to know that she had a small lump since past 2 years, but they dint seek medical advice until 6 months back, where they had a biopsy confirming Breast Cancer and even after that they were getting Ayurvedic treatment done.
After a while a 25ish something boy approached me with tears in his eyes asking me to do all i could to save his mother.
I asked him one question, ” kahan tak padhe ho”
” Engineering ki hai. Job karta hun”
I could imagine cancer smirking at me and saying ” Human, i gave you enough time. You chose to close your eyes and pretend that i wasn’t there!!”
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Indian cities and it now affects a younger age group than before. 50% of the women affected are below 50 years of age.
We have a poor survival rate ( 60% as compared to 89% in the US). Reason is simple, women in US present early and the people there have adopted screening.
While in India most women present in Stage 3 and 4.
People survive breast cancer but the journey is painful. Losing an organ, losing something considered to be part of femininity, going through chemo, losing hair , the nausea and vomiting, the list is endless.
If love really love the women in your life : your mother, your wife, your mother in law, your aunt, even maybe your sister and girl friend, take out time for them and take them for a screening mammogram. It can save their lives.
This Valentines day maybe all the wonderful men could take a small step and protecting the women they love.
A date together, not to a restaurant but to a mammogram suite 🙂 🙂