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Breast Cancer Awareness Month – October

October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month – an international health campaign, which aims to raise awareness about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. It also works towards raising funds for breast cancer research and offering support and information to people suffering from the disease.

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Breast Cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting women: according to a recent study by Journal of Business Research, lack of awareness and delay in diagnosis are leading towards the breast cancer epidemic and may kill 76,000 Indian women in a year by 2020. It also revealed that the average age of death from the disease has shifted from 50 years to 30 years. Moreover, contrary to popular belief, it can affect men too – as it is, essentially, a cancer that forms in the cells of the breasts. Considering the magnitude of the problem, increasing awareness about the disease is imperative both among women and men. In India, primarily a traditional patriarchal society, women often do not have access to health services and are often reluctant to consult male doctors, it is critical to educate not only women – midlife and young, but, more importantly, men too. Educating people about the importance of early diagnosis, might in fact, halt the disease which has the potential of turning into an epidemic.

Coursera, the global leader in online education and learning, has taken a step to impart education on this life-threatening disease. The course titled, “Introduction to Breast Cancer” in an introduction to breast cancer and covers a wide range of topics: from the basic biology of the disease, to risk factors and prevention and the treatment modalities. There is something for everyone in this course – It also gives the learners an opportunity to share via a tweetchat, the topics they want to cover.

It is created by Yale University and taught by Anees B. Chagpar, MD, MSc, MPH, MA, MBA, FRCS(C), FACS, Associate Professor, Department of Surgery Director, The Breast Center — Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven Assistant Director — Global Oncology, Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Pramod Kumar Julka, talks about the need for awareness to combat this life threatening disease.

“Online Educational portals regarding Breast Cancer Awareness are an important tool for Breast Cancer Awareness. As we say, early detection of cancer is the hallmark to cure, hence it is necessary to spread awareness. This would have a tremendous impact on the urban and rural population of India for early detection. I would recommend this for our staff also.” Said Dr. Pramod Kumar Julka, Senior Director – Max Oncology Daycare Centre, New Delhi.

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