As with most countries across the globe, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women in Bangladesh. As many as 12,000 new breast cancer patients are diagnosed every year, while the yearly death toll reaches around 7,000.
Dr Md Habibullah Talukder Ruskin, Associate Professor and head of Cancer Epidemiology at National Cancer Research Institute and Hospital revealed the information at a day-long breast cancer screening camp held at the Dhaka Reporters Unity on Friday.
The health camp was operated by female doctors led by Dr Ruskin and held for female members of the organisation and their family.
The Dhaka Reporters Unity President Elias Hossain presided over the event, while State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr Md Enamur Rahman attended the programme as the chief guest.
Addressing a question-answer session, Dr Ruskin said, "Late diagnosis, unwillingness to take proper healthcare, unavailability of full medical treatment and no follow-ups are the reasons behind most deaths from breast cancer in the country."
He also urged mothers to breastfeed their babies regularly, adding that not breastfeeding babies is the primary reason behind breast cancer among mothers.
"Women without children face an elevated risk of breast cancer. Other possible reasons include having children at an older age, marrying after age 30, having first child and not having adequate fruits and vegetables in the daily diet," Dr Ruskin added.
Speaking at the event, State Minister Dr Md Enamur Rahman said, "There is no alternative to raising public awareness for tackling the dangers of breast cancer. Screening services for early diagnosis of this cancer type must be made more available to the people.
"To this end, the government has approved a Tk2,300-crore project for building cancer treatment facilities in eight divisional cities. When implemented, this project will make cancer treatment and screening facilities more accessible to the people."