Consultant Breast and Endocrine Surgeon, Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur Dr Harjit Kaur speaks at The Pink Pit Stop Breast Cancer Awareness campaign in balai Berita, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur. - NSTP/HALIMATON SAADIAH SULAIMAN

KUALA LUMPUR: Many women are still very lackadaisical about breast cancer and breast health.

This is alarming as younger women are being diagnosed with breast cancer these days, according to a medical expert from Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur.

“It’s happening in younger women and sometimes as young as in their early 20s. These are young women of university-going age or just newly married who are just starting out with their lives. They therefore need to be vigilant as these days it is common for women to get breast cancer in their 30s and 40s," said Dr Harjit Kaur, consultant Breast and Endocrine Surgeon, Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur.

Dr Harjit said unfortunately, younger women also tend to get the more aggressive type of breast cancer.

"There is no real answer why they tend to get aggressive tumours which tend to grow or spread very quickly. We do not know why it is happening in younger women these days but it could be because of multiple factors like lifestyle, diet, stress, lack of exercise and sleep as well as poor lifestyle choices."

Dr Harjit was speaking at The Pink Pit Stop Breast Cancer Awareness campaign recently, held at the Theatrette at Balai Berita.

The Pink Pit Stop campaign is a Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur initiative in conjunction with Pink October's Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“These days it doesn't matter whether you have a family history or not as you can still be at risk. However, having a family history or genetics certainly puts you in high risk. Men can also get breast cancer but this risk is much smaller. Men, especially older men need to be vigilant as well, especially if they notice any abnormalities, lumps in their breasts, or discharge from their nipples.”

Dr Harjit said it is important to take note that breast cancer is not a death sentence.

Treatment modalities are getting better these days and are less invasive.

"More and more people are living with breast cancer. If one is diagnosed early and treated, the outcome can be very good.

"Unfortunately, there are many patients who seek the wrong advise and receive alternative treatment first. This causes delays in proper treatment hence allowing the cancers to progress to higher stages than when they were first diagnosed," she said.

This October, Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur will be bringing its Pink Pit Stop Breast Awareness campaign to members of the public at the following venues: Oct 13 and 14 at My Town Shopping Mall and Oct 27 and 28 at Melawati Mall.

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