Jain ‘Aryikas’ To Stimulate Breast Cancer Awareness As Brand Ambassadors

|Gujarat | Updated: September 19, 2022 8:25 pm

Any kind of cancer is never easy, especially when a woman, who has just started her family and supposedly crossed her 30s.

Being the most common type of cancer among Indian women, breast cancer accounts for nearly 14 percent of cancers across all ages of women in the country.

Breast cancer has ranked number one cancer among Indian females with age adjusted rate as high as 25.8 per 1, 00,000 women and mortality 12.7 per 100,000 women. Data reports from various latest national cancer registries were compared for incidence and mortality rates.

An early report from 2020, suggested that one woman gets diagnosed with breast cancer every 4 minutes, and one woman dies of breast cancer every 13 minutes in India.

Nearly one in 28 women is expected to develop breast cancer during their lifetime.

Reportedly, breast cancer will cause more deaths among women in India by 2030 than any other body condition.

Even young women are grossly susceptible to this disease at an early age.

Although, early detection can avoid a lot of cancer cases in women.

Considering the gravity of the situation, a sect of the Jain community has decided to spread awareness against breast cancer.

Over 1000 Jain ‘Aryikas’ (also known as female mendicant or nun in Jainism) as ‘Brand Ambassadors’, will guide and raise awareness on breast cancer among the masses. Besides, there would also be mention of breast cancer in discourses offered by the Jain community members.

There were incidents reporting the cases on breast cancer seen among women monks, who have chosen the path of religious practices keeping the worldly life aside.

Rotary Club of Ahmedabad Majesty in joint collaboration with Avron Hospital, AIIMS Hospital based in Paldi, and Niramay Sanstha has initiated a programme on providing free mammography screenings to save ‘Aryikas’ from breast cancer.

Breast cancer cases were detected in nearly 4 out of 220 mammography screenings done on ‘Aryikas’.

This initiative has been a brainchild of Dr Mukesh Bavishi, a popular Gynaecologist and his wife Dr Vidula Bavishi in Navrangpura based in Ahmedabad city of Gujarat.

The couple stated that- “A Jain ‘Aryika’ (a female mendicant or nun) died of breast cancer. This event pressed them to take an initiative where no ‘Aryika’ should die of breast cancer. And this is why we have initiated this ‘Mammography Screening Camp’ to aware ‘Aryikas’ and other civilians on breast cancer.”

Adding the challenges they had to face while conducting the camp, the couple said, “It was not that easy. Initially, ‘Aryikas’ were not ready for any kind of mammography screenings. The screening helps in detecting whether there is any possibility of cancer occurrences in future or not. When the ‘Aryikas’ were not ready for the mammography screenings, we had to conduct the camp at the behest of Pravin Shah, the head of Jain Mahasangh, an inclusive organisation of 170 Jain Sanghas (associations based on Jainism). Such mammography based screenings have been arranged all over Gujarat.”

Dr Mukesh Bavishi is a world famous Gynec-Surgeon and Cancer Specialist in Ahmedabad. He has created 4 Word Records in Women’s Surgeries. His invention on ‘stitchless’ surgeries have revolutionised the world of surgeries on women. One of these surgeries has been named after his wife, known as Vidula’s Operation. He has been invited to many countries including the USA to deliver talks and demonstrate his operations.

Based on the current scientific evidence, at least 40 percent of all cancer cases could be prevented with effective primary prevention measures, and further mortality can be reduced through early detection of tumours.

According to the World Cancer Report 2020, the most efficient intervention for breast cancer control is early detection and rapid treatment.

According to the World Health Organisation, in a study, researchers from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and partner institutions provided a global overview of the burden of breast cancer in 2020 and estimated the impact this disease will have in 2040. The authors predicted that by 2040 the breast cancer burden will increase to more than 3 million new cases per year (an increase of 40 percent) and more than 1 million deaths per year (an increase of 50 percent). The study was published in the journal- ‘The Breast’.

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer type, accounting for 1 in 8 cancer diagnoses worldwide.

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