Dr. Garvit Chitkara, a surgical oncologist in Mumbai, discusses lifestyle factors that increase the risk of breast cancer

Breast cancer is a major public health issue in India. According to recent statistics, an estimated 200,000 new cases are reported each year, with the figures expected to rise in the future years. With a fast rising population and an ageing demographic, we must take steps to increase awareness of breast cancer and enhance access to early detection and effective treatment in India. 

Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer in women, accounting for roughly 25% of all cancers. As a result, there is cause for concern when certain lifestyle variables raise the risk of cancer. 

Dr. Garvit Chitkara, Senior Consultant – Surgical Oncology (Breast) at Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital, encourages society to examine these aspects and live a healthier lifestyle in order to stay healthy.

The key lifestyle factors that increase the risk of breast cancer include the following:

Obesity: Obesity, particularly after menopause, is associated with increased visceral fat and elevated oestrogen levels, which increases the risk of breast cancer. 

Delayed pregnancy: During their reproductive years, women’s oestrogen levels are higher. Pregnancy interrupts this cycle by temporarily decreasing oestrogen levels. A delayed pregnancy exposes the mother to higher oestrogen levels for a longer period of time, increasing the risk of breast cancer.

Oral contraceptive pills (OCP): OCP contain oestrogen and progesterone that have been synthesised. Breast cancer risk is increased by high oestrogen and progesterone levels.

Breastfeeding: According to research, breastfeeding lowers the risk of breast cancer by lowering oestrogen and progesterone levels. As a result, mothers should breastfeed their children for at least 6 months to 2 years. Women who breastfeed for shorter periods of time may be more prone to the condition.

Cigarette smoking dramatically raises the risk of breast cancer. Cigarette smoke contains carcinogenic chemicals and poisons that raise the incidence of breast cancer and the likelihood of recurrence.

Alcohol contains empty calories, which can lead to weight gain and boost oestrogen levels in the body. Alcohol irritates and destroys cells, promoting malignant tumour growth and unregulated cell division. 

Dr. Garvit Chitkara believes that people would take these factors seriously and take charge of their health in order to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer.

“To reduce the risk of breast cancer and its recurrence, it is critical to maintain a healthy weight through regular physical activity and a balanced diet,” says Dr. Chitkara. “A daily physical activity routine of only 40 minutes, five days a week, should suffice.”

Dr. Garvit Chitkara’s Bio

Dr. Garvit Chitkara is one of Mumbai’s top breast cancer surgeons. He is well-known for his competence in difficult breast cancer procedures, and he guarantees that his patients receive the best possible care. He is also deeply committed to increasing public awareness of breast cancer.

Dr. Chitkara’s approach as an oncologist is patient-centered. He collaborates extensively with each patient to create a personalised treatment plan that suits their specific requirements and goals. Furthermore, he is committed to adopting cutting-edge technology and techniques to deliver the best possible outcome for his patients.