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Risks factors
Signs and symptoms

What you need to know about Breast Cancer

In India, 27% of all cancers in women are accounted for by breast cancer, making it the most prevalent type of cancer among women. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, it is estimated that by 2025, there will be over 200,000 new cases of breast cancer in India every year.


It is alarming that breast cancer in India tends to affect women at an earlier age compared to women in western countries, with a large proportion of cases being diagnosed in women under the age of 50. The lack of awareness and access to quality screening and early detection of breast cancer programs is particularly concerning, as breast cancer is highly treatable when detected early. 


As Vara, we believe it is critical that we take action to raise awareness about breast cancer, promote regular breast self-examination and clinical breast examination, and increase access to high quality screening and early detection programs. By doing so, we can increase the chances of detecting breast cancer at an early stage, improve treatment outcomes, and ultimately, save lives.

The several risk factors for Breast Cancer

The likelihood of developing the disease can be increased by several risk factors. These can include:

  • Getting older

  • Having a family history of breast cancer

  • Having certain gene mutations

  • Having a dense breast tissue

  • Personal history of breast cancer or specific non-cancerous breast conditions

  • Having had radiation therapy to the breasts or chest

  • Taking any hormone replacement therapy for an extended period of time

It’s important to note that having one or more risk factors does not mean you will develop breast cancer. While some women with no known risk factors develop the disease, many women with risk factors never do.


Watch out for these signs and symptoms 

It is crucial that you’re on top of your breast health as you age. Here’s a 5 step guide that can keep you informed about what you may look out for


  1. Know what’s normal for you
    Every woman’s breasts are different in terms of size, shape and consistency. Become familiar with the way your breasts feel during different times throughout the month

  2. Look at your breasts and feel them
    A regular self breast exam is essential in spotting the earliest signs of breast anomalies. Examine your breasts by looking at them and feeling each breast and armpit, extending up to your collarbone. It may be easiest to do this while in the shower or bath, using a soapy hand to glide over each breast and under each armpit

  3. Know what changes to look for
    See a GP if you notice any changes such as a change in the size, outline or shape of your breast; a change in the look or feel of the skin on your breast; a new lump, swelling, thickening or bumpy area in one breast or armpit that was not there before; a discharge of fluid from either of your nipples; any change in nipple position; a rash (like eczema), crusting, scaly or itchy skin or redness on or around your nipple; any discomfort or pain in one breast.

  4. Report any changes to a GP without delay
    If you find changes in your breast that are not normal for you, it’s best to see a GP as soon as possible.

  5. Attend routine screening
    Scheduling a routine screening or test to detect breast cancer is a good practice.  Early detection of cancer, when it is most treatable, can be aided by this practice. Scheduling a screening with Vara is easy.

Remember, if you notice any changes in your breasts, it’s important to see a doctor right away.

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The types of screening

Breast cancer can be easily overcome when detected early, regular screening helps in its early detection. There are several breast cancer tests available, including:

  • Mammogram: An X-ray of the breast that can detect breast cancer before it can be felt.

  • Clinical breast exam: A physical exam of the breasts by a doctor or nurse.

  • Breast self-exam: An exam you can do yourself to check for lumps or changes in your breasts.

Benefits of Regular Screening 

Regular breast cancer screening has many benefits, including:

  1. Early detection: Screening can help detect breast cancer early when it is most treatable.

  2. Better treatment options: When breast cancer is detected early, there are more treatment  options available.

  3. Improved survival rates: Women who are diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer have a higher chance of survival than those diagnosed at a later stage.

  4. Peace of mind: Regular screening can provide peace of mind knowing that you are taking control of your health.

  5. Cost-effective: Early detection of breast cancer and treatment can be more cost-effective than treating advanced-stage cancer.


What are the benefits for Vara

At, we are dedicated to helping you take control of your breast health. Here are five benefits of using our services:

  1. Proven Efficacy

  2. Affordable: Vara’s ambition is to make high quality data driven screening accessible to all at-risk women. Vara’s singular focus remains to make it accessible and affordable for all women.

  3. Convenient: Vara is expanding its footprint and bringing more and more centers online every week to ensure you are within an arms length of a Vara enabled screening center. 

  4. Easy scheduling: Vara makes it very easy to book your appointment at the center near you with our appointment booking system on

  5. Expert care: Book an appointment with a team of highly trained and highly equipped doctors near you and receive expert care.


What are the treatment options

If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, your treatment options will depend on several factors, including the type and stage of the cancer, your overall health, and your personal preferences. Common treatment options include:

  • Surgery: To remove the cancerous tissue from the breast.

  • Radiation therapy: To kill cancer cells using high-energy radiation.

  • Chemotherapy: To kill cancer cells using drugs.

  • Hormone therapy: To block hormones that can help some types of breast cancer grow.

  • Targeted therapy: To target specific proteins or genes that help cancer cells grow.

Many women with breast cancer will receive more than one type of treatment. Your doctor will work with you to develop the latest breast cancer treatment plan that is right for you.

Types of screening
Benefits of screening
Benefits of Vara
Treatment options
  • Is a mammogram painful?
    Depending on the size and shape of your breast, it can be a bit painful during the process due to the compression of the machine. However, our assistants are trained to make the procedure as comfortable as possible.
  • Why is ultrasound not used in some cases in addition to the mammogram?
    Ultrasound is important, for example, to further examine suspicious cases. However, according to the international guidelines, ultrasound usage is not recommended for average-risk women without symptoms as the primary imaging method. Doing more ultrasounds than medically required also increases the probability of “unnecessary biopsies” for healthy women. The anxiety of a biopsy, the pain and the costs should be avoided if possible. This is why centers that collaborate with Vara are advised to utilize ultrasound according to international guidelines.
  • How should I prepare for a mammogram?
    Timing-wise, it is best to have a mammogram screening in the week after your menstrual period. If you had a mammogram scan before and have them as a copy or CD, then please bring them with you and tell the receptionist at the check-in. Moreover, don’t use a deodorant before you go for your appointment. Some particles in the deodorant could influence the image.
  • Is my insurance covering the mammogram?
    Please contact the Vara center directly to find out if you are eligible for partial or full insurance coverage.
  • Is breast cancer genetic?
    Yes, in some cases it could be. Your genes determine more than your blood type and physical features. They may also determine your risk for developing certain diseases, including cancer. Approximately 6 to 8 percent of all cases of breast cancers are likely to be hereditary.
  • Can I have a post-screening consultation with a doctor?
    Definitely! Our health navigators who are medically trained professionals will assist you with post mammogram test screening concerns and questions that you may have based on your reports and also guide you on next best steps if any are needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

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