Sari cancer: A potential threat for women!

  • By Team TDO

Waist Dermatoses, is a common condition in sari-wearers. It is marked by irritation, and pigmentation of the skin around the waist, at the place you wear the sari and tie that tight petticoat knot. These seemingly ‘harmless’ skin problems, in some cases are further found to turn into cancerous lesions, if not managed on time.

The sari is a beautiful traditional garment made either of silk, cotton, nylon, chiffon, georgette, or a combination of these, which is draped usually by India women and also by some women in other parts of the world. Women usually wear their sari in the same manner every day and tie a tight petticoat knot, at the same place too. This constantly irritates the skin over the waistline, leads to scaling and pigment formation. The sweat and other grime in the long run, along with chronic skin irritation, can lead to ulcer formation and even foul discharge in certain cases.

The sari petticoat, tied in the same place daily, leads to constant irritation along the waistline. This chronic irritation can lead to further scaling and pigmentation. But most sari-wearing beauties do not notice it till the condition becomes extremely chronic and troublesome.

The condition is usually diagnosed by clinical examination and the cancer is confirmed by biopsy. Three such cases of waist cancer, or sari cancer, were treated at Grant Hospital in Mumbai.

Treatment is based on the stage of cancer has reached, at the time of diagnosis. Reconstructive surgery is the option in case of early detection. In case of metastasis or the spread to lymph nodes, malignancy is required to be removed.

Sari cancer is an easily preventable condition. Few changes can help you stay away from the condition are:

  1. Tie the petticoat knots loosely.
  2. Do not drape your sari with the petticoat string and knot it at the same place daily. Change the level daily.
  3. Switch to a broader belt instead of using the usual, string-like one, to keep the petticoat in place. This will reduce the pressure on the area.
  4. Visit a dermatologist immediately, if you see any changes in the skin around your waist.

The obvious question now is, “Doesn’t this cancer affect men wearing pants or belts at the same level every day, as well?”

The answer is “No”. This is because in the cases of pants and belts, the pressure is spread over a larger area and they are not usually worn as tight as the petticoat. Moreover, the pants or salwars, get a little looser when you sit and stand, allowing movement, which does not happen with saris.

So, the next time you drape a sari, you might want to re-tie that petticoat knot, a tad bit looser!