Dangerous drapes - Saree cancer

  • By Dr. T Deepa Porkodi

The saree is the traditional garment worn by ladies in India and parts of the Indian Subcontinent. The constant irritation of the saree over the waistline leads to scaling and pigment formation. Saree cancer is the term denoting the cancer that eventually may develop in these females.

The saree is a long piece of cloth, usually about 6 meters in length. It is wrapped around the body. The saree can be made of different materials like silk, cotton, nylon, chiffon, or georgette. The constant in all forms of saree draping is the regular friction of the fabric along the waistline.

Due to the constant friction over the waistline and complicated with sweat and grime, often some or the other skin irritation is found in these bodily areas of women who wear the saree daily. The skin changes gradually become chronic and may lead to the formation of ulcers. A hyper- or hypo-pigmented patch or a growth like lesion with foul discharge may also be seen in some cases.

Saree cancer can be suspected with the clinical presentation of the location of the lesion. It nevertheless requires excision and biopsy for confirmation.

Saree cancer is preventable. The next time you wear a saree, make sure you do not tie it up too tightly around the waist. Do not be dressed in a saree for long periods of time. Wear a loose garment that allows the skin over your waistline to breathe. Avoid tying the knot of your saree/petticoat at the same spot daily. Get yourself treated the moment you spot even the smallest of skin changes.

Ignorance leads to the birth of several diseases. Now that you have read about the concept of Saree Cancer as a potential threat, pass on this message to your loved ones who wear the saree regularly.