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All You Need to Know About Breast Cancer

Even if you have heard about breast cancer, at least knowing its symptoms is very important.

Because early detection plays a very big role in breast cancer treatment.

In this article, you’ll find information on Symptoms, Diagnosis, Staging, Treatment, Post-Surgery care & Prevention of breast cancer. Just as the title says

You can Read Further OR Watch the video below. 

Breast Cancer is rapidly emerging as one of the most common forms of Cancer globally.

In urban Indian cities like Pune, almost 1 in 22 women are dealing with breast cancer.

These numbers are rising sharply, making it essential that every woman should know about Breast Cancer, its early symptoms and treatment alternatives.

But what’s causing this rise?

The primary culprits for the rising number of Breast Cancer cases are hormonal and genetic factors. Another noticeable thing about breast cancer cases in India is the average age of patients.

It’s almost 10 years younger than the average age of breast cancer patients in the United States and other developed nations.

The primary issue with breast cancer in India is its delayed detection.

At Sahyadri Hospital, we receive a large number of breast cancer patients. But 30-40% of these patients are already in stage-4, making the treatment difficult.

Limited resources available in India and detection in later stages make breast cancer challenging for doctors and patients alike.

How is Breast Cancer diagnosed?

At Sahyadri Hospital, we perform multiple tests to diagnose Breast cancer.

The most common way is through Mammography. This test helps us understand the architecture of the breast and its deformities.

With this test, we can determine whether the lesions in the patient’s breast are benign or cancerous.

In case our experts feel the need, they may perform Sonomammogrpahy. Our experts can diagnose precisely with an advanced digital mammography setup at Sahyadri Hospital.

The test delivers 4 results, viz:

  •   Natural
  •   Benign
  •   Likely Cancer
  •   Highly suggestive Cancer

The biopsy is another test that can be very helpful in diagnosing Cancer.

The biopsy is one of the most preferred tests by experts as it is highly accurate. The biopsy also helps our experts perform higher molecular studies.

These studies help us understand whether the disease is biologically low-grade, less invasive, or biologically aggressive.

Staging

Staging is the next step in the treatment of Cancer after the diagnosis. It’s a procedure for determining the stage of Cancer.

The further treatment plans are tailored based on the staging step. We use

  •   PET scan
  •   CT-scan
  • X-Ray Ultrasound

Treatment

The treatment of breast cancer is generally classified into 4 categories

  • Surgery :

Surgeries are performed when the tumour is in quite an early stage, and it is easy to remove it. The two most preferred types of breast cancer surgery are

  • Modified Radical Mastectomy :

Our surgeons remove the entire breast tissue and axillary lymph nodes in this procedure.

  • Breast-Conserving Surgery :

During these procedures, breast surgeons and plastic surgeons use oncoplastic techniques to retain the shape of the breast while performing the surgery.

It generally offers the same results as the Modified Radical Mastectomy and can help preserve the feminine appearance of the patient.

Note: Breast Conserving Surgeries are very advanced and are rapidly becoming popular. Nowadays, most breast surgeries are performed using this technique to retain the appearance of the breasts.

  • Chemotherapy :

Chemotherapy has become quite advanced, much more efficient and almost free from side effects with the advancement in medical science.

Most of the chemotherapies are now performed in daycare itself. There are minimal to nil chances of the side-effects like nausea, vomiting, hair loss, ulcer and low WBC. Chemotherapy has even become elderly-friendly, having minimal side effects on elderly patients.

Efficient and precise Chemotherapy is replacing traditional Chemotherapy techniques. These targeted therapies are very beneficial in highly aggressive conditions like HER2-positive Cancer.

These highly aggressive tumours, too, can be cured with a success rate of almost 80 to 90% of advanced Chemotherapy in the early stages.

Additionally, in the era of generic medicines, treatments like Chemotherapy have come down by 80% of their previous costs.

Sahydari hospital has always focused on making quality care and treatment affordable for the common Indian population.

  • Radiation :

Advanced Radiation techniques at Sahyadri Hospital ensure the patients experience minimal to zero side effects of the treatment.

Modern radiation therapies have a negligible impact on the heart and lungs of patients.

This has made radiation a lot safer and more efficient as compared to what it was 20 years back.

  • Hormonal Treatment :

In hormonal therapy, doctors give multiple injections and pills to block the effects of hormones like progesterone and estrogens.

These hormones can stimulate breast cancer.

Post-surgery care

Some highly aggressive forms of Cancer, like Triple Negative Breast Cancer, need particular attention, even after the treatment is complete.

These forms of cancers have tendencies to return. So the patient must visit her doctor for multiple diagnostic and Mammography tests every 3 or 6 months, as recommended by their oncologists.

Although it is rare, if the Cancer reappears in a different place, like the brain, after the treatment, there is nothing to worry about.

It can still be tackled easily with radiation, stereotactic brachytherapy, brachial radiotherapies, and brachy surgery.

Prevention

As we all know, prevention is better than cure for any health condition.

The same goes for breast cancer. Mammography can be beneficial in prevention or secondary prevention (Early diagnosis and treatment).

Mammography can detect Cancer when it’s much smaller in size and curable.

Moreover, it can help your doctor determine precancerous conditions like Ductal Carcinoma in situ (DCIS). Early detection can be helpful in its removal and further occurrence.

Women above 40 should have a mammography test, preferably once a year.

For those at higher risk, e.g. patients with a genetic history of breast cancer or malignancy, consulting their geneticists and oncologists is a good option.

This exercise can help them determine the exact age at which they should start screening for breast cancer.

Wrapping up

Being diagnosed with Cancer may be excruciating mentally and physically. But remember, there is always a ray of hope, no matter what stage your Cancer is in.

All you have to do is stay aware of yourself and consult a doctor the moment you experience even the slightest symptoms.

In conditions like Cancer, the sooner it’s detected, the better its treatment will be available. Early diagnosis and treatment will also reduce the possibility of Cancer returning. Most early-stage cancers are easily curable.

Even stage 2 and stage 3 cancer is curable with advanced technology and research in medical science. All you have to do is stay aware and come forward if you have any symptoms or signs of breast cancer.

If you need further information on Breast Cancer, we are always here to help.

Just pick up your phone and give us a call.

We will be happy to assist you.

About Author

Dr.-Vaishali-Pathak

Dr. Tushar Patil

DNB (Medical Oncology)
Contact: +91 88888 22222
Email – [email protected]

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