Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer

What is breast cancer? 

Breast cancer is a malignant tumor (a collection of cancer cells) arising from the cells of the breast. Breast cancer cases are on the rise among Indian women particularly in urban population, and women between the ages of 30 to 50 are at a high risk of developing it. Breast cancer most commonly develops in cells from the lining of milk ducts and the lobules that supply these ducts with milk. Cancers developing from the ducts are known as ductal carcinomas, while those developing from lobules are known as lobular carcinomas.

What are the symptoms of breast cancer?

In the early stages, breast cancer doesn’t show any signs or symptoms. Some of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer are as follows

  • A lump in the breast
  • Pain in breast
  • Redness over breast skin
  • Visible changes in the breast’s shape, size or appearance
  • Discharge from the nipple
  • Swelling
  • Inverted nipple
  • Peeling, scaling or flaking of the skin

Breast cancer is easily treatable if diagnosed early. So if you feel a lump or see visible changes in your breasts, you should consult with your doctor for prompt evaluation.

Screening & diagnosis

Our doctors will ask the medical history which will be followed by a physical examination. During physical examination of breast, the patient will be checked for size of breast, location and abnormality of nipple, colour and texture of nipple and lump in the breast. Once some abnormality is detected, the patient will be subjected to following investigations.

  • Mammogram to see below the breast’s skin and can help in detecting and evaluating the tumour.
  • Ultrasound can create an image of the tissue to distinguish between a tumour and a benign cyst.
  • Biopsy to remove a tissue sample from the affected area and test it for cancer.
  • Whole Body FDG PET Scan wherever it is indicated
Treatment:

The treatment of breast cancer depends upon the stage of disease which is based on tests results. Our Doctors will give the best option to the patient so that patient is cured and there is no chance of recurrence. While surgery is the most common treatment, additional treatment is also used to improve the outcome.

Local treatments are aimed at removing cancer from a specific area of the body where it is localized. These treatments can help to completely get rid of cancer when it is in an early stage.

Surgery:

Our surgeons will remove the cancerous part from the breast along with the surrounding tissues. They can implement various methods to perform the surgery, which are:

  • Lumpectomy to remove the tumour and surrounding tissues, which leaves most of the breast intact.
  • Mastectomy to remove the entire breast tissues along with the tumour. It is performed with a curative intent.
  • Sentinel node biopsy to take a sample from the lymph nodes and test it for cancer.
  • Axillary lymph node dissection to remove lymph nodes for pathological staging.
  • Contralateral prophylactic mastectomy in genetically susceptible ladies.

Radiation therapy – Our radiation oncologist will use radiations at local sites to consolidate response after surgery.

Systemic treatments – It involves the use of certain medication and drugs to destroy the cancer cells. These treatments are prescribed by Medical oncologist and include the following:

Chemotherapy – Our doctors use a group of anticancer drugs to stop cancer from spreading. Cancer cells absorb the drugs faster than normal cells, thus slowing their growth. These drugs can be delivered through a vein or a catheter, depending on the stage of cancer.

Hormonal therapy– Hormonal therapy in breast cancer is used for patients who are Estrogen and Progesterone receptor positive.