Breast cancer occurs when cells in the breast start proliferating abnormally to form a tumour. It’s one of the most common cancers known in India, and women between the ages of 30 to 50 are at a high risk of developing.
What are the symptoms of breast cancer?
Some of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer are as follows
- A lump in the breast
- Pain in breast
- Redness over breast’s skin
- Visible changes in the breast’s shape, size or appearance
- Discharge from the nipple
- Inverted nipple
- A lump in the armpit
- Peeling, scaling or flaking of the skin
Our doctors will ask the medical history which will be followed by a physical examination. During physical examination of breast, the patient will be examined 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 and Sonography of the breasts.
- Chest X-rays and ultrasound of abdomen.
- Biopsy to extract a tissue sample from the affected area and test it for cancer and various cancer markers.
- Whole Body FDG PET Scan wherever it is indicated
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. Most of the time there are multiple types of treatment for eg. Surgery, chemotherapy, Radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, that are given in different combinations. 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.
Various types of surgeries which are done for breast cancer –
- Lumpectomy to remove the tumour and surrounding tissues, which leaves breast intact with good cosmetic result.
- Mastectomy to remove the entire breast tissues along with the tumour.
- Sentinel node biopsy examine the lymph nodes with a special detector after using the dye.
- Axillary lymph node dissection to remove lymph nodes from armpit for pathological staging.
- Reconstruction surgery improve the cosmesis .
- In some patients ovaries have to be removed to improve the outcome.
Chances the radiation oncologist will use radiation after surgery to prevent local recurrence and increase chances of cure. Various type of radiation techniques used are 3D conformal treatment, forward IMRT, Deep inspiration breath hold and electron boost. Aim is to minimize the radiation to normal structures. heart in left side breast cancer, lungs and the other normal breast. Radiation is also used in fourth stage of breast cancer to treat the cancer that has spread to brain, bones ect. This is to improve the quality of life
Systemic treatment use certain drugs to destroy the cancer cells. These treatments are prescribed by medical oncologist and include the following:
Doctors use a group of anticancer drugs to stop the recurrence of cancer. Cancer cells absorb the drugs faster than normal cells, thus slowing their growth or killing the cells. chemotherapy can be given in various forms like tablets, capsules, injection and through peripheral lines or central lines.
Hormonal therapy in breast cancer is used for patients who are Estrogen and Progesterone receptor positive. This is given for many years.
Newer agents to control breast cancer.