Anil Cancer Clinic

Cancer Types

Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer continues to make headlines every day. It is a disease that can cause great sorrow. Yet every case is a story of grit and courage and sheer perseverance to beat the odds. Breast cancer, if diagnosed in time is completely CURABLE!!

A lady, who recently became the CEO of a large research company, felt a lump in her breast. With great trepidation she visited our clinic and spent an hour discussing with us the various options. She had no intention of giving up anything in life and hence attended one meeting abroad even when she was on chemotherapy. Today she is fully cured and completely back to her work and family.

breast cancer
obesity

Risk Factors & Prevention

Factors that may increase the risk of breast cancer are age, family history, genetic mutations (BRCA1 and BRCA2), hormone levels, obesity, and alcohol consumption. Preventive measures like maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, limiting alcohol intake, breastfeeding, and avoiding hormone replacement therapy.

Screening & Symptoms

Screening:
Screening is done for early detection good screening techniques can lead to the diagnosis of more than 90% of breast cancer. One of the self examination method is mentioned below:  

BSE: 

• Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women starting in their 20s.

• For younger women, it is an essential component for early detection techniques to be effective.

• Women should report any breast change promptly to their health care providers.

• Women should be doing BSE 7 to 10 days after the first day of their periods.

• If no longer menstruating, choose one day of the month and perform it on the same day each month.

• Nursing mothers should be performing BSE just after feeding the baby or expressing milk from the breast.

• Clinical breast exams (CBE) should be part of a periodic health exam.

• Every three years for women in their 20s and 30s.

• Every year for women 40 and over.

Symptoms & Signs:
Recognizing common symptoms and signs of breast cancer, including a lump or mass in the breast, changes in breast size or shape, nipple discharge, skin changes (redness, dimpling), and breast pain. Encourage seeking medical attention if any unusual changes are noticed.

mammography

Diagnosis

Diagnosis: 

Mammography: 

• A mammogram is usually performed with the patient standing

• The breast tissue is compressed and x-rays are taken from different angles

• Mammography can detect 80-90 percent of tumors up to two years before they can be felt

• Effective way to detect breast cancer in early stages

• It is recommended by ACS that all women over 50 get a yearly mammogram

• Women with family history should get it earlier

Treatment Modalities & Coping Treatment:

Treatment Modalities: 
Treatment options for breast cancer may include: 

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy,
  • Immunotherapy
  • Radiation therapy.
  • Hormone therapy.
  • Targeted therapy,

The choice of treatment depends on factors such as the cancer stage, type, and the patient's overall health. A multidisciplinary approach involving various specialists is often necessary.

Coping With Treatment:
Coping with breast cancer treatment can be challenging both physically and emotionally. Support from healthcare professionals, friends, and family is crucial. Additionally, exploring complementary therapies, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and joining support groups can aid in coping.

Emotional Support
Balanced diet

Do's & Don'ts During Treatment

During breast cancer treatment, it's essential to follow specific guidelines to optimize recovery and minimize complications. Adhering to prescribed medications, maintaining a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and avoiding certain activities are crucial do's and don'ts during this period.

Regular Check-Ups

Post Treatment Support, Followup Care and Surveillance :

Post Treatment Support:
After completing treatment, ongoing support is essential for patients to navigate life post-cancer. Regular check-ups, discussions with healthcare providers, and emotional support can contribute to a smooth transition into survivorship.

Follow-ups Cancer Plan:
A comprehensive follow-up plan is essential to monitor the patient's health post-treatment. Regular follow-up appointments, imaging studies, and laboratory tests help detect any signs of recurrence or complications early on.

Surveillance & Monitoring for Indications for Recurrence:
Surveillance and monitoring play a crucial role in detecting any indications of breast cancer recurrence. Understanding the signs and symptoms that may warrant immediate attention ensures timely intervention.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Breast cancer impacts over 240,000 new patients a year in India.

• Approximately every 3 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately every 12 minutes breast cancer claims another life.

• 70% of breast cancer cases occur in women who have no identifiable risk factors.

• 22% of all cancers in women are breast cancers.

• Numero Uno cancer in urban women ranks no.2 in whole of India.

• Female

• Over age 40

• Personal or family history of breast cancer

• Early age of menarche

• Late age at menopause

• Never had children or

• Had first child at age 30 or older

It is basically driven by three heads

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation

Surgery had changed like never before
Mastectomy : This procedure essentially involves removal of the entire breast and the associated glands in the armpit (axillary lymph nodes). Previously the entire muscle of the chest wall was also removed. (Pectoralis major). However now the procedure performed is called MODIFIED RADICAL MASTECTOMY in which the muscles are preserved. SIMPLE MASTECTOMY is done in cases of prophylactic mastectomy like in the recent case of a Hollywood celebrity where only the breast tissue is removed and the axillary glands are spared.

Conservative surgery : The biggest change in surgery is that many patients with breast cancer need not undergo complete removal of the breast. They can go in for partial removal or conservative surgery of the breast.

Reconstructive surgery : Nowadays plastic surgeons can do a wonderful job in reconstructing the breast using the body's own tissue, implants and other techniques to give a near normal breast. This helps to preserve the body image and restores the confidence of the individual.

Oncoplastic surgery : Oncoplastic breast surgery combines the techniques of traditional breast cancer surgery with the cosmetic advantages of plastic surgery. The goal is to remove cancer while minimizing the unwanted effects of surgery, helping patients heal both physically and emotionally.

The frequency of follow-up appointments depends on the individual case, but regular check-ups are typically recommended for the first few years.

RADIATION is the treatment where the tumor is killed by rays emitted by a radiation source. With modern medicine the machines delivering this have become better with good software guiding the rays so that only the tumor tissue is killed and the rest of the organs are affected as less as possible.

Which are given through I,V and saline. They do cause some side effects like loss of hair, nausea vomiting etc but all of these are temporary. Now there are medicines available to effectively counter these side effects. There is a recent development called targeted therapy where the drugs attack certain genetic mutations present in the cancer cells so that normal cells are spared and hence side effects are minimal.

The five year survival rate for breast cancer patients has increased

• From 72% in the late 1940

• To 97% today

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