Change your outlook to Breast Cancer
Early detection can help in managing Breast Cancer better. It is the cancer with the highest frequency in women worldwide and is increasing, particularly in developing countries where the majority of cases are diagnosed at a later stage according to World Health Organisation. In major Indian cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad etc. PBCR (Population Based Cancer Registry) records 25% to 32% of females suffer from breast cancer. This implies one fourth (approaching one thirds) of all female cancer cases are Breast Cancers.
Breast Cancer can be classified in two types
Non Invasive Breast Cancer is slow growing, can be detected through mammogram test /biopsy and does not kill.
Invasive Breast Cancer has become a leading cause of death in women from the ages of 40-50. Less than one percent men are at risk of developing this cancer, but they are at a greater danger if affected by Breast Cancer.
Who are at risk?
- Genetic, related to the BRCA gene
- Family history of breast cancer in mother/ sister/ maternal chain
- Late age of first childbirth, mostly after 30 years
- Those without children are at risk
- Early menarche (commencement of periods)
- Late menopause (End of periods)
- Hormone Replacement Therapy
- Mothers who do not breast-feed their children
- Urban Lifestyle
Other features of the cancer
- Weight loss
- Loss in Pallor/ Anaemia
- Fluid in chest/ Abdomen
- Bone Pain etc
Self Analysis or primary self-detection of Breast cancer
- Breast Lump to be felt with flat of the opposite palm
- Nipple discharge specially blood
- Change in breast shape, dimpling, puckering, coarse feel
- Change of shape, colour, in-drawing, ulceration and excoriation of the nipples
- Ulcer over lump
- Hard Breast, not mobile as compared to the other side
Stages of Breast Cancer
- Operable Breast Cancer is the early stage of Breast Cancer. The Stage 1 and Stage 2 cancers where the cancer is confined to the breast only.
- Locally advanced Breast Cancer is the stage 3-breast cancer where the disease has affected the adjacent organs like skin, nipple, auxiliary matted nodes or the chest walls but no distant spread or metastasis has yet taken place.
- Metastatic Breast cancer where cancer cells spread to distant organs like lungs, liver,brain, bones etc. Symptoms change according to the system affected.
- Examination by a doctor who would suggest the necessary investigations after going through the Clinical History
- FNAC (Fine needle aspiration cytology) is a process used for detection and does not spread cancer
- Core Biopsy (in selected cases)
- Bilateral Mammogram/USG
- MRI, USG, CT scan, x-rays, Bone Scan, and PET scan (as per situation and demand)
- Receptor studies
- Frozen section diagnosis
Operable Breast Cancer has two options
Upfront Surgery that includes
- Breast conservation
- Mastectomy with Reconstruction
Further adjunctive treatment as per biopsy report will lead to chemotherapy and radiation. If necessary Hormone Therapy and Targeted Therapy will follow
Locally Advanced Breast Cancer
Start with systematic therapy in between surgery, involving chemotherapy and Hormone Therapy along with radiotherapy. Patients may continue or complete their treatment with systemic therapy.
Relief through Palliation Therapy that offers a superior quality of life and greater sustainability. This treatment is done through systemic therapy (Hormones, Chemotherapy and Targeted Drugs)
Role of Surgery or Radiotherapy is limited when a patient is on Palliation Therapy that contributes to the quality of life.
For best results, ensure regular follow-ups for life. Breast Cancer is curable specially if detected at an early stage. The Breast Cancer Clinic at CMRI offers comprehensive treatment by improving the quality of your life, no matter at what stage of Breast Cancer you are.