Modern breast cancer care coupled with patient’s
positive attitude can enable to conquer
Cancer ≠ death
1 in 28 women is likely to develop breast
Hyderabad, 3rd November 2019: Breast cancer is a malignant tumor – a tumor with the potential
to invade other tissues or spread to other parts of the body. It starts in the
cells of the breast and can occur both in men and women, however is rare in
males. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in India and accounts
for 14% of all cancers in women. Overall, 1 in 28 women is likely to develop
breast cancer during her lifetime. The incidence is high in urban areas, with 1
in 22 women is likely to develop breast cancer during her lifetime as compared
to rural areas where 1 in 60 women develops breast cancer in her lifetime.
The incidence has been on the rise over the past few years, as against 1,15,251
detected in 2008, 1,62,468 cases were found in 2018.
Breast Cancer has two
types of risk factors. The non-modifiable risk factors are Age, Gender, Genetic
Factors and Family history of cancer. Risk factors which can be modified with life
style changes are Obesity, Pregnancy, Lactation and avoiding alcohol
consumption. However, having a risk factor is no indication of one definitely
developing breast cancer.
The life style modifications
that can be adopted to prevent breast cancer are regular exercise, maintaining
ideal body weight, quitting smoking, avoiding excessive alcohol consumption and
Early detection is
critical in treating breast cancer and can be identified by performing
- Breast self-examination (BSE) from the
age of 30 years, every month immediately a week after the menses stops.
- Clinical breast examination (CBE) once in
a year or 3 years by an oncologist / physician.
- Screening with a mammogram from the age
of 40 years.
Treating early stage
disease will improve chances of recovery significantly, in Stage 1 with up to 2
cm tumor, the survival is 100%, however in Stage 4 with the disease spreading
to other organs, the survival scope is 22%.
The Signs and
Symptoms of Breast Cancer are
- The most common symptom of breast cancer
is a lump in the breast.
- Any change in the breast or nipple appearance.
- Unexplained change in shape or size of
the breast – shrinkage or swelling of the breast, especially on one side.
- Recent unevenness of the breasts. It is
normal for women to have one breast slightly smaller than the other, but if
this asymmetry is a recent one, then one should consult a doctor.
- Dimpling on the breast.
- Retracted nipple.
- Orange peel like changes on skin of the
- Boody nipple discharge.
- Swelling in armpits.
In case of a lump being
present, the diagnosis of cancer involves
- Imaging Tests
- Ultrasound for younger women less than 30
- Mammogram for woman aged more than 30
- Biopsy provides an accurate diagnosis, it
confirms if the lump is cancer or not.
The surgical options to treat breast cancer are
1. Mastectomy, which involves
removal whole of Breast tissue that is affected.
2. Breast conservation surgery, involves either removal of small amount of breast tissue called
quadrantectomy or partial mastectomy, which includes wide local excision of
cancer along with surrounding tissue. Breast conserving surgery is a boon to
the woman suffering from breast cancer. As most of the breast conserving
surgeries are day care procedures, this saves a lot of time in terms of post
operative care and reduces the treatment cost. The woman can return home early
to be with her loved ones and go back to her normal routine, that boasts her
self esteem and reduces depression.
3. Sentinel lymph node biopsy procedure involves removal of only the primary draining lymph nodes present
in the arm pit in select cases, without removing whole of the nodes, thus
reducing the post operative pain and swelling of arm, post-surgery.
4. Breast reconstructionis an advanced procedure where breast implants (silicone / water
gel) is usually placed behind the muscle of chest. Prepectoral implants
represent a new and less painful procedure which enables quick recovery of the
patients. Moreover the entire surgery can be done through a small incision
making the procedure less invasive.
5. Onco plastic reconstruction is
a natural alternative by using patients own tissues (skin, fat, and muscle) to
replace the breast tissue lost following surgery. Therefore it gives a natural
feel and look to the patient without uncomfortable sensation of foreign body or
treatment of cancer and the recovery rate is overall
satisfactory with early detection of cancers, particularly due to advances in
surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It is important to maintain positive
attitude and an active physical lifestyle for better treatment outcomes. Being
positive and exercising daily releases endorphins, which are chemicals released
by the body that reduce the perception of pain and also triggers a positive
feeling. This makes the person more relaxed and happy. In addition strong
family support system plays a critical role for the overall health and recovery
of the patient. These significantly enhance the efficacy of advanced and modern
Dr T P S
Dr TPS Bhandari, Sr. Consultant, Surgical Oncology & Breast Oncoplastic Surgeon, Apollo Cancer Institute, Jubilee Hills; delivering the 289th Monthly Health Lecture of the Public Gardens Walkers’ Association on ‘Breast Cancer is Curable & early detection Save Lives’, on Sunday at Public Gardens Hyderabad.
(Note – This news is not a medical consultation in any case. This is a Press Not. You can not make any decision based on this news story. Do not become a doctor yourself, consult a qualified doctor.)
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