Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers. Around one in nine women develop breast cancer at some stage in their life. Most develop in women over the age of 50 but younger women are sometimes affected. Breast cancer can also develop in men, although this is rare. Breast cancer develops from a cancerous cell which develops in the lining of a duct or lobule in one of the breasts.
But With advancement in technology, breast cancer is no longer an incurable disease. With the latest technology available at top cancer hospitals in India, breast cancer can now be detected at very early stages and can be completely treated. The approach used for cancer treatment in India is multidisciplinary, which involves Surgical Oncology, Radiation Oncology, Medical Oncology and rehabilitation after cancer surgery.
- Ductal carcinoma- occurs in milk ducts
- Lobular carcinoma- occurs in the milk secreting breast lobules
Categorically breast cancer can also be divided into following types:
- In-situ breast cancer- cancer cells remains confined within their place of origin and do not attack surrounding breast tissue.
- Invasive or metastatic breast cancer- cancer cells break free of their place of origin, and spread to different parts of the body.
Like all cancer types, breast cancer also progresses through different stages. Breast cancer stages are based on the size of the breast lump or tumor, whether the cancer is in-situ type or malignant, and whether the cancer has spread beyond the breast tissue.
Breast cancer symptoms may vary from lumps to swelling to skin changes and many breast cancers have no obvious symptoms at all. Symptoms that are similar to those of breast cancer may be the result of non-cancerous conditions like infection or a cyst, a lump or thickening in the breast or armpit, discharge from the nipple or a change in the color or texture of the skin of the breast.
How to do Diagnosis of Breast Cancer?
With the increased number of breast cancer there has also been increase in the diagnostic tool that can help in identifying the onset of the disease. The diagnostic tools have been listed below:
- Mammogram: The first diagnostic tool to identify breast cancer is Mammogram. It is an X-ray of the breast that can show the presence of abnormal growth lumps in the breast area.5
- Ultra-Sonography: Use of high frequency sound waves often identifies whether the lump is filled with liquid or solid for further investigation.18
- Aspiration: Fine needle is inserted in the lump to take the tissue or liquid out from the lump and then a biopsy is performed to test for carcinoma.19
- Surgical Biopsy Surgical biopsy removes a small part of lump by surgery and then the lump is tested for further diagnosis.
What are various Breast Cancer Treatment available?
In recent years, there has been an explosion of life-saving treatment advances against breast cancer, bringing new hope and excitement. Instead of only one or two options, today there’s an overwhelming menu of treatment choices that fight the complex mix of cells in each individual cancer. Your doctor determines your breast cancer treatment options based on your type of breast cancer, its stage, whether the cancer cells are sensitive to hormones, your overall health and your own preferences.
Six types of standard breast cancer treatment used are:-
- Sentinel lymph node biopsy followed by surgery
- Radiation Therapy
- Hormone Therapy
- Targeted Therapy
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