Breast cancer is a condition that occurs when breast cells multiply and divide in uncontrolled ways and result in the development of a mass of tissue known as a tumor.
Breast cancer is the third most prevalent cancer.
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Symptoms of Breast Cancer
There aren't any visible signs of breast cancer at the initial stages. Sometimes, a tiny tumor may be felt, and however, there is a sign of abnormality in the mammogram.
There is a myriad of symptoms that are associated with each kind of cancer. The most typical signs and symptoms of breast cancer include:
Swelling in the breast
A newly inverted nipple
Change in the size, shape or appearance of a breast
Blood discharge from nipple
Breast skin puckering
Swelling or lumps in the axilla
Jaundice, bone pain, breathing problems, headaches, seizures, etc. (If the disease spreads to the liver, bones, lungs and brain)
Risk factors of breast cancer
Age - The age of 55 and over increases the risk of developing breast cancer
Gender - Women are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than men.
Genetics and family history.
Therapy for hormone replacement.
How can breast cancer be diagnosed?
Mammogram - These specific X-rays can reveal abnormal changes within the breast.
Ultrasonography- This test uses sound waves to capture images of the internal tissues of the breast.
Positron emission tomography (PET) scan
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) This test employs radio waves and magnets to produce precise images of the structure inside the breast.
If any suspicious signs are found on the scans, a breast tissue biopsy may be needed to confirm the diagnosis
Staging of breast cancer:
Staging can help understand how cancer has spread within the body.
It's determined by many factors, such as the size and extent of the tumor and whether it has spread to the other regions of the body. Stage 4 is called metastatic breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Treatment in Hyderabad
Breast cancer treatment is decided based on the type of breast cancer, its stage, grade, and size.
Breast cancer surgery
LumpectomyOpen pop-up dialog box
MastectomyOpen pop-up dialog box
Sentinel node biopsyOpen pop-up dialog box
Radiation therapy opens a pop-up dialog box
Operations used to treat breast cancer include:
Lumpectomy - Removing the breast lump
Some people with larger tumors may undergo chemotherapy before surgery to shrink a tumor and make it amenable to remove it with a lumpectomy procedure.
Mastectomy (Removing the entire breast). A mastectomy involves removal of entire breast.
Sentinel node biopsy (Removing a limited number of lymph nodes).
To determine whether cancer has spread to lymph nodes, surgeon will discuss the role of removing the lymph nodes that are the first to receive the lymph drainage from tumor.
If no cancer is found in those lymph nodes, the probability of discovering cancer in any remaining lymph nodes is very low, and there is no need for additional lymph nodes to be removed.
Axillary lymph node dissection (Removing several lymph nodes). Suppose cancer is found in the sentinel lymph nodes, there comes the role of removing additional lymph nodes in the armpit.
Removing both breasts. Some women with cancer in one breast may choose to have their other (healthy) breast removed (contralateral prophylactic mastectomy) if they have a significantly increased risk of cancer in the other breast because of a genetic predisposition or strong family history.
Most women with breast cancer in one breast will never develop cancer in the other breast.
Radiation therapy utilizes high-energy beams, like Xrays to destroy cancerous cells. The procedure is usually carried out using a massive machine that directly directs the energy beams at the body (external beam radiation).
Chemotherapy uses drugs to destroy fast-growing cells, such as cancer cells.
Chemotherapy is sometimes given before surgery in women with larger breast tumors. The goal is to shrink a tumor to a size that makes it easier to be removed with surgery.
Chemotherapy is also used in women whose cancer has already spread to other body parts. Chemotherapy is also recommended to control cancer and decrease any symptoms caused by it.
Hormone therapy: Hormone therapy can be used before or after surgery or other treatments to decrease the recurrence. If cancer has already spread, hormone therapy may control the disease.
Treatments that can be used in hormone therapy include:
Medications that block hormones from attaching to cancer cells (selective estrogen receptor modulators)
Medicines that stop the body from making estrogen after menopause (aromatase inhibitors)
Surgery or medications to stop hormone production in the ovaries
Hormone therapy side effects depend on the specific treatment, including hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. More severe side effects include a risk of bone thinning/fractures and blood clots.
Targeted therapy drugs
Targeted therapy drugs focus on other abnormalities within cancer cells. Cancer cells may be tested to see whether one can benefit from targeted therapy drugs. Some medications are used after surgery to reduce the risk of recurrence, and others are used in cases of advanced breast cancer to slow the growth of the tumor.
Immunotherapy uses the immune system to fight cancer. The body's disease-fighting immune system may not attack cancer because the cancer cells produce proteins that blind the immune system cells and Immunotherapy works by interfering with that process.
Supportive (palliative) care
Palliative care is specialized medical care that focuses on providing relief from pain and other symptoms of a severe illness. Palliative care can be given while undergoing other aggressive treatments, such as surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.
Palliative care aims to improve people's quality of life with cancer.