Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer has the highest incidences in India among other cancers in females. According to Globocan 2018, 163000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in India every year. There are over 5,00,000 women in India who are taking treatment for breast cancer at any given time. Incidences of cancer are on a higher side in metro cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore etc. A district like Thane itself has increasing trend of breast cancers. Urbanization, changed lifestyle, faulty eating habits, late marriages, least of breast feeding are the primary reasons for this ever increasing trend of breast cancer.

Breast cancer is treatable to a large extent with the advances in medical sciences. If found in early stages, breast cancer can be completely cured as well. Important is to diagnose / identify it as early as possible so that the chances of cure and higher. Usually, breast self-examination is the best method available for women to identify if there are any suspicious symptoms of breast cancer which can be immediately reported to family doctor or a cancer specialist. Females over age of 40 are usually recommended to get the mammography test done once every year. This gives a best chances of catching breast cancer in very early stages so that it can be cured.

Symptoms of breast cancer are as follows.

One should consult doctor / cancer specialist / cancer consultant to know more about symptoms and further tests for diagnosis. Such patients if found suspicion are subjected to Mammography test which a breast x-ray. If any tumor or cancer is seen on mammography reports, patients are sent for biopsy as further investigation. If cancer is confirmed on biopsy, patients are advised to do CT scan abdomen chest and bone scan or PET scan to check and confirm if breast cancer has spread to other organs in the body.

Treatment of breast cancer includes cancer surgery, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and radiation therapy. For stage 1 cancer, surgery is first treatment offered to breast cancer patients. A large category of patients are found in stage 2 or 3 in which primary treatment remains Chemotherapy followed by Surgery of cancer and then Radiation therapy. A large category of breast cancers is called hormone dependant cancer or ER/PR +ve cancers as they call it popularly, only hormonal therapy or hormone therapy after surgery or chemotherapy is recommended. Most of the times, such hormone positive breast cancer patients can be managed without chemotherapy.

Breast Cancer Surgery included complete removal of breast and armpit lymph nodes earlier. But now maximum patient undergo breast conservation surgery in which breast is preserved by removing cancerous cells specifically. Breast Conservation surgery offers equal cure rates if radiotherapy is added after surgery.

Fortunately 80% of lumps in breast are non-cancerous. Hence person should not panic upon finding any lump in the breast. However clinical examination is must to rule out the possibility of it being breast cancer. Breast cancer can be detected at very early stage if regular breast self-examination is done. Mammography when used as a screening tool, helps detect cancer in precancerous state. Woman after the age of 45 years should do mammography once in a year as early detection of breast cancer can cure cancer.