Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer occurring in developing nation like India. In India it is also the leading cause of death among women occurring due to cancer. There has been steady increase in breast cancer rates reflecting the change in reproductive patterns, such as delayed childbearing and having fewer children, which are risk factor for breast cancer. Other risk factors are age, strong family history and obesity.

  • Symptoms
  • Treatment

Breast Cancer Symptom:

Breast cancer is usually diagnosed as painless lump in breast that which is incidentally detected. Women who undergo regular screening mammography are also diagnosed with breast cancer albeit at early stage. Screening mammography is indicated every yearly after the age of 40 in average risk women.

Approach to breast lump:

Once a woman realizes that she has breast lump, its need to get confirmed whether it is malignant or not. Best is to under-go core cut biopsy which give adequate tissue for assure that it is cancerous and second it gives us the grade and receptor status of the tumor. For staging additional work-up like CT scan of chest abdomen and pelvis along with bone scan is required. PET Scan provides a complete staging at one go and overall it helps to clear doubt about suspicious lesion.

Treatment of breast cancer:

Breast cancer treatment is very organized, it mainly depends upon the stage of the disease. It can be either surgery initially followed by chemotherapy and radiation depending upon breast cancer stage. Sometimes in very huge tumor one has to give chemotherapy before surgery to downsize the tumor. Further evolution in treatment of breast has helped to give hormonal therapy for 10 years in receptor positive patients. This therapy has shown to be effective in preventing re-occurrence in ipsilateral as well as contralateral breast cancer. 

Breast cancer surgery:

Surgical treatment of breast cancer depends upon the size of the tumor as well as the relative size of the breast to that of the tumor. It can be either breast conservation surgery where tumor along with part of breast tissue is removed or else it can be mastectomy where complete breast tissue is removed. Now with advent of giving chemotherapy to reduce the size of tumor lot of women are undergoing breast conservation even in advanced stage.

Survival in breast cancer:

Survival largely depends upon the breast cancer stage. Early stage i.e tumor confined to breast and only single axillary node positive have good survival with patients living more than five years in upto 85% of cases. Locally advanced are those with very large tumors or with multiple axillary lymph node with breast cancer metastasis. These pts have overall poor survival. Less than 5% of individuals present with tumor spread t multiple different organs like lungs, bones and liver they have the worst survival.

GENERAL INFORMATION





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