BREAST CANCER TREATMENT
Breast cancer is life-threatening and considered as the primary cause of death worldwide
among women. More frequently diagnosed especially in underdeveloped countries, statistics state that it has even surpassed lung cancer in its death ratios. In India, in recent times, breast cancer has superseded lung cancer and cervical cancer in female mortality rates. A survey conducted by the World Health Organization in 2012 revealed an incidence of about 140.000 women with related death numbers to about 70.000. This only shows that breast cancer amounts to about 50% of cancer-induced deaths in women. Broadly, out of every 2 women diagnosed with breast cancer in India, at least one dies from it. By the year 2030, it is speculated that the global incidence of breast cancer will rise to about 2 million.
Systemized age-related breast cancer incidences in India are not as high as in other countries though the mortality rates are almost equal to the UK. The National Cancer Control Programme was launched by the NPCDCS starting from 2012 to 2017 to create awareness amongst women in India about breast cancer. Awareness programmes included self-examination and early detection behaviours. But then the presence of gender inequality and stigma to engage themselves in screening behaviours has only led to low awareness rates.
The current evidence of etiopathogenesis is attributed to molecular alterations at cellular levels. There are several types of breast cancers classified in accordance to the percentage of occurrence:
- Infiltrating ductal carcinoma
- Lobular carcinoma in situ or LCIS
- Infiltrating lobular carcinoma
- Medullary carcinoma
- Colloid or mucinous carcinoma
- Papillary carcinoma
- Metaplastic breast cancer
- Mammary Paget disease
Early-stage breast carcinomas seldom manifest any symptoms. The patient experiences no pain or discomfort. Physical examination may indicate changes in the size and shape of the breast, skin dimpling, nipple inversions, single-duct discharge and an axillary lump. More often during an evaluation, the cancer is detected on a mammogram. Diagnostic tests can include:
The primary treatment for early-stage breast cancer is surgery. The goals of the procedure are complete resection of the tumor along with its negative margins. This minimizes the risk of recurrences. Micrometastatic disease which includes breast cancer cells that may have dodged the lymph nodes and the breast but have not yet metastasized can be treated with systemic adjuvant therapies. The administration of bisphosphonates can prevent the risk of recurrence of the disease and extend survival rate of the individual.
Invasive surgical treatment:
There are two types of breast cancer surgeries:
Lumpectomy is a breast conserving surgery that establishes margins and is mostly performed for stage I and II breast cancer. Also known as wide excision or partial mastectomy the procedure is carried out under general anaesthesia. Wire localization or needle localization may be done to find the exact location of the cancer and extract it. After the surgery, the resection,the margins are assessed to see if the tumour has been removed completely. And yet again, the lymph nodes are assessed to see if the cancer cells are still sustained in them.
A mastectomy would require the entire breast tissue to be removed. A temporary tube is placed for the fluid to drain out from the wound immediately after the surgery. After a mastectomy most women choose a breast reconstruction surgery to restore the aesthetics of the area. For a choice of immediate reconstructive surgery, a special skin-sparing or nipple-sparing technique is performed that leaves most of the skin of the breast intact. This skin will be used to envelop the reconstructed breast. For women patients who do not choose reconstructive surgery prosthesis made of silicone gel is fitted directly on top of the skin.
Prevention of breast cancer
Breast cancer is best prevented by acknowledging the following risk factors :
Men can develop breast cancer but women are at a higher risk.
2 out of 3 breast cancers are in women > 55 years of age
Genetics and heredity: Familial mutations can also lead inherited breast cancers
Race, ethnicity, personal history of breast cancer, dense breast tissues, menstrual cycles, birth control, post menopausal hormone therapy, obesity, reduced physical activity, exposure to radiation and benign conditions of the breast can also lead to breast cancer
If an individual has been affected by any of the above risk factors then there is a high probability for the development of breast cancer. The best way to prevent breast cancer would be with continuous self-examinations and regular visits to the health care provider to assess for any signs and symptoms of the illness.
Treatment of Guru hospitals:
Guru Hospitals are a multi-speciality hospital located at Madurai. They house world-class facilities and are pioneers in cancer care. They adhere to strict protocols and schedules pertaining to breast cancer that may broadly include consultation, planning, diagnostic methodologies, intervention and after-care. Approach to treatment is multi-disciplinary and holistic thus drastically improving the quality of life of the patient. For improved awareness, cost-effective treatments and complete care visit Guru Hospitals today!
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