[Many potential patients for surgery are a concern to know about Breast Cancer Treatment cost In India? The average cost of Breast Cancer Treatment In India usually starts at $500 however, it may go up to as much as $20000. it depends on the type of treatment and hospital charges and the fee charged by the doctor]
Breast cancer starts when cells in the breast begin to grow out of control. These cells usually form a tumor that can often be seen on an x-ray or felt as a lump. The tumor is malignant (cancer) if the cells can grow into (invade).
Breast cancer is one of the most researched cancers across the world and new advancements for the treatment are coming up frequently. Breast cancer in India is achieving ENDEMIC proportions now. It is possible to detect breast cancer using MRI mammograms and X-Ray Mammograms to detect breast lumps at an early stage, and Breast Biopsy for not only detecting the type of tumor but also receptor status. There are Breast-Conserving Surgeries, Whole Breast reconstruction for patients who undergo mastectomy, and Conservative Axillary Dissection to prevent lymphedema onset. There are the latest radiation techniques such as Accelerated Partial Breast Radiation (APBI), IGRT, and Brachytherapy for treating breast cancer tumors.
The first symptoms of breast cancer are usually an area of thickened tissue in the breast, or a lump in the breast or in an armpit.
Cancer is staged according to the size of the tumor and whether it has spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body.
There are different ways of staging breast cancer. One way is from stage 0 to 4, but these may be broken down into smaller stages.
Let’s face it: As women, We all have wondered whether we might be next to be diagnosed with breast cancer – especially if we have a family member who has been diagnosed with the disease.
But speculation only leads to worry. Following are symptoms that can indicate breast cancer.
The first sign of breast cancer is usually a lump or mass. It can be painless, hard and have uneven edges, or it can be tender, round and soft. The key is getting checked by a doctor if you feel anything unusual on or around your breasts.
Nipples have ducts, which means that discharge, regardless of the color, is normal. What is not normal and could be a sign of breast cancer is when the discharge contains blood or oozes from the areola surrounding the nipple.
Doctors aren’t quite sure how cells communicate using smell. But research has found that a heightened sense of smell can indicate a risk factor of breast and ovarian cancer.
If there is no reason for your breast to swell, such as infection from breastfeeding or an injury, get checked.
Do you notice your nipple turning inward and staying that way, when it normally does not? Make an appointment with your doctor to determine if there’s an issue.
Redness or peeling and flaking of the skin on your breast or nipple
Any change in the condition of your skin or breast could indicate an abnormality underneath.
Finally, it’s better to be safe than sorry. In the early stages, breast cancer may not have any symptoms at all. If you have a gut feeling that something’s not right, make an appointment and get yourself screened.
Breast exam. Your doctor will check both of your breasts and lymph nodes in your armpit, feeling for any lumps or other abnormalities.
Mammogram. A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. Mammograms are commonly used to screen for breast cancer. If an abnormality is detected on a screening mammogram, your doctor may recommend a diagnostic mammogram to further evaluate that abnormality.
Breast Ultrasound imaging of the breast uses sound waves to produce pictures of the internal structures of the breast. It is primarily used to help diagnose breast lumps or other abnormalities your doctor may have found during a physical exam, mammogram or breast MRI. Ultrasound is safe, noninvasive and does not use radiation.
Breast Biopsy is a procedure in which a sample of a suspicious breast growth is removed and examined, usually for the presence of cancer. The sample is suctioned out through a needle or removed surgically. A breast biopsy is the best way to evaluate if a suspicious lump or portion of your breast is cancerous.
Other tests and procedures may be used depending on your situation
Once your doctor has diagnosed your breast cancer, he or she works to establish the extent (stage) of your cancer. Your cancer’s stage helps determine your prognosis and the best treatment options.
Tests and procedures used to stage breast cancer may include:
Your doctor determines your breast cancer treatment options based on your type of breast cancer, its stage and grade, size, and whether the cancer cells are sensitive to hormones. Your doctor also considers your overall health and your own preferences.
Most women undergo surgery for breast cancer and many also receive additional treatment after surgery, such as chemotherapy, hormone therapy or radiation. Chemotherapy might also be used before surgery in certain situations.
Cancer cells might have spread into the lymph nodes close to the breast.
Lymph nodes are found in many parts of the body. They filter out bacteria and damaged cells from the lymphatic fluid, and contain cells that fight infection.
Your doctor will check your lymph nodes for cancer cells before or during the operation to remove the breast cancer.
Some women need surgery to remove their whole breast (mastectomy). Or they might choose to have this operation. The surgeon removes the breast tissue (including the skin and nipple) and the tissues that cover the chest muscles.
Very rarely, the surgeon removes the muscles of the chest wall as well. This is called a radical mastectomy.
Complications of breast cancer surgery depend on the procedures you choose. Breast cancer surgery carries a risk of pain, bleeding, infection and arm swelling (lymphedema).
You may choose to have breast reconstruction after surgery. Discuss your options and preferences with your surgeon.
Radiation therapy is one of the most common treatments for cancer. It uses high-energy particles or waves, such as x-rays, gamma rays, electron beams, or protons, to destroy or damage cancer cells. Other names for radiation therapy are radiotherapy, irradiation, or x-ray therapy.
Radiation can be given alone or used with other treatments, such as surgery or chemotherapy. In fact, certain drugs are known to be radiosensitizers (RAY-dee-oh-SENS-it-tie-zers). This means they can actually make the cancer cells more sensitive to radiation, which helps the radiation to better kill cancer cells.
Side effects of radiation therapy include fatigue and a red, sunburn-like rash where the radiation is aimed. Breast tissue may also appear swollen or more firm. Rarely, more-serious problems may occur, such as damage to the heart or lungs or, very rarely, second cancers in the treated area.
Chemotherapy is a part of cancer treatment. Often abbreviated to chemo. It’s an aggressive form of chemical drug treatment which is meant to destroy the fast-growing cancer cells in the body.
Chemotherapy is most often used to treat cancer, as cancer cells grow and divide faster than other cells in the body.
A cancer specialized doctor is known as an Oncologist. There are many chemotherapy drugs available. Chemotherapy drugs can be used alone or in a combination to treat cancer. Though chemotherapy is very useful for the cancer patient and recommended by surgeons, chemotherapy treatment also carries side effects. some chemo side effects are mild and can be treated whereas other can cause serious complications.
Chemotherapy side effects depend on the drugs you receive. Common side effects include hair loss, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and an increased risk of developing an infection. Rare side effects can include premature menopause, infertility (if premenopausal), damage to the heart and kidneys, nerve damage, and, very rarely, blood cell cancer.
Hormone therapy (also called hormonal therapy, hormone treatment, or endocrine therapy) slows or stops the growth of hormone-sensitive tumors by blocking the body’s ability to produce hormones or by interfering with hormone action. Tumors that are hormone-insensitive do not respond to hormone therapy.
Hormone therapy for breast cancer is not the same as menopausal hormone therapy or female hormone replacement, in which hormones are given to reduce the symptoms of menopause.
Hormone therapy side effects depend on your specific treatment, but may include hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness. More serious side effects include a risk of bone thinning and blood clots.
In addition to chemotherapy and hormone therapy, there are newer, more effective treatments that can attack specific breast cancer cells without harming normal cells. Currently, these targeted methods are commonly used in combination with traditional chemotherapy. However, targeted drugs often have less severe side effects than standard chemotherapy drugs.
Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions will help make the most of your time together. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out. For breast cancer, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
Asking questions to your Medical Oncologist may help you get more informed decisions about your breast cancer treatment. Open conversation between patient and doctor is extremely important. Here are the answers to some common questions breast cancer patients should ask:
The most common types of breast cancer are:
Invasive lobular carcinoma: This disease, accounting for one in 10 breast cancers, begins in the lobules, or the glands of the breast that make milk.
Invasive ductal carcinoma: This cancer, accounting for about eight in 10 breast cancers, begins in the breast’s milk ducts, the thin tubes that carry milk from the lobules to the nipple.
A tumor is an abnormal growth that might be benign or malignant. Benign breast tumors are not life-threatening and do not spread to other parts of the body. Malignant breast tumors are cancers that impact your health and may spread to different parts of the body. A malignant tumor that grows into the surrounding tissue is considered invasive. Invasive tumors are more likely to spread to other parts of the body than non-invasive tumors. Non-invasive breast cancer cells remain in a particular area of the breast without spreading to surrounding tissue, lobules, or ducts.
The stage of breast cancer is determined by cancer’s characteristics, such as how large it is and whether or not it has hormone receptors. Knowing the cancer stage will help your care team recommend a personalized treatment plan specific to your disease. The breast cancer stage is usually expressed as a number on a scale of 0 through IV- The stage 0, I or stage II is considered early stage, while stages III and IV are considered advanced.
Treatment options for breast cancer partly depend on how small or large your tumor size is, if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, and if the cancer is found in other parts of your body. The larger the tumor, the more likely it is that the breast cancer is lymph node-positive, meaning the axillary lymph nodes contain cancer. Sentinel node biopsy is the most common way to determine whether cancer cells have spread beyond the breast.
A second opinion may confirm your original diagnosis and treatment plan, provide more details about the type and stage of your breast cancer, raise additional treatment options not considered, or lead to a recommendation for a different course of action. A second opinion may also help you feel more confident in your treatment decisions and help you find a doctor you feel comfortable with.
Cancer may spread from the site where it originated in other parts of the body. When cancer cells move away from a tumor, they may travel through the bloodstream to distant organs. If they travel through the lymph system, the cancer cells may end up in lymph nodes. The lymph nodes in the underarm are the first-place breast cancer is most likely to spread. Your doctor may perform a biopsy to check for the presence of cancer cells. The sample is examined by a pathologist who checks the nodes under a microscope. That exam determines lymph node status.
The spread of cancer to another part of the body is called metastasis. If breast cancer has metastasized to other areas of the body, it is categorized as stage IV breast cancer. Typically, breast cancer metastasizes primarily to the lungs, liver, brain, regional lymph nodes and bone.
HER2 (which stands for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) is a type of growth signal receptor or antenna that may be present on your breast cancer cells. About 25 percent of breast cancers are HER2-positive, meaning the cancer cells make too much of a protein called HER2/neu, which indicates that cancer may be more aggressive. If your cancer is HER2-positive, this helps doctors better predict whether cancer may respond to certain targeted therapies.
This category also includes chemotherapy given as part of a stem cell/bone marrow transplant.
Hair does not usually fall out as soon as you start chemotherapy. It usually takes several weeks or cycles of treatment and tends to fall out 1 or 2 months into treatment.
How much hair you lose depends on the drug and the dose. It also depends on whether you get your chemotherapy as a pill, into a vein, or on the skin. And, the amount of hair loss is different for each person. You and someone else can take the same drug for same cancer and still lose different amounts of hair.
Hair usually starts to grow back 1 to 3 months after chemotherapy ends. It often takes 6 to 12 months to grow back completely. It may grow back thinner, coarser, curly, or a different color. Hair usually goes back to normal over time.
Asking questions of your breast cancer surgeon may help you make more informed decisions about your care plan. Here are answers to some common questions breast cancer patients should ask their surgeons:
Most people find that their wounds take about 2 to 3 weeks to heal. The area may be bruised and swollen at first. This will get better and the scar will look lighter and flatter in time. You can usually shower after 48 hours if you have a waterproof dressing.
Surgery is the most common treatment for breast cancer. Procedures may include:
Mastectomy: A mastectomy is surgery to remove all breast tissue from a breast as a way to treat or prevent breast cancer. For those with early-stage breast cancer, a mastectomy may be one treatment option.
Lumpectomy: Also known as breast-conserving surgery, this operation removes only the cancerous breast tissue while leaving as much healthy tissue as possible. A lumpectomy is not an option for every breast cancer patient.
Sentinel node biopsy: This is the removal of one or a few of the first draining lymph nodes (glands under the arm) to determine whether cancer cells have spread beyond the breast.
Oncoplastic and breast reconstruction surgery: Women who have surgery as part of their breast cancer Surgery may choose breast reconstruction surgery to rebuild the shape and look of the breast.
Surgical procedures for breast cancer Surgery may cause short-term pain or discomfort in the treated area. Also, the muscles of the arm may feel weak, and the skin in the breast area may feel tight. Surgery involving the lymph nodes may also cause swelling in the arm, a condition known as lymphedema.
If a lumpectomy is performed, patients typically leave from hospital the same day as the surgery. In the case of a mastectomy, patients are more likely to stay in the hospital overnight.
After a lumpectomy, or breast-sparing surgery, your breast may look much like it did before the operation. But if the tumor was large, your breast may look different or smaller. You will likely develop a scar at the site of the lumpectomy. You may also likely develop numbness along the scar.
If lymph nodes in the underarm area are removed during surgery, you may experience some numbness in your arm. As your body continues to adjust to the effects of surgery, you may develop phantom sensations or phantom pain in the breast that has been removed. Those pains are more likely to develop if you experienced breast pain before your mastectomy.
After reconstructive surgery, you will have a breast-like shape, but your breast will likely not look or feel like it did before your mastectomy. You will have scars where the surgeon attached skin to make the new breast-like shape. If you have tissue flap reconstruction, you will have scars around the new breast and the area where the surgeon removed the muscle, fat and skin transferred for the reconstruction.
Although surgery leaves scars, some may fade somewhat over time.
Breast reconstruction Surgery may help restore the look and feel of the breast after a mastectomy. Many women who have had a breast removed opt for breast reconstruction—in some limited cases, at the same time as the mastectomy, but more often after the mastectomy procedure. With immediate reconstruction, a surgeon performs the first stage to rebuild the breast during the same operation as the mastectomy. A method called skin-sparing mastectomy may be used to save enough breast skin to cover the reconstruction.
Breasts may be rebuilt using saline implants or autologous tissue (the patient’s own tissue from elsewhere in the body). Most breast reconstructions performed today use implants. For some reconstructions, more than one surgery may be needed.
Mastectomy with reconstruction done on the same day is an option for many women, but the best approach for an individual should be determined through a discussion of various options between the patient and her surgeon.
The decision to have reconstruction is a personal one. Some women choose not to have reconstruction. Others believe it helps their appearance and recovery.
The stage of breast cancer helps determine which treatment regimen your oncologist will recommend. After breast cancer surgery, radiation treatments may be used to help destroy remaining breast cancer cells. Radiation therapy is typically given after surgery to lower the chance of a cancer recurrence. Adjuvant breast cancer chemotherapy may be used after surgery to destroy remaining cancer cells not killed during surgery.
Radiation therapy uses targeted energy like X-rays to kill cancer cells. If a breast tumor is large or not easily removed by surgery, radiation therapy before surgery may be recommended to help shrink the tumor. When used for breast cancer treatment, radiation is delivered to the affected breast and, in some cases, to the lymph nodes under the arm or at the collarbone.
External beam radiation: This standard type of radiation therapy directs high-energy beams from a machine outside the body to cancerous cells within the body. Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), intraoperative radiation therapy (IGRT), TomoTherapy and stereotactic radiosurgery are all forms of radiation therapy.
What is the goal of Radiation therapy treatment?
Radiation therapy for breast cancer is typically given after a lumpectomy and sometimes after a mastectomy to decrease the risk of local cancer recurrence. The treatments typically start several weeks after surgery so the area has time to heal. Radiation therapy may be used:
As a primary treatment to destroy cancer cells
Before another treatment to shrink a tumor
After another treatment to stop the growth of any remaining cancer cells
In combination with other treatments to stop cancer cell growth
To relieve symptoms of advanced cancer
Typically, people have treatment sessions 5 times per week, Monday through Friday for about six weeks, though the total duration depends on a number of factors including the patient’s general health and medical history and the risk of cancer recurrence. This type of radiation therapy targets only the tumor. But it will affect some healthy tissue surrounding the tumor.
Radiation therapy is called a local treatment. This means that it only affects the area of the body that is targeted. For example, radiation therapy to the scalp may cause hair loss. But people who have radiation therapy to other parts of their body do not usually lose the hair on their head.
Common physical side effects of radiation therapy include:
Skin changes. Some people who receive radiation therapy experience dryness, itching, blistering, or peeling. These side effects depend on which part of the body received radiation therapy and other factors. Skin changes from radiation therapy usually go away a few weeks after treatment ends. If skin damage becomes a serious problem, your doctor may change your treatment plan. Lotion may help with skin changes, but be sure to check with your nurse or other health care team about which cream they recommend and when to apply it. It is also best to protect affected skin from the sun.
Fatigue. Fatigue is a term used to describe feeling tired or exhausted almost all the time. Many patients experience fatigue. Your level of fatigue often depends on your treatment plan. For example, radiation therapy combined with chemotherapy may result in more fatigue.
Long-term side effects. Most side effects go away after treatment. But some continue, come back, or develop later. These are called long-term or late effects. One possible late effect is the development of a second cancer. This is a new type of cancer that develops because of the original cancer treatment. The risk of this late effect is low. And the risk is often smaller than the benefit of treating the first cancer.
No body and no cancer is created equal. And no approach to cancer treatment should be created equal, too. While chemotherapy and radiation therapy are both designed to treat the body and to fight cancer, each does so in different ways.
Each person’s body and each type of cancer can respond to treatments differently, so this is where an expert-level of care with access to some of the most advanced treatments, technologies, research, physician specialists and a whole-person approach to care become so important.
While some patients may only receive chemotherapy or radiation therapy, others may receive a combination of both, or even additional treatments such as immunotherapy, more personalized medicine or clinical trials. These are all things that our cancer experts help patients with every day to offer the best possible outcomes for cancer treatment, recovery and cure.
Director , MBBS, MD, FRCP
37 Years of Experience
Gurgaon , India
Chairman , MBBS, MD, DM
35 Years of Experience
Gurgaon , India
HOD , DM, MD, MBBS
23 years of experience
Gurgaon , India
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