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).
Overview of breast cancer-
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.
A lump in the breast, no matter the location or size
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.
Heightened sense of smell
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.
The average cost of Breast Cancer treatment is between 5000-150000$ depending on the stage of the cancer. The Cost of Breast Cancer treatment including investigations, Breast Cancer surgery and Radiotherapy. With targeted therapy, the six cycles of chemotherapy may cost you more than 20000$.
After mastectomy, you might want to have breast reconstruction. This means the surgeon creates a new breast shape for you.
Your surgeon will talk to you about the different options for breast reconstruction before your operation.
You might have it at the same time as the operation to remove the breast (immediate reconstruction), or some time later (delayed reconstruction).
Fortis Research Memorial Institute, Medanta Hospital, Artemis Hospital are the best breast cancer treatment hospital in India and our international patients travel from across the world by using medical tourism facilities and support provided by Medicare Spots.
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:
In addition to the questions that you’ve prepared to ask your doctor, don’t hesitate to ask additional questions that may occur to you during your appointment.
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
Established in : 2001
Fortis Hospital Gurgaon is the flagship hospital of Fortis Group, it is one of the leading healthcare destination providing world-class integrated services to the community at large. Spread over the sprawling landscape of 11 acres with the capacity of 1000 beds, Fortis Gurgaon brings together an outstanding pool of doctors, assistants and medical staff to treat patients.
Established in :
No. of Beds: 211
Narayana Superspeciality Hospital is located close to DLF Cyber City and the Delhi – Jaipur Highway; it is a world-class medical facility catering to the healthcare needs of the NCR region. Backed with latest medical infrastructure and proficient medical professionals, the hospital represents Narayana Health’s commitment to quality medical care and patient service.
The Hospital is a state-of-the-art facility; with expertly planned and well-equipped sections, including a spacious OPD area and comfortable patient rooms which allows the hospital to cater to both In-Patients and Out-Patients in equal measure. It is a medical facility providing international standard treatments.
Established in : 2009
Number of Beds : 1250
Medanta hospital Gurgaon is one of the top hospitals in india. It is India’s largest multi-super-specialty hospital matching the highest standards of healthcare delivery across the world. The hospital has been founded by Dr. Naresh Trehan a cardiac surgeon who has envisioned with aim of bringing to India the highest standards of medical care along with providing integrated healthcare services to the patients and excellent services in clinical services, research, training, and education.
Established in : 2007
Number of Beds : 400
Artemis Hospitals in Gurgaon was established in 2007 with a mission to deliver world-class healthcare procedures. It is a multi-specialty hospital offering a wide array of medical care services spread across 9 acres, is a 400 plus bed.