This disease is known to take the worst toll of female lives and the statistics shows that it is one of the most common invasive cancers. Lung cancer could only kill more women than this. The best shot of treatment is available by breast cancer doctor with the latest screening diagnosis and treatment.
Features of Breast Cancer:
- Most of female cancer incidents have been classified as Breast Cancer
- Breast is seen to have a lump which is evident with a brisk thickening of it
- One of the major reasons is consumption of alcohol
- Gene is also accused for carrying this disease
- The methods to treat this disease have mainly been breast cancer surgery, radiation and chemotherapy
- It requires to be pointed that lump in breast does not mean a cancer. But, females should be alert about any change in their physique.
Host of symbols can make you skeptic about generation and existence of cancer in breast. Then you may need to consult a cancer specialist. These could be
- 1. Existence of a thickened tissue on the breast or lump in the breast/armpit
- 2. Occurrence of pain in breast or armpit that does not change with the cycle
- 3. Skin in breast turns orange red
- 4. Nipples has rashes around them
- 5. Blood sunken discharges from nipple
- 6. Nipple gets inverted
- 7. Sudden change in the pattern of the breast
- 8. Peeling or scaling of the Breast’s skin
Causes for Breast Cancer
Puberty brings in connective tissues, fats, lobules and tiny glands to the breast. All these help in the production of milk for breast feeding. Several tubular and ductile paves the path for the milk to come to the nipple. According to an oncologist, breast cancer is seen to start in the inner lining of milk ducts or lobules that produces milk. Such infection spreads to the rest part of the body from there. Breast cancer is mainly caused due to the multiplicity of division in body cell.
Various Risk Factors
Breast Cancer is sustained to various factors that increases or decreases the level of hazard with the disease. These factors are:
- Age: Risk of Breast Cancer increases with age. Females at the age of 20 havea lower probability of being invaded by Breast Cancer than one in 70 years.
- Genetic factor: Close relation with an history of Breast Cancer brings out higher proximity of having such disease. Carrier of BRC1 and BRC2 genes are more prone to have this disease. A higher level of such risk is experienced with TP53.
- Previous History: Females who had previous affliction over the disease has serious chances to get a second attack.
- Use of benign: Females afraid of getting Breast Cancer use some sort of benign or non-cancerous breast lumps. Cancer specialists suggest that using such lump would be akin in bringing up cancer rather reduce.
- Tissue Density:More development of such cancer has been witnessed in high density breast tissues.
- Exposure to estrogen: Long time exposure to estrogen enhances the chances of developing Breast Cancer
- Breast-feeding: It is one of the most accepted antidotes for Breast Cancer. Continuous feeding of breast at least for a period of one year or more reduces the chance of growing this cancer to a great extent.
- Overweight: Excess body-weight and having obesity after menopause can be a serious outset for developing Breast Cancer
- Consumption of Alcohol: Oncologists warn that consumption of more than three drinks a day is prone to risk of having this cancer. They also suggest a committal of no consumption for females too as the current alcoholic elements have greater amount of contaminants.
- Exposure to radiation: Getting radiation for treatment for another type of cancer is left with possibility of having Breast Cancer at the later part of life.
- Use of Hormone: Hormone replacement therapy and oral birth controlling pills is likely to bring about Breast Cancer. This is due to the increased level of estrogen
- Occupational Hazards: Researchers suggested that doing night shift work is hazardous for females and this can develop Breast Cancer in them. Even use of carcinogens and endocrine disruptors can also bring about such cancer.
Types of Breast Cancer
Two types of Breast Cancer are seen to occur. The first one is Ductal carcinoma which starts in the milk duct and is of most common type. Another is Lobular Carcinoma that appears in the lobules. When the cancer cell is seen to break out from inside the lobules or ducts that attacks nearby tissues, the chance for the other parts of body getting affected is higher. But, when the invasion is not apparent, then it is called a non-invasive breast cancer. Still, these cells are prone to sustain invasive breast cancer.
The process of diagnosis starts with routine screening tests. It may also be taken if a woman consults breast cancer doctor after detecting a symptom. This involves several impromptu methods.
- Breast Examination: The primary duty in such diagnosis will be to check breast of patient to detect any existence of lump or related symptoms. Here, the patient may be required to sit or stand with her arms in different positions, like above her head and by her sides.
- Mammogram: Initial screening of breast is done with a special type of X-Ray practice. The image of breast is produced that helps in detecting external lumps or abnormalities.
- Ultrasound scanning : helps in the differentiation of a solid mass and fluid-filled cyst
- MRI Scan: Dye is injected to the patient. It helps to identify the extent of stretch of those cancer-affected cells
- Biopsy: Tissues are removed for a lab analysis to help finding any trace of cancerous cells. Such analysis will be helpful in getting the type too. Hormone-sensitivity can also be ascertained.
- Other: Diagnosis is also made to establish the size of tumor, spread, nature of the tumor and in order to fix whether the tumor is spread to other parts of the body.
Treatment of Breast Cancer depends on various factors. Such treatment considers the type of cancer and stage, whether the cancer is sensitive to hormones. The patient’s age, preferences and overall history of health are also some of the determinant factors.
The breast cancer doctor will also choose an option of treatment from
- Biological Therapy
- Hormone therapy
- Radiation Therapy
The fixation will again be largely dependent on client’s individual preference and stage of the cancer
Surgical treatment: Diverse surgical methods are deployed by a breast cancer surgeon depending on the diagnosis and individual’s likeness.
Lumpectomy: Surgery is applied for removal of the tumor. Small amount of healthy tissues are also removed to avoid spread out. This method is ideal when the tumor is small. It is easy separable from the surrounding tissues.
Mastectomy: Mastectomy in the simple form deals with removal of the lobules, ducts, fatty tissue, nipple, areola, and stint of skin. Radical mastectomy is all about removal of whole breast and the lymph nodes in the armpit.
Breast Conservation Surgery: It refers to removal of the tumor with a cuff of normal breast tissue and removal of lymph nodes by a separate incision. It requires surgical expertise and know how as there are set selection criteria for the same. Not all cases warrant the same. Presence of frozen section helps in minimizing removal of breast tissue thereby minimizing less distortion of affected breast. Patient willingness for adjuvant radiation is vital for success of such procedure.
Sentinel Node Biopsy: This involves removal of first lymph node in the drainage pathway, which is sent for frozen section. If it turns out to be positive then complete axillary nodal clearance.
Axillary Lymph Node dissection: Surgeon may require removal of cancer cells on a node called the sentinel node. This is done in order to prevent the spread of disease.
Reconstruction: Reconstruction is required through breast cancer surgery to recreate the breast so that it looks similar to the other breast as a follow-up of breast surgery. This is done along with mastectomy or the patient may be asked to come at any future date for such follow-up operations. Method of Breast Implant or island of tissue from other part of body can be opted to complete such function.
Oncology is an ever evolving field of medicine and is matter of research and development. The author per say does not claim the following to be guidelines of practice in oncology. These are part of patient awareness initiative by Dr. Suvadip Chakrabarti MCh (Surgical Oncology) to educate people at large of various options in Oncology. It should not be taken to be practice guidelines.