Cancer developing in the cells of the breast is breast cancer. In either the lobules or the ducts of the breast, cancer originates. The lobules are the glands producing milk and the pathways through which the milk travels from the glands to the nipple are the ducts. It is common mostly in women, although it can happen in both men and women. The other healthy breast tissues may get affected by the uncontrolled cancer cells. The cells can also travel to the lymph nodes located under the arms. From there, cancer can spread to other areas of the body.
You may need to consult a breast cancer doctor in Kolkata if you notice the symptoms of this cancer. Some of these are:
- A lump or thick tissue in the breast
- Pain in the breast
- Changes in the appearance, size or shape of the breast
- Changes to the appearance of the skin over the breast
- An inverted nipple
- Discharge from the nipple other than breast milk
- The presence of a lump or swelling under the arm
The following are some factors that increase the risk of breast cancer:
- Being female
- Increasing age
- A family history of breast cancer
- A personal history of breast cancer
- Inherited genes that increase the risk of cancer
- Exposure to radiation
- Beginning of periods at an early age
- Menopause at an older age
- Giving childbirth at an older age
- Having never been pregnant
- Postmenopausal hormone therapy
- Drinking alcohol
The following procedures help an oncologist in Kolkata to diagnose breast cancer.
- Breast Exam: There will be the checking of both of your breasts and the lymph nodes in your armpit by the doctor for any abnormalities including lumps.
- Mammogram: It is an X-ray of the breast to check for any abnormalities.
- Breast Ultrasound: This procedure helps the doctor to know the nature of a breast lump, whether it is a solid mass or a fluid-filled cyst. The reflection of sound waves creates images of the suspicious area in this procedure.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): A magnet and radio waves create pictures of the inner area of your breast.
- Tru-Cut Biopsy: It is a very effective test to diagnose breast cancer. The doctor takes a tissue sample from the suspicious area and sends it to the laboratory for testing.
Surgery is quite effective in treating breast cancer. It is of various types including:
- Modified Radical Mastectomy: A breast cancer surgeon in Kolkata removes the breast containing the tumour along with the draining lymph nodes in the axilla.
- Sentinel Node Biopsy: The surgeon removes the first lymph nodes receiving drainage from the tumour and tests them for the presence of cancer. If there are no malignant cells found on “Frozen Section” then there is no need to remove the axillary lymph nodes.
- Breast-Conserving Surgery: Here the tumour is removed with a microscopic negative margin, thereby preserving the breast. The contour of the breast might be restored by local tissue displacement, i.e. Type 1 Oncoplasty or by volume replacement by flaps, i.e. Type 2 Oncoplasty. One has to keep in mind that “Post-Operative Radiation Therapy is a part of Breast Conservation”!
- Contralateral Risk Reduction Prophylactic Mastectomy and Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy: This surgery involves the removal of your healthy breast and removal of bilateral ovaries in a select group of breast cancer patients who have familial breast cancer with BRCA gene positivity.
The other treatment options include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, immunotherapy and the use of targeted therapy drugs.