Breast cancer refers to the type of cancer that originates in the cells of the breast. The breast cells grow and multiply uncontrollably, forming a mass of cells or lump. Breast cancer can develop in both men and women, but it affects mostly women. It is one of the leading causes of death in women with cancer.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in India. It mostly occurs in the age group of 55 to 65 years.
Types of Breast Cancer
The following are the common types of breast cancer:
- Ductal Carcinoma – begins in the milk ducts
- Lobular Carcinoma – begins in the lobules
- Paget’s disease – affects the skin of the nipple
- Inflammatory breast cancer – aggressive and rare breast cancer that makes the breast skin appear like orange peel.
Symptoms of Breast Cancer
The most common signs and symptoms of breast cancer are:
- A lump or thickening in the breast
- Change in the shape, size, and appearance of the breast
- An inverted nipple
- Swelling in the breast
- Abnormal discharge from nipples
- Bleeding from the nipple
- Peeling or scaling of the skin of the breast or nipple
- A lump in the armpit
- Pain in the breast
In case you experience symptoms, it is important to consult a physician. At HCG Manavata Cancer Centre, we have some of the best breast cancer doctors in Nashik, Maharashtra, who have vast experience in successfully managing breast cancers.
Causes of Breast Cancer
The various risk factors which increase the chances of breast cancer are:
- Increased age
- A family history of breast cancer
- Being female
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Exposure to radiation
- Exposure to certain chemicals that cause cancer
- Being obese
- Drinking alcohol and smoking
- Postmenopausal hormonal therapy
- Reproductive history of menstruation before the age of 12 and menopause after the age of 55
- Not being able to get pregnant
Diagnosis of Breast Cancer
The following tests are performed for the diagnosis of breast cancer:
- Physical Examination: The doctor checks both the breasts and under the armpits for a thickening or abnormal lump, which may indicate cancer.
- Ultrasound: Sound waves are used to produce detailed images of the breast. It helps determine whether the breast lump is a fluid-filled cyst or a solid mass.
- Mammography: During mammography, x-ray beams will be used to screen for breast cancer. A diagnostic mammogram is recommended in the event of suspected abnormal cells.
- Biopsy: A tissue sample is taken from the breast and examined under the microscope to check for cancerous cells.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): Magnetic and radio waves are used to produce an image of the interior of the breast.
- PET/CT Scan: It produces images of the breast which can detect cancer, its size, and how much it has spread.
Treatment for Breast Cancer
If you are looking for the best hospital for breast cancer treatment in Nashik, visit HCG Manavata Cancer Center, which is designed to offer comprehensive cancer care solutions to patients in and around Nashik. The key treatment methods available for breast cancer are:
Surgery: The doctors perform the surgery when cancer is confined to only one place. The different types of surgery performed for the treatment of breast cancer are:
- Mastectomy – the surgeon removes the entire breast
- Lumpectomy – the surgeon removes the cancerous tissue and a small portion of healthy tissue.
- Sentinel Node Biopsy – the surgeon removes the sentinel lymph nodes. These nodes are the first to receive lymphatic drainage from the tumor.
Radiation Therapy: Controlled doses of radiation are used to slow down and kill the cancerous cells in the breast. Radiation therapy is usually given for 3 to 5 weeks. Each session of radiation lasts for a few minutes. High-powered beams of protons and X-rays are used during radiation. This non-invasive treatment can be received on an outpatient basis.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses strong drugs to kill cancer cells. These drugs circulate through the blood and work by disrupting the growth of cancerous cells in the breast. The choice of medicine used in chemotherapy depends on the stage and type of breast cancer. Chemotherapy is usually given intravenously.
Targeted Drug Therapy: These drugs work by targeting the specific proteins and pathways that help cancerous cells grow and survive. It is still an active area of research in the field of oncology.
Hormone Therapy: It is used to treat breast cancer that is sensitive to hormones, especially estrogen. These drugs prevent hormones from fueling the growth of cancerous breast cells. It is also known as hormone-blocking therapy.
Immunotherapy: It works by helping the immune system of the body to differentiate cancerous cells from healthy cells and fight them.
HCG Manavata Cancer Center, which is one of the best breast cancer hospitals in Nashik, has a full-fledged breast oncology unit that is made capable of offering advanced breast cancer solutions, such as breast conservation surgery, breast reconstruction surgery, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does breast cancer affect menstruation?
No, your menstrual cycle will remain unaffected by breast cancer. However, treatment choices, such as chemotherapy or radiation, may temporarily affect your menstrual cycle.
2. What if I don’t want any treatment?
It is important to treat breast cancer as soon as possible. If treatment is delayed, cancer may spread to other body parts such as the lungs, kidneys, and stomach. Once spread, more aggressive treatment is required.
3. Can wearing a tight bra cause breast cancer?
There has been a significant discussion about the link between cancer and wearing tight bras. However, as per the facts and studies, wearing a tight or padded bra does not cause breast cancer.
4. Can one breastfeed following treatment for breast cancer?
Yes, you can breastfeed your child once the breast cancer has been treated and your breasts are intact. However, you should consult your doctor before resuming breastfeeding.
5. How can I manage the side effects of breast cancer treatment?
The doctor will give you steroids to help with the pain. The dietician will help you with the diet plan to help you with fatigue and weight loss. Your therapist will help you with relaxation techniques, such as yoga and medication. You may consult a psycho-oncologist who will try to understand the factors causing distress and help you address them through healthy coping mechanisms.