WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF BREAST CANCER?
More than 1 million cases of Breast Cancer occur across the bandwidth of our country every year. This cancer is formed in milk forming lobes or ducts of breast or in fibrous connextive tissue or fatty tissue in the breast. Cancer cells multiply to spread to the healthy tissue of the breast reaching lymph nodes below the arms which in turn act as promoters of cancer to other body parts. Breast Cancer is a phenomenon 100 times more common in women than men and has an expected death rate of approximately 40,000 women every year.
Breast cancer usually develops as a tumor or abnormality that can be felt as a lump in the breast though some lumps may only be cysts and not cancer. However, common identifying breast cancer symptoms include tissue thickening distinct from the tissue surrounding it, pain in the breast or red pitted skin all over it, nipple discharge or bleeding, scaling, peeling or flaking skin of the nipple, inverting of nipple, change in size, shape or the way the breast appears or development of a swelling or lumps under the arm.
Though breast cancer is more common in older women, ignoring timely treatment can make the cure difficult. However, excess alcohol, obesity, having dense breast tissue, gentic mutations, early menstruation, late pregnancy, use of hormonal medication such as progesterone and estrogen, late menopause, family history, infertility or previous case history of breast cancer makes you prone to breast cancer.
The primary diagnostic tests to detect breast cancer symptoms include mammography and ultrasound but if that does not work, biopsy is done. Treatment depends entirely on the stage of cancer or to what extent the tumor has spread. Though surgery remains to be the most prevalent form of cure, additional alternatives include chemotherapy, radiation, hormone therapy or taking medications to reduce growth of cancer cells. Though breast cancer does not have a particular reason of occurrence, maintaining a robust lifestyle or a routine check up from time to time can help curbing the risk of contracting the disease before it gets any worse and help improve the chances of survival with breast cancer. Get a breast examination done for symptoms of breast cancer by your doctor in case you are likely to acquire it through heredity as timely treatment can help increase the longevity of life. A mammogram is advisable annually for women between 40 to 54 and must for those above 55 despite your good health.
Dr Nidhi Gupta Prinja MD, DNB is a Senior Consultant in the department of Radiation Oncology at Grecian Super Specialty Hospital, Mohali since 2010 and has over 12 years of experience in Clinical Oncology. She is experienced in delivering various kinds of radiation treatment to patients such as Conventional Radiotherapy, 3D CRT, IMRT, IGRT, VMAT, Electron therapy, Intra-cavitary and interstitial Brachytherapy.
Dr Nidhi takes keen interest in organising special clinics for cancer screening, early detection and vaccination against cancers with special emphasis on cervical cancer, breast cancer and head & neck cancer and has treated several cases of patients with breast cancer.