What is Breast Cancer?Breast cancer is the carcinoma that starts in the tissues of the breast. There are mainly two types of breast cancer:
- Ductal carcinoma is the cancer that starts in the tubes (ducts)
- Lobular carcinoma starts in the lobules which are parts of the breast responsible for producing milk.
Breast cancer may be noninvasive "in situ." Which means it has not yet started spreading or it may be enveloping i.e. spread from its origin to other tissues.
Causes of Breast Cancer.The major risk factors are:
- Age and sex- women over age 50 have maximum incidences of breast cancer and are more likely to get breast cancer than men.
- Family history of breast cancer
- Gene defects
- Early menstruation or late menopause.
- Radiation exposure.
- Alcohol use
- Childbirth- Women have an increased risk for breast cancer, if they have never had children or had them only after age 30
Breast Cancer Symptoms
- Lumps (hard & uneven) in the breasts or armpits.
- Pain and tenderness in the breasts.
- Breast or nipple feel different in size, shape, or feel.
- Fluid Discharge (bloody, pus or yellowish) from the nipple.
- Pain in bones.
- skin Ulcers
- Swelling in the arm next to the breast with cancer
- Weight loss
Breast Cancer DiagnosisFor identification of any irregularities physical examination of both breasts, armpits, and the neck and chest area is done. To diagnose and monitor patients with breast cancer certain tests that are used are:
- Breast MRI
- Breast ultrasound
- Breast biopsy or Sentinal lymph node biopsy
- CT scan
- PET scan
Breast Cancer TreatmentThe type and stage of the cancer largely determines the treatment. In general following treatments may be given to cure the cancer:
- Surgery: for removal of cancerous tissue. Surgery can be of two types
- Lumpectomy: in it the breast lump is removed
- Mastectomy: in it all or part of the breast and possible nearby structures are removed
- Killing of malignant cells with Chemotherapy medicines
- Destroying of cancerous tissue with Radiotherapy
- Hormonal therapy to block certain hormones that fuel cancer growth in women with ER-positive breast cancer
- Targeted therapy (also called biologic therapy): To target certain changes in a cell that can lead to cancer, administration of special anticancer drugs that are used for treatment.
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Symptoms of Breast Cancer
- Lump in the breast or axilla, Breast Enlargement
- Oimplimg of surface of breast, Retraction of Nipple
- Orange peel appearance of Breast, Breast Pain or tenderness
- Weight loss
- Ulceration or nodules on the breast
- Enlarged lymph nodes in the armpit
- Breast Conservative Surgery
- Lumpectomy and Sentinel Node Biopsy
- Modified Radical Mastectomy
- Radical Mastectomy
- Extended Radical Mastectomy
- Skin Sparing Mastectomy
- Subcutaneous Mastectomy
- Nipple Sparing Mastectomy
- Reduction and Augmentation Mammoplasties
- Nipple and Areolar Reconstructions
- Use of implants
- Radiation Oncology-IMRT and IGRT