Yashoda Cancer Institute is one of the leading Breast cancer units in India, which is recognized nationally and internationally as a center of excellence for the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. The Centre offers a full spectrum of services such as cutting-edge technology, on-site multidisciplinary experts, planning conferences for treatments, second opinion services, and clinical research.
By linking screening, treatment, and clinical care, Yashoda Cancer Institute focuses on providing continuity of care for our patients with a multidisciplinary approach. Our breast oncology team deals with all kinds of breast surgeries, including radical resection, breast conservation, and a variety of breast reconstruction and sentinel lymph node techniques.
With breast cancer being the leading malignancy among women, our breast cancer program underpins our vision of ‘Supporting women with breast cancer today and every day.’
What Is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is a form of cancer that develops due to the uncontrolled growth of the cells of the breasts. It is one of the most prominent types of cancer majorly found in women, but can also occur in men.
Usually, breast cancer can begin from
- The luminal cells - The milk-producing glands.
- The ducts- passages that drain milk from the lobules to the nipple.
- The stromal tissues- Include the fatty and fibrous connective tissues of the breast.
What Are The Indications For Breast Cancer?
Signs and symptoms of breast cancer include:
- A lump in the breast or thickening that feels different from the other surrounding tissue.
- A noticeable change in the appearance of the breast either in shape or size.
- Changes in the skin over the breast like the formation of dimpling.
- Signs of a newly inverted nipple.
- Swelling in the armpit.
- Changes on the skin surrounding the nipple (areola) or breast skin such as Peeling, crusting scaling, or flaking of the pigmented area.
- Redness or pitting like the skin of an orange over the skin of the breast.
How is Breast Cancer Diagnosed?
Many tests are conducted by doctors to diagnose cancer and learn if cancer has spread to another part of the body. Breast cancer is often diagnosed using the following tests:
- Sonograms Breast ultrasound
- Diagnostic Mammography
- 3T Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Image-guided Breast Core Biopsy
- Immunohistochemistry (IHC)
- PET / CT
- Sophisticated Interventional Radiology Procedures (Wire Localisation)
- Stereotactic Biopsy
- Sentinel Node Evaluation (SLNB) using Gamma Probe
- Staging Tests
What Are The Possible Treatments For Breast Cancer?
Some treatments that breast cancer doctors use to remove or destroy cancer within the breast and nearby tissues include the following:
- Surgical Process: There are two types of surgical process used by the oncologist for the removal of the tumor from the body:
- Mastectomy: It is a skin-sparing surgery that removes the whole breast with a tumor.
- Lumpectomy/ Breast Conservation Surgery: Removal of a lump around the breast with 1 cm axillary lymph clearance.
- Breast Reconstruction Surgery: Reconstructive Surgery helps in correcting deformities and restoring normal function after cancer-related treatments. The goal of the surgery is to achieve the best possible repair outcomes for treatment-related damage. It is done along with or after mastectomy/ lumpectomy.
- Radiation Therapy: Involve the use of high-energy waves to kill cancer cells. Advanced Radiation therapy used for breast cancer treatment consists of:
- Single Dose Intra-operative Radiation Therapy (IORT)
- 3DConformal Partial Breast Irradiation (CPBI)
- Chemotherapy: Involve the use of potent medicines to kill cancer cells.
- Hormone Therapy: Use of hormonal drugs like estrogen to prevent hormones from fuelling breast cancer growth.
- Targeted Therapy: This therapy focuses on cancer’s specific genes, proteins, or the tissue environment that contributes to cancer growth and survival.
- Immunotherapy: This therapy involves the use of medicines that prompt the body's immune system or natural defenses to destroy cancer.
The doctor may suggest the patient get chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or targeted therapy along with surgery or radiation. During other forms of treatment, this approach will kill the cancers left behind.
Let’s Give You Some Precautions To Avoid Breast Cancer
- Keep a healthy weight.
- Be physically more active, exercise for at least 30 minutes daily.
- Eat healthy food and avoid too much alcohol consumption.
- Avoid smoking.
- If possible, try to breastfeed.
- Avoid the use of birth control pills, particularly if you smoke or above 35 years of age.
- Go for regular screening every year, especially after 40 years of age.
Are There Any Risk Factors Involved?
- Gender: Breast cancer is 100 times more common in females than in males.
- Age: Women above 50 years of age are diagnosed with invasive cancer more often.
- Race: Caucasian women are more liable to develop breast cancer than women of other races.
- Family History and Genetic Factors: People with a family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer are at high risk of developing breast cancer.
- Personal Health History: If you have a history of breast cancer treatment in the past, you will be at an increased risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer again.
- Menstrual and Reproductive History: Menstruation before 12 years of age or menopause after 55 years of age, having your first child after 35 years of age, or never having a child can increase your risk of breast cancer.
- Certain Genome Changes: Mutations such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 in specific genes can increase your risk for breast cancer.
- Dense Breast Tissue: Having dense breasts can make lumps harder to detect, thus increasing the risk of breast cancer.
Environmental and Lifestyle Risk Factors
- Sedentary lifestyle: Lack of physical activity can increase your risk of breast cancer.
- Unhealthy Diet: A diet with high saturated fat and lacking fruits and vegetables can increase the risk of breast cancer.
- Being Overweight: You are at increased risk if you are obese or have already gone through menopause.
- Drinking Alcohol: The more the consumption of alcohol, the greater the risk.
- Radiation Therapy or HRT: Undergoing radiation therapy for breast before the age of 30 years or taking prescribed combined hormone replacement therapy for menopause can increase your risk for breast cancer.