Breast Cancer Surgery in Mumbai
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women. In India, about 122,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. Although the disease is widespread, many women do not know about it until it is too late.
Because breast cancer commonly shows signs and symptoms, it is important to pay attention to your body and notice any unexpected indicators. Your symptoms could be caused by something other than cancer. Therefore, the only way to be sure is to consult your doctor.
Dr. Garvit Chitkara is a well-qualified and experienced breast surgical oncologist in Mumbai. He has 10+ years of experience in breast surgical oncology and 14+ years of overall practice.
Dr. Chitkara specializes in oncoplastic breast surgeries and aims to provide the best breast cancer surgery in Mumbai. Moreover, he offers comprehensive breast cancer care to all patients in a safe, reassuringly pleasant, and comfortable environment.
Read on to learn more about its symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments.
Now, let’s talk about the Diagnosis of Breast Cancer
Initially, your oncologist in Mumbai will conduct a physical examination. It includes looking for the presence of any lumps in your breasts, armpits or, changes in size or shape, discharge from one or both nipples, nipple changes like puckering or distortion, and redness on the skin near the nipple.
Also, the doctor may ask whether you have pain in one area of your chest wall and if there have been any recent changes in your menstrual cycles.
Other diagnostic tests may include:
- It uses low-energy X-rays to detect changes in the breast tissue.
- This test can help find any potential tumors before they become life-threatening.
- A doctor or technician examines the mammogram and reports any suspicious findings.
- A breast ultrasound creates a picture of the tissues deep within your breast using sound waves. It can assist your doctor in determining the difference between a solid mass, such as a tumor, and a benign cyst.
- If your doctor suspects you have cancer, they he/she may advise you to undergo a biopsy tests such as an MRI or a breast biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. A Breast MRI is asked for in case of dense breasts
Symptoms of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer signs and symptoms can vary from woman to woman. But most will have a painless lump slight pain or lump in their breast, which does not go away. Very rarely these lumps can be associated with pain
Breast cancer may not cause any symptoms in its early stages. A tumour may be too small to feel in many cases, yet an abnormality on a mammogram can be observed.
Common signs of breast cancer include:
- Presence of mass or lump
- Puckering Nipple protrusionretraction
- Change in skin tone and discharge
Having one or more of these symptoms may be an early sign of Breast Cancer but it does not guarantee that you have breast cancer. Hence, you may consult Dr. Garvit for one of the best breast Cancer Surgery in Mumbai
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Prevention of Breast Cancer
The best way to protect yourself from breast cancer is by knowing your risk factors, getting regular screenings (especially for high-risk women), and staying informed about your options for prevention and treatment. The risk factors for breast cancers can be divided into two major subclasses :
A. Non Modifiable risk factors
The risks factors that you cannot do anything about. These are
- Gender: Being a woman is a risk factor for breast cancer but it must also be remembered that breast cancer can be seen in men too
- Age: Increasing age is also an important non modifiable risk factor. Most common age group for breast cancer in India is 45-60 years of age
- Genetics: there are certain genetic mutations that are seen to run in families which makes one more prone to breast and ovarian cancer. Having another breast cancer patient in the family also increases the relative risk of an individual.
- Age at Menarche and Menopause: Early age at menarche ( Age at which the periods started) and Delayed age at menopause( age at which the periods stop)
- Breast Density: Some women have a genetic tendency toward having dense breasts. This has been recently added to the list of non-modifiable risk factors of breast cancer
B. Modifiable risk factors
- Obesity: One of the most common and understated modifiable risk factor for breast cancer is obesity. Obesity not only increases the risk of breast cancer occurrence in women but is also a known risk factor for recurrence of breast cancer in patients who have been treated previously.
- Delayed pregnancy: First pregnancy before 30 years of age is known to be protective against breast cancer. In the current modern urban lifestyle this is very difficult be able to do this. But then other risk factors like obesity should be worked on to be able to reduce the over all risk
- Breast feeding: Breast feeding for more than 2 years (total no of years including all child births) is also known to be protective against breast cancer.
- Nulliparity: Never having had a pregnancy is also a risk factor for breast cancer.
- Smoking: Smoking and alcohol intake increases the risk of breast cancer.
- Prolonged ( more than 10 years) and current usage of oral contraceptives is also known to increase the risk of breast cancer
Treatments for Breast Cancer
There are different treatments for breast cancer depending on the stage of cancer and how it has affected surrounding tissues. Treatment includes surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, targeted therapy or a combination of these.
Surgery is the first-line treatment for breast cancer. To remove any breast tumors or lymph nodes near the breast in the axilla, Dr.Garvit Chitkara, a seasoned breast surgical oncologist, may recommend breast cancer surgery in Mumbai.
Now, let’s discuss the types of breast cancer surgeries
The type of breast cancer surgery varies from case to case.
It is a surgical procedure that involves removing the lump in the breast that contains cancer cells. It is also known as breast conservation surgery because it removes only the tumor while maintaining the healthy tissue around it without removing the breast.
One of the most common breast cancer treatments is a mastectomy. It entails removing one or both breasts. In this type of surgery, your surgeon removes all or part of your breasts the whole breast with the nipple and underlying tissue and lymph nodes in your armpits for testing.
This surgery may be necessary if you have, multiple tumours in one breast, advanced cancer or underwent radiation therapy in the past and most impotrtantly for patients who do not wish to conserve their breasts and it didn’t work. This surgery can also be performed as a preventive treatment to reduce the chances of having breast cancer again in genetically predisposed individuals.
In a chest wall recurrence, when cancer has spread to the breastbone or ribs near the breast, doctors may recommend mastectomy because it makes it easier for them to get rid of any cancer cells they find surgically. A woman who has had either of these surgeries faces less than a 1% chance of relapsing the disease in the treated area.
Chemotherapy are drugs which are generally given intravenously.If they are given before surgery its called neoadjuvant chemotherapy and the main aim of giving neoadjuvant chemotherapy is to decrease the size of the tumour to make it amenable for breast conservation.
Some cancer subtypes also require neoadjuvant therapy irrespective of their size, this decision is best taken by a Multidisciplinary team.
When chemotherapy is given after the surgery it’s called adjuvant chemotherapy and it is required based on stage of cancer and helps in reducing the risk of recurrence. It is important to understand that not all breast cancer patients require chemotherapy.
Some of the breast cancer subtypes which are picked up in early stages may be able to avoid chemotherapy.
III. Radiation therapy
Radiation therapy is used only after surgery in cases where the breast has been conserved, for locally advanced tumours, or for cancers that have spread to the axilla.
IV. Targeted therapy
Another very important therapy that is used against a specific subtype i.e. HER2neu expressing breast cancer. This is also given intravenously and is at times combined with chemotherapy.
V. Hormonal therapy
It is a treatment where patients take oral medications drugs that help block some of their hormones from binding with receptors on cancer cells so that they cannot grow thereby preventing their growth.