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About Breast cancer

One in eight women develops Breast cancer during their lifetime, making it one of the most common cancers worldwide. Breast cancer can affect one or both breasts, which can occur in different parts of the breast, and it is an abnormal growth occurring in the breast that could spread. Almost entirely, these cases are found in women, but men can also develop Breast cancer.

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Risk Factors & Prevention

Women ages 45 and older are at a higher risk of Breast cancer.

Some risk factors are:

  • Increased Weight
  • Alcohol Consumption
  • Unhealthy Lifestyle & Diet
  • Menstrual and Reproductive History
  • Radiation exposure
  • Late Pregnancy
  • Gene Mutations
  • Family History of Breast cancer
  • Hormone Pills

How can it be prevented?

  • Maintain a Healthy Weight
  • Be Physically Fit & Maintain a Proper Diet
  • Reduce Hormone Intake
  • Limit Smoking & Drinking
  • Avoid Birth Control Pills
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Screening

Screening exams for Breast cancer help detect cancer at an early stage.

The likelihood of successful treatment is increased by early diagnosis:

  • Mammography
  • Breast Ultrasound
  • Magnetic Resonance imaging
  • Clinical Breast Exams
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Symptoms & Signs

  • Usually there is a painless lump to begin with however there may be pain in the breast when a breast lump has grown to involve the overlying skin
  • Perforated and swollen skin throughout the breast region
  • Inflammation in different parts of the breast
  • A nipple discharge that is unusual and just not breast milk
  • Blood coming out of your nipple
  • Skin that is flaky, peeling, or scaly on your nipple
  • A sudden change in your breast size
  • An upside-down nipple
  • A change in the way your breast flesh looks
  • A lump beneath your arm
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Diagnosis

Breast cancer diagnostic tests determine whether you have the disease and how aggressive it may be.

Tools and tests include:

  • Lab tests
  • Biopsy
  • MRI or Mammogram
  • Staging Tests
  • PET-CT
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Sub-Type of Breast cancers and Stages

  1. Non-Invasive Cancer
    • Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS)
  2. Invasive Cancer
    • Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC)
    • Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC)
    • Angiosarcoma of the Breast
    • Inflammatory Breast cancer
    • Paget Disease of the Breast
    • Phyllodes Tumors
Stages

Cancer has five Stages 0 through IV

Stage 0:

At this Stage, the disease is non-invasive, which indicates that it hasn’t broken out from breast ducts.

Stage 1:

The surrounding breast tissue has become infected with cancerous cells.

Stage 2:

The breast tumor is either smaller than 2 centimeters in diameter and spread to the lymph nodes under the arms or greater than 5 centimeters in diameter but hasn’t spread yet. At this Stage, breast tumors may or may not impact the adjacent lymph nodes.

Stage 3:

Cancer has already spread past its origin at this point and it might have spread to neighboring lymph nodes and tissue, but it hasn’t reached distant organs. Breast cancer at Stage III is typically referred to as locally advanced Breast cancer.

Stage 4:

Cancer at this Stage is called metastatic Breast cancer. Your brain, bones, liver, lungs, or other organs may also have been affected, in addition to your breast.

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Treatment Modalities

a. Surgical Oncology

A few of the prominent surgical options for treating Breast cancer:

  • Lumpectomy – Preserving the remainder of the breast while removing the breast tumor and the infected. Surrounding tissues.
  • Mastectomy – Removing the entire breast or both the breasts.
  • Sentinel node biopsy – Removing a few lymph nodes that are affected and are tested for cancerous cells.
  • Axillary lymph node dissection – Removing additional lymph nodes if the Sentinel node biopsy lymph nodes are found to have malignancy.
  • Contralateral prophylactic mastectomy – Removing the healthy breast to prevent cancer from occurring in that breast of a patient with BRCA gene mutation.

b. Medical Oncology

Chemotherapy is not always necessary for Breast cancer patients.

Your oncologist (cancer specialist) may advise chemotherapy depending on the Stage of the disease:

  • Before surgery – Neoadjuvant chemotherapy to shrink the breast tumor size. It also allows healthcare providers to learn more about the biology of the disease resulting in less-extensive surgery.
  • After surgery – Adjuvant chemotherapy is recommended by healthcare providers to kill any remaining cancer cells. Since malignant cells might occasionally still be present in your body despite not being detected by imaging tests. It also reduces the chances of cancer recurrence.
  • For advanced cancer – Chemotherapy may be the primary treatment if your Breast cancer has metastasized (spread to other places of your body).
  • For IBC – Inflammatory Breast cancer (IBC) does not typically have an easily – removable lump. The first course of action for IBC is chemotherapy.

c. Radiation Oncology

  • Utilizes carefully regulated radiation beams to destroy cancer cells or relieve symptoms associated with cancer.
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Coping with Treatment

Along with the medical side effects of Breast cancer therapy, patients also deal with the financial burden of cancer care and the emotional and social impacts. Talking to a counselor or family member can help them to cope with treatment. MOC provides facility of psycho Onco-Counseling and Nutritional counseling to help patients.

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Do’s & Don’ts During Treatment

Do’s

  • Maintain a healthy sleep schedule
  • Be physically active
  • Minimize attending public gatherings
  • Yoga and meditation
  • Maintain a decent, adequate, and nutritional diet regime

Dont’s

  • Avoid Overexertion yourself
  • Avoid an Unhealthy lifestyle
  • Avoid getting exposed to Infections
  • Avoid taking the stress
  • Do not miss follow-up visits
  • Avoid eating large meals
  • Quit smoking, Alcohol
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Post Treatment Support

Post-treatment Breast cancer survivors can undergo long-term side effects of surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormonal therapy. They can also have symptoms as Menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, Joint pain, Fatigue, Mood changes, Depression, and anxiety. Survivors require empathy, mental strength, and support from their families; they can also join Breast cancer Post-Treatment Survivorship Support Groups.

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Follow-ups Cancer Care Plan

Post-treatment, one must request a follow-up treatment plan. Doctors provide a personalized treatment plan based on the type and Stage of cancer.

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Surveillance and monitoring for indications of recurrence

One aim of follow-up care is checking for a recurrence. One should never miss follow-up visits and never ignore any symptoms of recurrence. Because some cancer cells may remain undiscovered in the body in small locations that don’t respond to treatment, cancer can reoccur. A physician knowledgeable about your medical history can provide personalized information regarding your risk of recurrence during follow-up care.

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FAQ’s

  1. Breast cancer? what is it?

    Breast cancer is a type of cancer that develops in one or both breasts.

  2. Who can get Breast cancer?

    All women can be affected by Breast cancer; in some cases, men can also get Breast cancer.

  3. What signs or symptoms does Breast cancer have?

    A new breast tumor or lump is the most typical indication of Breast cancer. Breast cancers can be painful, soft, or circular, but they are more likely to be malignant if they are painless, firm, and have uneven borders.

  4. Can Breast cancer be genetically inherited?

    Yes, in 5-10% of cases, mutations can be inherited

  5. How long do I need to wait to get pregnant after treatment for Breast cancer?

    Some Breast cancer survivors are recommended to wait at least two years after their treatment is over before attempting pregnancy.

  6. Is Breast cancer contagious?

    No. One can’t catch cancer from some other person like flu or cold.

  7. After Breast cancer therapy, can I breastfeed?

    Breastfeeding difficulties from the afflicted breast could result after surgery, radiation, or both.

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