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Dr. Ananda Kumar K

Radiologist, Bangalore

350 at clinic
Dr. Ananda Kumar K Radiologist, Bangalore
350 at clinic
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Personal Statement

My favorite part of being a doctor is the opportunity to directly improve the health and wellbeing of my patients and to develop professional and personal relationships with them....more
My favorite part of being a doctor is the opportunity to directly improve the health and wellbeing of my patients and to develop professional and personal relationships with them.
More about Dr. Ananda Kumar K
Dr. Ananda Kumar K is a popular Radiologist in Rajaji Nagar, Bangalore. You can consult Dr. Ananda Kumar K at Pristine Hospital in Rajaji Nagar, Bangalore. Book an appointment online with Dr. Ananda Kumar K on Lybrate.com.

Find numerous Radiologists in India from the comfort of your home on Lybrate.com. You will find Radiologists with more than 29 years of experience on Lybrate.com. You can find Radiologists online in Bangalore and from across India. View the profile of medical specialists and their reviews from other patients to make an informed decision.

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#877, 2nd Stage Extension, Dr. Modi Hospital Road, West Of Chord Road, Rajaji Nagar. Landmark: Near Shankar Mutt Bus stopBangalore Get Directions
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I have severe lower back pain for last 18 years which increases during periods. I'm 32 years old and unmarried. It's constant, it always pains. Is it slip disc or what Please help.

MPT - Orthopedic Physiotherapy, BPTh/BPT
Physiotherapist, Noida
I have severe lower back pain for last 18 years which increases during periods. I'm 32 years old and unmarried. It's ...
For confirmation x-ray and mri must so tk heat fermentation twice a day avoid toward bending and long standing or sitting.
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My spine very pain doctor said to my spin is disk slip how stop pain.

MS - Orthopaedics, MBBS
Orthopedist,
Sleep on a hard bed with soft bedding on it. Use no pillow under the head. Kindly take biod3 max 1 tab dailyx10 paracetamol 250mg od & sos x5days do back (spine)/shoulder/knee exercises make sure you are not allergic to any of the medicines you are going to take do not ignore it. It may have to be further investigated. It could be beginning of a serious problem. If no relief in 4_5 days, then contact me again. Contact your family doctor or nearest hospital for emergency help.
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My dad has a disc problem and in morning time he suffers from stiffness in lower back area. What should he do?

MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Chennai
My dad has a disc problem and in morning time he suffers from stiffness in lower back area. What should he do?
He should not bend down, avoiding bike riding and sitting for long time and lifting heavy weights. He should gentle back toning exercises. If not alright he might need surgery.
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I am a male aged 52 yrs. I have slip disc problem because of which my left hand becomes senseless as soon as I do some work with it. This problem is there for past 8- 10 yrs. I also have severe back pain from time to time. Please suggest remedy, if any.

MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Delhi
(a) sleep on a hard bed with soft bedding on it. (b) use no pillow under the head. (c) kindly take biod3 max 1 tab dailyx10 paracetamol 250mg od & sos x5days (d) do back (spine)/shoulder/knee exercises (e) make sure you are not allergic to any of the medicines you are going to take (f) do not ignore it. It could be beginning of a serious problem. (g) if no relief in 4_5 days, then contact me again.
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I have a slip disk.Can I join zumba classes?

Diploma in Radio-Diagnosis
Radiologist,
Do not take wysolone for disc. No stressfull exercise. Tell me the buldge of disc, degree of it. Click private consultations. For further advise.
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MPT
Physiotherapist, Mumbai
Though not very common, but herniated disks or bone spurts in the vertebrae of the neck might take too much space and compress the nerves branching out from the spinal cord which may lead to severe pain in the neck.
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Can Physiotherapy Cure cervical disc prolapse and L5 S1 Disc bulge.I am suffering from Neck pain for the Past 6 years

BPTh/BPT
Physiotherapist, Gurgaon
these days there is lots of advanced techniques in physiotherapy can cure disc prolapse in various levels. At my experience if you go for a right physiotherapy center you will get result..
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How to overcome ivdp (Intervertebral Disc Prolapse)?

MS - Orthopaedics, MBBS
Orthopedist,
(A) Sleep on a hard bed with soft bedding on it. (B) Use no pillow under the head. (C) Kindly take BioD3 Max 1 tab dailyx10 Paracetamol 250mg OD & SOS x5days (D) Do back(spine)/shoulder/knee exercises (E)Make sure you are not allergic to any of the medicines you are going to take (F) Do not ignore it. It could be beginning of a serious problem. (G) If no relief in 4_5 days,then contact me again.
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Lung Cancer in Women

FRHS, Ph.D Neuro , MPT - Neurology Physiotherapy, D.Sp.Med, DPHM (Health Management ), BPTh/BPT
Physiotherapist, Chennai

Lung cancer occurs at slightly younger age in women than in men. Adenocarcinoma is the commonest type of lung cancer in women. It warrants testing for some molecular markers which form the basis of targeted therapies. Thus lung cancer in women behaves biologically and clinically different from that in men

Women should take care of their health, stay away from tobacco and think positive

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Hello doctor. I am I 32 years female and I have slip disc problem from last two years .I have 2 years baby vd normal delivery. I am not able to sleep properly because when I sleep suddenly I awake 2-3 times at night nd I try to sleep again but I sleep after 30 to 40 min. Now I am gaining fat and weight also. I take proper meal and I don't take more junk food also. Please tell me what to do? My all checkup report are normal & thyroid also.

BAMS, MD (Panchkarma)
Ayurveda, Mumbai
Hello doctor. I am I 32 years female and I have slip disc problem from last two years .I have 2 years baby vd normal ...
Hello lybrate user, thanks for writing. If you want fast, permanent weight loss, you can try our research oriented holistic medicines for assures results. You can lose up to 10 kg weight per month, without crush dieting, with out side effect, without gym, without surgery. Tips for you: 1. Eat plenty vegetable and fruits. 2. Drink 9 glass of water per day. 3. Avoid dieting for weight loss. 4. Avoid oily thing. 5. Have 5to 6 servings of food per day. If you have any questions you can contact us by lybrate.
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Sir I am 30 years old male and I have a problem of slip disk in l5 s1 from last one year. I have tried so many medicine for this but it pains regularly. What should I do now for proper relief from pain?

MPT - Orthopedic Physiotherapy, BPTh/BPT
Physiotherapist, Noida
Sir I am 30 years old male and I have a problem of slip disk in l5 s1 from last one year.
I have tried so many medici...
avoid medicine do physiotherapy treatment for few days and stretching exercise and strength exercise in gradually process. avoid long sitting toward bending lifting weight.
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I have slipdisk problem from 11 months no improvement should I have go for operation.?

MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Delhi
Never go in for surgery in haste. Not all patients of backache need surgery. Most of them can be managed without operation kindly show me a photograph of the affected part. Rule out diabetes & vit. D deficiency or any other metabolic disorder. Sleep on a hard bed with soft bedding on it. Spring beds, folding beds or thick matress are harmful Do hot fomantation. Paracetamol 250mg od & sos x 5days. Caldikind plus 1tab od x10. Do neck, back & general exercises. It may have to be further investigated. You will need other supportive medicines also. Make sure you are not allergic to any of the medicines you are going to take. If it does not give relief in 4-5days, contact me again. Do not ignore. It could be beginning of a serious problem.
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I am 26 years old boy, I am suffering fron hip disorder problem, Avn. How to get rid out of this, I do not have money for operation,

Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS), Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS)
Orthopedist, Trichy
AVN of the hip at this age is usually due to either Alcohol intake or Steroid intake. Once AVN has developed then it depends on the stage of the disorder. if its advanced then only hip replacement will help.
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I am having problem in l4 and I5. This problem is from around 3 years. But the condition is improved now. Can you please suggest some exercises?

PG Diploma in Emergency Medicine Services (PGDEMS), Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), MD - Alternate Medicine
Ayurveda, Ghaziabad
Hi Apply pranacharya restopain oil or prasarini oil on your affected part then give hot fomentation. Take maha rasnadi kwath 2-2 tsf twice a day. And agni tundi vati and maha yograj guggul 1-1 tab twice a day..
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I am 55 year, last 4 month back Dr. Report slip disk Dr. Suggest me complete rest. I am admitted in hospital 9 day. Some relief but now also problem I can not sit more than 1 hours. If I seat both leg heavy & just. I cannot put my leg in ground

Dip. SICOT (Belgium), MNAMS, DNB (Orthopedics), MBBS
Orthopedist, Delhi
Hi thanks for your query and welcome to lybrate. I am Dr. Akshay from fortis hospital, new delhi. To actually answer your question, I need some information from you: - firstly, I need a detailed neurological examination done by a physical therapist - mri of your affected region of spine - dynamic x rays if they were also done. Do not hesitate to contact me if you need any further assistance. You can also discuss your case and treatment plans with me in a greater detail in a private consultation.
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Breast Cancer Prevention:

Homeopath,

Breast Cancer Prevention:

  1. Anything that increases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer risk factor; anything that decreases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer protective factor.

  2. Some risk factors for cancer can be avoided, but many cannot. For example, both smoking and inheriting certain genes are risk factors for some types of cancer, but only smoking can be avoided. Regular exercise and a healthy diet may be protective factors for some types of cancer. Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may lower your risk but it does not mean that you will not get cancer. Different ways to prevent cancer are being studied, including:

  3. Changing lifestyle or eating habits. Avoiding things known to cause cancer. Taking medicine to treat a precancerous condition or to keep cancer from starting.


 

General information about breast cancer:

Key points:

  1. Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer in india

  2. Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast.

  3. The breast is made up of lobes and ducts. Each breast has 15 to 20 sections called lobes, which have many smaller sections called lobules. Lobules end in dozens of tiny bulbs that can make milk. The lobes, lobules, and bulbs are linked by thin tubes called ducts.

  4. Enlarge Drawing of female breast anatomy showing the lymph nodes, nipple, areola, chest wall, ribs, muscle, fatty tissue, lobe, ducts, and lobules.

  5. Anatomy of the female breast. The nipple and areola are shown on the outside of the breast. The lymph nodes, lobes, lobules, ducts, and other parts of the inside of the breast are also shown.

  6. Each breast also has blood vessels and lymph vessels. The lymph vessels carry an almost colorless fluid called lymph. Lymph vessels lead to organs called lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are small bean-shaped structures that are found throughout the body. They filter lymph and store white blood cells that help fight infection and disease. Clusters of lymph nodes are found near the breast in the axilla (under the arm), above the collarbone, and in the chest.

     

Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may help prevent cancer. The following are risk factors for breast cancer:

  1. Older agea personal history of breast cancer or benign (noncancer) breast diseasea family history of breast cancerinherited gene changesdense breasts

  2. Exposure of breast tissue to estrogen made in the bodytaking hormone therapy for symptoms of menopause radiation therapy


 

The following are protective factors for breast cancer:

  1. Less exposure of breast tissue to estrogen made by the bodytaking estrogen-only hormone therapy after hysterectomy,

  2. Estrogen-only hormone therapy after hysterectomyselective estrogen receptor modulatorsaromatase inhibitors and inactivators

  3. Risk-reducing mastectomy ovarian ablationgetting enough exercise


 

It is not clear whether the following affect the risk of breast cancer:

  1. Oral contraceptives

  2. Factors include smoking, being overweight, and not getting enough exercise. Increasing protective factors such as quitting smoking and exercising may also help prevent some cancers. Talk to your doctor or other health care professional about how you might lower your risk


 

Older age:

  1. Older age is the main risk factor for most cancers. The chance of getting cancer increases as you get older.

  2. A personal history of breast cancer or benign (noncancer) breast disease

     

Women with any of the following have an increased risk of breast cancer:

  1. A personal history of invasive breast cancer, ductal carcinoma in situ (dcis), or lobular carcinoma in situ (lcis). A personal history of benign (noncancer) breast disease.

  2. A family history of breast cancer

  3. Women with a family history of breast cancer in a first-degree relative (mother, sister, or daughter) have an increased risk of breast cancer.


 

Inherited gene changes:

  1. Women who have inherited changes in the brca1 and brca2 genes or in certain other genes have a higher risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and maybe colon cancer. The risk of breast cancer caused by inherited gene changes depends on the type of gene mutation, family history of cancer, and other factors.

  2. Men who have inherited certain changes in the brca2 gene have a higher risk of breast, prostate, and pancreatic cancers, and lymphoma.


 

Dense breasts:

  1. Having breast tissue that is dense on a mammogram is a factor in breast cancer risk. The level of risk depends on how dense the breast tissue is. Women with very dense breasts have a higher risk of breast cancer than women with low breast density.

  2. Increased breast density is often an inherited trait, but it may also occur in women who have not had children, have a first pregnancy late in life, take postmenopausal hormones, or drink alcohol.

  3. Exposure of breast tissue to estrogen made in the body

  4. Estrogen is a hormone made by the body. It helps the body develop and maintain female sex characteristics. Being exposed to estrogen over a long time may increase the risk of breast cancer. Estrogen levels are highest during the years a woman is menstruating.


 

A woman's exposure to estrogen is increased in the following ways:

Early menstruation: beginning to have menstrual periods at age 11 or younger increases the number of years the breast tissue is exposed to estrogen. Starting menopause at a later age: the more years a woman menstruates, the longer her breast tissue is exposed to estrogen. Older age at first birth or never having given birth: because estrogen levels are lower during pregnancy, breast tissue is exposed to more estrogen in women who become pregnant for the first time after age 35 or who never become pregnant.

 

Taking hormone therapy for symptoms of menopause:

Hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, can be made into a pill form in a laboratory. Estrogen, progestin, or both may be given to replace the estrogen no longer made by the ovaries in postmenopausal women or women who have had their ovaries removed. This is called hormone replacement therapy (hrt) or hormone therapy (ht). Combination hrt/ht is estrogen combined with progestin. This type of hrt/ht increases the risk of breast cancer. Studies show that when women stop taking estrogen combined with progestin, the risk of breast cancer decreases.


 

Radiation therapy to the breast or chest:

  1. Radiation therapy to the chest for the treatment of cancer increases the risk of breast cancer, starting 10 years after treatment. The risk of breast cancer depends on the dose of radiation and the age at which it is given. The risk is highest if radiation treatment was used during puberty, when breasts are forming.

  2. Radiation therapy to treat cancer in one breast does not appear to increase the risk of cancer in the other breast.

  3. For women who have inherited changes in the brca1 and brca2 genes, exposure to radiation, such as that from chest x-rays, may further increase the risk of breast cancer, especially in women who were x-rayed before 20 years of age.


 

Obesity:

Obesity increases the risk of breast cancer, especially in postmenopausal women who have not used hormone replacement therapy.


 

Drinking alcohol:

Drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer. The level of risk rises as the amount of alcohol consumed rises.


 

The following are protective factors for breast cancer:

  1. Less exposure of breast tissue to estrogen made by the body

  2. Decreasing the length of time a woman's breast tissue is exposed to estrogen may help prevent breast cancer. Exposure to estrogen is reduced in the following ways:


 

Early pregnancy: estrogen levels are lower during pregnancy. Women who have a full-term pregnancy before age 20 have a lower risk of breast cancer than women who have not had children or who give birth to their first child after age 35. Breast-feeding: estrogen levels may remain lower while a woman is breast-feeding. Women who breastfed have a lower risk of breast cancer than women who have had children but did not breastfeed.

Taking estrogen-only hormone therapy after hysterectomy, selective estrogen receptor modulators, or aromatase inhibitors and inactivators


 

Estrogen-only hormone therapy after hysterectomy

Hormone therapy with estrogen only may be given to women who have had a hysterectomy. In these women, estrogen-only therapy after menopause may decrease the risk of breast cancer. There is an increased risk of stroke and heart and blood vessel disease in postmenopausal women who take estrogen after a hysterectomy.


 

Selective estrogen receptor modulators:

Tamoxifen and raloxifene belong to the family of drugs called selective estrogen receptor modulators (serms). Serms act like estrogen on some tissues in the body, but block the effect of estrogen on other tissues.


 

Treatment with tamoxifen lowers the risk of estrogen receptor-positive (er-positive) breast cancer and ductal carcinoma in situ in premenopausal and postmenopausal women at high risk. Treatment with raloxifene also lowers the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. With either drug, the reduced risk lasts for several years or longer after treatment is stopped. Lower rates of broken bones have been noted in patients taking raloxifene.


 

Taking tamoxifen increases the risk of hot flashes, endometrial cancer, stroke, cataracts, and blood clots (especially in the lungs and legs). The risk of having these problems increases with age. Women younger than 50 years who have a high risk of breast cancer may benefit the most from taking tamoxifen. The risk of having these problems decreases after tamoxifen is stopped.


 

Taking raloxifene increases the risk of blood clots in the lungs and legs, but does not appear to increase the risk of endometrial cancer. In postmenopausal women with osteoporosis (decreased bone density), raloxifene lowers the risk of breast cancer for women who have a high or low risk of breast cancer. It is not known if raloxifene would have the same effect in women who do not have osteoporosis. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking this drug.


 

Aromatase inhibitors and inactivators:

Aromatase inhibitors (anastrozole, letrozole) and inactivators (exemestane) lower the risk of a new breast cancer in women who have a history of breast cancer. Aromatase inhibitors also decrease the risk of breast cancer in women with the following conditions:

Postmenopausal women with a personal history of breast cancer. Women with no personal history of breast cancer who are 60 years and older, have a history of ductal carcinoma in situ with mastectomy, or have a high risk of breast cancer based on the gail model tool (a tool used to estimate the risk of breast cancer).

In women with an increased risk of breast cancer, taking aromatase inhibitors decreases the amount of estrogen made by the body. Before menopause, estrogen is made by the ovaries and other tissues in a woman's body, including the brain, fat tissue, and skin. After menopause, the ovaries stop making estrogen, but the other tissues do not. Aromatase inhibitors block the action of an enzyme called aromatase, which is used to make all of the body's estrogen. Aromatase inactivators stop the enzyme from working.


 

Possible harms from taking aromatase inhibitors include muscle and joint pain, osteoporosis, hot flashes, and feeling very tired.


 

Risk-reducing mastectomy:

Some women who have a high risk of breast cancer may choose to have a risk-reducing mastectomy (the removal of both breasts when there are no signs of cancer). The risk of breast cancer is much lower in these women and most feel less anxious about their risk of breast cancer. However, it is very important to have a cancer risk assessment and counseling about the different ways to prevent breast cancer before making this decision.


 

Ovarian ablation:

The ovaries make most of the estrogen that is made by the body. Treatments that stop or lower the amount of estrogen made by the ovaries include surgery to remove the ovaries, radiation therapy, or taking certain drugs. This is called ovarian ablation.


 

Premenopausal women who have a high risk of breast cancer due to certain changes in the brca1 and brca2 genes may choose to have a risk-reducing oophorectomy (the removal of both ovaries when there are no signs of cancer). This decreases the amount of estrogen made by the body and lowers the risk of breast cancer. Risk-reducing oophorectomy also lowers the risk of breast cancer in normal premenopausal women and in women with an increased risk of breast cancer due to radiation to the chest. However, it is very important to have a cancer risk assessment and counseling before making this decision. The sudden drop in estrogen levels may cause the symptoms of menopause to begin. These include hot flashes, trouble sleeping, anxiety, and depression. Long-term effects include decreased sex drive, vaginal dryness, and decreased bone density.


 

Getting enough exercise:

Women who exercise four or more hours a week have a lower risk of breast cancer. The effect of exercise on breast cancer risk may be greatest in premenopausal women who have normal or low body weight.


 

It is not clear whether the following affect the risk of breast cancer:

  1. Oral contraceptives

  2. Certain oral contraceptives contain estrogen. Some studies have shown that taking oral contraceptives (" the pill") may slightly increase the risk of breast cancer in current users. This risk decreases over time. Other studies have not shown an increased risk of breast cancer in women who take oral contraceptives.

  3. Progestin -only contraceptives that are injected or implanted do not appear to increase the risk of breast cancer. More studies are needed to know whether progestin-only oral contraceptives increase the risk of breast cancer.


 

Environment

  1. Studies have not proven that being exposed to certain substances in the environment, such as chemicals, increases the risk of breast cancer.

  2. Studies have shown that some factors do not affect the risk of breast cancer.


 

The following do not affect the risk of breast cancer:

  1. Having an abortion. Making diet changes such as eating less fat or more fruits and vegetables. Taking vitamins, including fenretinide (a type of vitamin a). Cigarette smoking, both active and passive (inhaling secondhand smoke). Using underarm deodorant or antiperspirant. Taking statins (cholesterol -lowering drugs). Taking bisphosphonates (drugs used to treat osteoporosis and hypercalcemia) by mouth or by intravenous infusion.

  2. Cancer prevention clinical trials are used to study ways to prevent cancer.

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I have slipped disk and doctors told me to get admitted and I have another option to go to the bone setter what should I do?

BHMS
Homeopath, Hyderabad
I have slipped disk and doctors told me to get admitted and I have another option to go to the bone setter what shoul...
surgery is not the first choice, if presently if pain is acute. just take rest laying on hard surface Even floor etc.. Doing yoga esp bhujangasana regularly at lest for 5 mints will help you to reduce the pain as well as the disc bulge. Along with bhujangasana, if you do ardha shalabhasana with each leg for 5 mints & shalabhasana for 5 minits. There will be complete recovery. Along with yogaasan stat using homeopathy medicine to prevent the backache in future.
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Flattening of thoracic curvature ,to some extent .diminution of disc spaces with small osteophytes formation at the adjacent vertebral margins at T4>T8. No other obvious abnormality IMPRESSION - (Early/min) spondylitis changes -Mid-thoracic spine This is my x ray report please tell me is that a major problem or it can be heal with medicine and exercise and what r the reason for this. Please tell.

MPTh/MPT, BPTh/BPT
Physiotherapist, Gurgaon
Flattening of thoracic curvature ,to some extent .diminution of disc spaces with small osteophytes formation at the a...
This happens because foulty sitting posture. You should consult a good physiotherapist nearby and learn some stretching and strengthening exercises. Try to maintain neutral posture while sitting and standing. Avoid continues sitting for more than 30 minutes at a stretch.
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Breast Cancer - Know More to Say 'No' More!

MBBS, DGO, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, MRCOG
Gynaecologist, Delhi
Breast Cancer - Know More to Say 'No' More!

Cancer is the abnormal, uncontrolled growth of cells in a particular body part. With continued growth, pieces of this tissue travel through the blood to different body parts and continue to grow in the new area. This is known as metastases. Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer and affects about 1 in 8 women in the USA. Read on to know more details of breast cancer – breast anatomy, causes, symptoms, risk factors, detection, prevention, and of course treatment.

Anatomy: The main function of the breast is lactation through its milk-producing tissue that are connected to the nipple by narrow ducts. In addition, there is surrounding connective tissue, fibrous material, fat, nerves, blood vessels and lymphatic channels which complete the structure. This is essential to know as most breast cancers develop as small calcifications (hardened particles) in the ducts or as small lumps in the breast tissue which then continues to grow into cancer. The spread can happen through lymphatic or blood flow to other organs.

Warning signs/symptoms: The following are some symptoms that need to be watched out for if you have a predisposition to breast cancer.

  1. A lump in either of the breasts or armpits
  2. Change in size, shape, or contour of either breast
  3. Redness of your breast or nipple
  4. Discharge of clear or bloody fluid
  5. Thickening of breast tissue or skin that lasts through a period
  6. Altered look or feel of the skin on the breast or the nipple (dimpled, inflamed, scaly, or puckered)
  7. One area on the breast that looks very different from the other areas
  8. Hardened area under the breast skin

Either one or a combination of these should be an indication to get a detailed checkup done. Early diagnosis results in controlling the disease with minimal treatment and reduced complications.

Causes and risk factors: The exact cause for breast cancer is yet to be pinned down. However, risk factors are clearly identified, and women with risk factors need to watch out for warning signs.

  1. Family history: Of all the risk factors, the family history is the most important. Breast cancer runs in families, and if there is a first-degree relative with the breast cancer, the chances of developing it are almost double. Two genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the carriers of the disease, and this testing can be done in women to identify if they are at risk.
  2. Family history of other cancers: Even if there is no breast cancer, if there are other cancers that run in the family, watch out.
  3. Age: Women over 50 are at higher risk of developing breast cancer.
  4. Race: Caucasian and Jewish women are at higher risk of breast cancer than African-American women.
  5. Hormones: Greater exposure to the female hormone estrogen increases the chances of developing breast cancer. Women who use birth control pills for contraception and hormone replacement after menopause are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
  6. Gynecologic milestones: Women who have abnormal menstrual milestones need to watch out. These include those who attain menarche before 12 years of age, get pregnant after 30, attain menopause after 55, and have menstrual cycles shorter than 26 days or longer than 29 days.
  7. Obesity and alcohol abuse are also likely to increase a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer.

Stages: Starting from stage 0, higher stages indicate advanced disease.

  1. Stage 0: The growth which has begun in the milk-producing tissue or the ducts has remained there (in situ) and not spread to any other area, including the rest of the breast.
  2. Stage I: The tissue slowly becomes invasive and has begun to affect the surrounding healthy tissue. It could have spread to the fatty breast tissue and some breast tissue may be found in the nearby lymph nodes.
  3. Stage II: The cancer at this stage grows considerably or spreads to other parts. There are chances that cancer may grow and also spread.
  4. Stage III: It may have spread to the bones or other organs but small amounts are present in up to 9 to 10 of the lymph nodes in the armpits and collar bones which makes it is difficult to fight.
  5. Stage IV: The cancer is widespread to far-flung areas like the liver, lungs, bones, and even the brain.

Screening: This is one of the most effective ways to identify the disease in its early stages. This will help in controlling cancer from spreading with minimal treatment.

  1. Self-examination: A thorough self-examination to look for changes in terms of shape, size, colour, contour, and firmness should be learned by all women. Watch for any discharge, sores, rashes, or swelling in the breasts, surrounding skin, and nipple. Examine them while standing and when lying down.
  2. In most women, annual screening mammograms are advised after the age of 40. However, in women who have a strong family history or genetic makeup, it is advisable to have screening mammograms starting at age 20 every 3 years and then annually from the age of 40.
  3. Women in high-risk categories should have screening mammograms every year and typically start at an earlier age.
  4. Ultrasound screening can also be given in addition to mammograms.
  5. Breast MRI is another way to screen for breast cancer if the risk is greater.

Breast Cancer Prevention: Now that there is so much awareness about causes and risk factors, there are definitely ways to prevent or delay the onset of the disease.

  1. Exercise and a healthy diet with reduced amount of alcohol are definitely effective in minimising the chances of developing cancer.
  2. Tamoxifen is used in women who are at high risk for breast cancer.
  3. Evista (raloxifene) which is used to treat osteoporosis after menopause. It is also widely used in preventing breast cancer.
  4. In high-risk women, breasts are surgically removed to prevent the development of cancer (preventive mastectomy).

Treatment: As with all cancers, treatment would depend on the stage at which it is identified and include a combination of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. As noted earlier, if you are at risk, look out for warning signs as early diagnosis is the key to maximum recovery.

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