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Dr. Maya Bhagawan

Radiologist, Bangalore

Dr. Maya Bhagawan Radiologist, Bangalore
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I'm dedicated to providing optimal health care in a relaxed environment where I treat every patients as if they were my own family....more
I'm dedicated to providing optimal health care in a relaxed environment where I treat every patients as if they were my own family.
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Dr. Maya Bhagawan is an experienced Radiologist in Malleshwaram, Bangalore. She is currently practising at Jubilee Diagnostic Centre in Malleshwaram, Bangalore. Save your time and book an appointment online with Dr. Maya Bhagawan on Lybrate.com.

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Disk Pain

MSPT (Master of Physical Therapy), BPT
Physiotherapist, Gurgaon
Play video

Here are some facts related to Disk pain.

2 people found this helpful

I am male aged 57 years. In 1998, I had l4-l5 disc prolapse. After getting treatment for 5 years I was alright. But now since last 3 years, my calf muscles have become very stiff, unable to walk freely, developed gait problem (body disbalance) and sleeplessness. Presently I am using ropark 1 mg. Tab. Every night, but of no much help. Please Advise.

MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Delhi
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 1 wk, contact me again. Do not ignore. It could be beginning of a serious problem.
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I am a man of 50 years and have no complications except slip disc between l4-l5 which is ok if I take proper precaution. From last few months I feel considerable pain in my both knee after sitting on a chair for few hours constantly and then trying to move. When I am keep walking pain is not there. I have to sit in front of computer whole day long. Kindly advise.

MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Delhi
Kindly show me a photograph of the affected part--knees 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 use no pillow under the head. Do hot fomantation. Paracetamol 250mg od & sos x 5days. Caldikind plus 1tab od x10. Do neck, back, knee & 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.
1 person found this helpful
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I am a 25 years old male, I have been suffering from bulging disk at l5-s1. I have been resting for 2 months, now my neck has started paining too and left pelvic joint is making popping sound everytime it is bend. So I got my blood acid checked. And its been 8 for last two months, I have been drinking like 6 lts water everyday. Is uric acid main reason of pain? And how can I get it down as I don't want to start the medicine so early in life and drinking water is not working. Please suggest, my career is suffering a lot.

MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Delhi
Requires detailed examination and investigation. Preliminary investigations suggested: hb, tlc, dlc, esr, blood sugar fasting & pp, uric acid vit d urine r/e x-ray of the affected part. Anyway it may be tried sleep on a hard bed with soft bedding on it. Spring beds, folding beds or thick mattress are harmful use no pillow under the head. Do hot fomantation paracetamol 250mg od & sos x 5days. Caldikind plus 1tab od x10. Do neck, back, knee & general exercises. It may have to be further investigated. Do not ignore it. Let it not become beginning of a bigger problem. Make sure that patient is not allergic to any of the medicines that he/she is going to take. If it does not give relief in 4-5days, inform.
5 people found this helpful
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I have small disk. And my lift leg paining I went doctor he proscribed me some pain lure and nerve medication but still my leg paining. How I can get well and don't take medication. Thanks.

Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS), Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS)
Orthopedist, Trichy
if the disc is small then its unlikely to cause nerve root irritation. other causes of leg pain like inflammatory arthritis, vascular causes and Vit D levels have to be checked.
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Tips to Prevent Herniated Discs

M.Ch. orthopaedics, M.S. (Orth)
Orthopedist, Ludhiana
Tips to Prevent Herniated Discs

Our spinal disk resembles a jelly donut, wherein the softer insides are protected by the hard exterior. Sometimes, as a result of some injury or an accident the jelly slips out, leading to an extremely painful condition which in medical parlance is known as herniated disc. The pain that you are subjected to, during herniated disc, occurs as the nerves nearby are damaged due to the concussion.

Apart from pain, herniated disc is preceded by other symptoms, some of them are:

  1. Pain in the arm or the leg: Depending on which part of the body you have suffered the herniated disc, in the neck or in your lower back, this condition is succeeded by intense pain either near the buttocks or near the shoulders. It goes without saying that this pain increases sharply with movement.
  2. Numbness: That part of the body where the nerves are damaged due to herniated disc often becomes numb and has no sensation whatsoever.
  3. Weakness: Due to herniated disc, the muscles become weak that considerably impairs and curbs mobility.

However, there are various ways by which you can prevent a herniated disc. Some of them are:

  1. Exercise: Exercise in any form and even for a short while yields several benefits. Your body invariably gains momentum and agility. If you exercise daily, your spine becomes more stable and strong, thereby preventing a possible herniated disc.
  2. Maintaining the right and good posture: A lot depends on the way you sit and walk, in fact more than you can imagine. If you sit badly, it exerts a pressure on the spine and the discs. Subsequently, a good posture does the very reverse and curbs chances of a herniated disc in the future.
  3. Keep a tab on the weight: It is always healthy to maintain the right weight, the one that keeps you away from the onset of various diseases. If you are overweight, it puts more pressure on the spine disk, thereby increasing the risk of developing a herniated disc.
3044 people found this helpful

6 Symptoms of Uterine Prolapse

MBBS, M.S( Gynaecology)
Gynaecologist, Surat
6 Symptoms of Uterine Prolapse

The uterus is a muscular structure held in place inside your pelvis with the help of muscles, ligaments, and tissues. These muscles weaken in women due to pregnancy, childbirth or delivery complications and can lead to severe complications. One such complication is a uterine prolapse. Uterine prolapse occurs when the uterus sags or slips from its normal position into the vaginal canal.

The causes of uterine prolapse are varied and include:

- Delivering a large baby
- Pregnancy
- Difficulty in labor and delivery
- Reduction in estrogen levels post menopause
- Traumatic childbirth
- Loss or weakening of the pelvic muscle
- Conditions which lead to increased pressure in the abdominal area such as a chronic cough, straining, pelvic tumors or accumulation of fluid in the abdomen
- Loss of external support due to major surgery in pelvic area

Uterine prolapse can be complete or incomplete depending on how far the uterus sags into the vagina. Women who have minor uterine prolapse may not have any visible symptoms. However, if the condition worsens, it manifests itself in visible signs.

Symptoms of moderate or severe prolapse are:

1. A feeling of fullness or pressure in your pelvis when you sit
2. Seeing the uterus or cervix coming out of the vagina
3. Vaginal bleeding or increased discharge
4. Painful sexual intercourse
5. Recurrent bladder infections
6. Continuing back pain with difficulty in walking, urinating and moving your bowels

Without proper attention, the condition can cause impairments in the bowel, and can also affect bladder and sexual function. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Gynaecologist.

2 people found this helpful

Bone Cancer: Breaking The Myths

Fellowship Orthopaedic Oncology, MS - Orthopaedics
Oncologist, Mohali

What is Bone cancer?

Bone cancer is malignant tumour of the bones which can spread to lungs or other parts of the body. It may have arisen primarily from the bone itself (primary bone cancer) or more commonly, may have spread to the bones (secondary bone cancer) from cancer of some other body organ like Breast cancer, Prostate cancer etc.

Symptoms:

Primary bone cancer usually occurs in growing children and young adolescents, whereas, secondary bone cancer usually occurs in older age group. Usually, the patient experiences pain in the affected area, which over the time, gets worse and continuous. There may also be swelling in the involved region. It can cause weakening of bones resulting in fracture. Some patients may attribute these symptoms to any prior antecedent trauma. Unintentional weight loss may also be seen. Sometimes, these patients are wrongly being treated for infection, thus delaying the correct treatment which may have a bearing on the final outcome.

How common is bone cancer?

Secondary bone cancer is the most common type of bone cancer with bone being the third most common site of cancer spread (metastasis) from other organs. However, primary bone cancers are rare accounting for less than 1% of all cancers.

Causes of bone cancer?

There are no known environmental or other hereditary factors which cause bone cancer, however, certain patients are at a greater risk for bone cancer which include:

  • Patients who have received prior radiation therapy
  • Patients with a history of Paget’s Disease
  • Patients with hereditary retinoblastoma - a type of eye cancer that most commonly affects very young children
  • Patients with Li-Fraumeni syndrome - a rare genetic condition

How is it diagnosed?

A patient suspected with bone cancer needs to be investigated thoroughly with blood tests, Xrays, MRI to look for local extent of disease. Since bone cancer can spread to lungs and other bones, staging of the disease is done either with whole body PET CT or a bone scan with CT Chest. Alongwith that, a biopsy (usually with a needle) is required to establish the diagnosis. It’s important to do biopsy from the correct site since wrong biopsy site can be detrimental in limb salvage and can result in amputation (cutting the limb). Therefore, it’s recommended that the biopsy should always be done by the surgeon (Orthopaedic Oncologist) who will be doing the final surgery for bone cancer.

Treatment

Treatment of bone cancer is a multidisciplinary approach requiring an Orthopaedic Oncologist (Bone & Soft tissue tumour specialist), Medical Oncologist (Chemotherapy Specialist), Radiation Oncologist (Radiotherapy specialist) and Pathologist (Specialist in tissue diagnosis).

Usually in primary bone cancers, chemotherapy is given to the patient followed by surgery to remove the diseased bone which is further followed by adjuvant chemotherapy. Limb salvage surgery is possible nowadays for bone cancers in which the part of the bone involved with tumour is removed surgically (rather than cutting the whole limb) and the defect is reconstructed with artificial joint, thereby saving the limb. In some cases, the cancerous bone so removed is given very high dose of radiation so as to kill all the cancer cells and the sterilised bone so formed is fixed back to the parent bone with the help of plates and screws, a technique commonly called as Extra Corporeal Radiation Therapy (ECRT). In children, since the artificial joint will not grow as the child grows leading to unequal limb lengths over a period of time, the defect can be reconstructed with expandable joint which can be lengthened as the child grows which allows to maintain limb length equality at the time of skeletal maturity.

Is cure possible in bone cancer?

With the current chemotherapy regimes and advanced surgical technology, cure is possible in upto 70-75% patients with primary bone cancer. In patients with secondary bone cancer, cure can still be achieved depending upon the primary cancer and the extent of disease. In advanced cases also, a lot can be done to control the disease and give a quality of life to the patient.

Is it possible to prevent bone cancer?

Since the exact cause of bone cancer is not known, as of now it’s not possible to prevent bone cancer.

Whom to consult?

First chance is the best chance when it comes to curing bone cancers. So, it’s advisable to seek treatment from a trained Orthopaedic Oncologist when confronted with a bone cancer to achieve maximum beneficial outcome.

4 people found this helpful

L4-l5 and l5-s1 between disk problems years-44-women. Please give advise operation after disk moving

Hand Surgery SR Ship, MS - Orthopaedics, Thesis Work, M.B;B.S
Orthopedist, Jaipur
Dear, surgery in spine disorders is not a full proof guarantee that all will be well once surgery is done. As we all have multiple discs, so the key is to get surgery if pain is severe, and there are neurological weakness, but once you are off from surgery change lifestyle if you want no more problems.
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How To Prevent Sagging of Breasts?

Vaidya Visharad
Sexologist, Narnaul
How To Prevent Sagging of Breasts?

How to prevent sagging of breasts?

Home remedies for sagging breasts

Breast sagging is a natural process that happens with age wherein the breasts lose their suppleness and elasticity. Breasts do not have muscle. They are made of fat, connective tissues and milk-producing glands, and they need proper care to keep them in good shape.

Yoga


The benefits of yoga for the entire body have been widely studied, and it is primarily a mechanism of toning the body and increasing flexibility. Some of that toning can occur within the breast, depending on which positions you commonly practice.

Massage

Massage your breasts at least 2-3 times per week with olive oil. It will help add firmness to the skin as well as improve the skin tone and texture. It will also tone your chest and increase the elasticity of the skin.

Pomegranate

Pomegranate is considered a wonderful anti-aging ingredient and can help prevent sagging breasts. Pomegranate seed oil is rich in phyto-nutrients that can lead to firm breasts.


    Make a paste of pomegranate peel and some warm mustard oil. Use it to massage your breasts in a circular motion for 5 to 10 minutes daily before going to bed.
    You can also use pomegranate seed oil to massage your breasts 2 or 3 times daily.
    Another option is to mix 4 teaspoons of neem oil with 1 teaspoon of dried and powdered pomegranate rind. Heat this mixture for a few minutes. Allow it to cool and then use it to massage your breasts twice daily for several weeks.


Avoid loose fitting bra / wrong bra size

Some women feel that they would feel comfortable if they wear loose bra. But this is totally a wrong step. You are going to invite your saggy breast by doing this. Avoid this and go for the best fitting bra to keep your breast stay upright and firm. For more details visit us at www.malhotraayurveda.in

52 people found this helpful

What should I be doing to releave the pain for two herniated disc's one above and one below a fusion surgery of the cervical spine.

MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Delhi
Sleep on a hard bed with soft bedding on it. SPRING BEDS, FOLDING BEDS OR THICK MATRESS ARE HARMFUL Use no pillow under the head. 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.
1 person found this helpful
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Myth: Brain Damage is Always Permanent

M.Ch, MBBS
Neurosurgeon, Bikaner
Myth: Brain Damage is Always Permanent

Myth: Brain damage is always permanent.

Fact: The brain can repair or compensate for certain losses, and even generate new cells.
People once believed that we were born with a finite number of brain cells, and that was it for life; if you damaged any of them you could never get them back. Similarly, many scientists believed that the brain was unalterable; once it was" broken" it could not be fixed. 

Now, of course, we know that the brain remains plastic throughout life, and can rewire itself in response to learning. It can also generate new brain cells under the right circumstances.

Health Tip

Doctor Of Physical Therapy (DPT), Bachelor of Physical Therapy
Physiotherapist, Bangalore
Health Tip

Herniated disks or bone spurs in the vertebrae of the neck may become the reason behind severe neck pain. They sometimes take too much space and compress the nerves branching out from the spinal cord.

5 people found this helpful

I have problem of sleep disc, and sometimes its agony what are the exercise for this?

M.D. (Ayurveda )
Ayurveda, Patiala
Slip disc is a serious problem and can become debilitating too. Ayurveda has panchakarma to maintain such serious conditions. It can reduce the pain as well as its recurrence. Kindly consult some panchakarma consultant for best treatment. And consult yoga expert for exercises. Good luck.

I'm 25 years old. I've mild disk bulge in L4 and L5. Whether I can lead normal life or not? And it's curable completely or not? Pls tell me.

Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS), Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS)
Orthopedist, Trichy
Mild disc bulge is nothing serious. As long as you do not have any back pain radiating to your legs then the nerve roots are not getting compressed. Make sure you do not lift heavy objects or strain urself, avoid long distance 2 and 4 wheeler rides, back exercises help.
1 person found this helpful
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Good day to you. For a few months i've been having numbness and weakness in my left leg and scrotum. Got my mri results back and they say. Mild scoliosis at L4 L5 region with minor disc bulge with no nerve compression. No sign of cauda equina. Small annular tear at L4 region with muscular spasm. What's causing my numbness? How do I fix the disc bulge?

MBBS, MD - General Medicine, DM - Neurology
Neurologist, Hyderabad
Most likely, the cause of your symptoms are disc bulge. The best treatment at this stage is physiotherapy. Medications such as pregabalin and gabapentin are also helpful.
1 person found this helpful
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Back bone slip disk, sitika. I ask in Hindi rid ki haddi ke manke sarke hue hai. Unka koi ilaj hai kya. Koi bhi ilaj jese aurved ya koi or ilaaj hai to please batana. Unko bahut pain hota hai. Or koi kam bhi nahi kar sakte hai. Pura bed rest hai.

BPTh/BPT, MPTh/MPT
Physiotherapist, Noida
Apply hot fomentation twice daily. Avoid bending in front. Postural correction- sit tall, walk tall. Extension exercises x 15 times x twice daily. Bhujang asana. Core strengthening exercises. Back stretching. Do the cat/cow stretch.
3 people found this helpful
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Lung Cancer: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

MD PULMONARY, DTCD
Pulmonologist, Faridabad
Lung Cancer: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both lungs. These abnormal cells do not carry out the functions of normal lung cells and do not develop into healthy lung tissue. As they grow, the abnormal cells can form tumors and interfere with the functioning of the lung, which provides oxygen to the body via the blood.

Lung cancer is the most common cause of death due to cancer in both men and women throughout the world. According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, approximately one out of every 14 men and women in the U.S. is diagnosed with cancer of the lung at some point in their lifetime. Lung cancer is predominantly a disease of the elderly; almost 70% of people diagnosed with lung cancer are over 65 years of age, while less than 3% of lung cancers occur in people under 45 years of age.

What Causes Lung Cancer?

The development of lung cancer is strongly associated with cigarette smoking, approximately 90% of lung cancers are attributable to use of tobacco. Pipe and cigar smoking can also cause lung cancer, but the risk is not as high as with cigarette smoking. Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 chemical compounds, many of which are cancer causing (carcinogens). Passive smoking, i.e. the inhalation of tobacco smoke by non-smokers who live or work with smokers, is also an established risk factor for the development of lung cancer.

Genetic susceptibility (i.e. family history) may play a role in the development of lung cancer. Other causes of lung cancer include air pollution (from vehicles, industry, and power generation) and inhalation of asbestos fibres (usually in the workplace).

Lung Cancer Symptoms:

Early symptoms and signs of lung cancer:

There may be no symptoms at the onset of the disease. When present, common symptoms of lung cancer may include:

  1. Coughing: This includes a persistent cough that doesn't go away or changes to a chronic smoker's cough, such as more coughing or pain.
  2. Coughing up blood: Coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum (spit or phlegm) should always be discussed with your doctor.
  3. Breathing Difficulties: Shortness of breath, wheezing or noisy breathing (called stridor) may all be signs of lung cancer.
  4. Loss of Appetite: Many cancers cause changes in appetite, which may lead to unintended weight loss.
  5. Fatigue: It is common to feel weak or excessively tired.
  6. Recurring infections: Recurring infections, like bronchitis or pneumonia, may be one of the signs of lung cancer.

Signs of advanced stages of lung cancer: Advanced stages of lung cancer are often characterized by the spread of cancer to distant sites in the body. This may affect the bones, liver or brain. As other parts of the body are affected, new lung cancer symptoms may develop, including:

  1. Bone pain
  2. Swelling of the face, arms or neck
  3. Headaches, dizziness or limbs that become weak or numb
  4. Jaundice
  5. Lumps in the neck or collar-bone region

Treatment: Treatment for cancer involves a combination of surgery to remove cancer cells, chemotherapy and radiation therapy to kill cancer cells. Lung cancer is incurable unless complete surgical removal of the tumour cells can be achieved. Surgery is the most effective treatment for lung cancer, but only a few percentage of lung cancers are suitable for surgery i.e. Stage I and II NSCLC and cancer that has not spread beyond the lung.

Radiation therapy may be used for both NSCLC and SCLC and is a good option for people who are not suitable for surgery or who refuse surgery. Chemotherapy is used for both NSCLC and SCLC. Chemotherapy drugs may be given alone or in combination with surgery or radiation therapy. Chemotherapy is the treatment of first choice for SCLC since it has usually spread extensively in the body by the time it has been diagnosed.

Also used in the treatment of lung cancer are targeted therapies. These are drugs (gefitinib and erlotinib) or antibodies (cetuximab, bevacizumab) that block the growth and spread of cancer by interfering with specific molecules involved in tumor growth and progression. They are used in some patients with NSCLC that does not respond to standard chemotherapy.

3096 people found this helpful

Breast Cancer - Local and Systematic Form of Treatment!

MBBS, DNB (Obstetrics and Gynecology), MNAMS, Training in USG
Gynaecologist, Delhi
Breast Cancer - Local and Systematic Form of Treatment!

Breast Cancer - What exactly is it?
‘Breast cancer’ is a term that is used to refer to a malignant tumour, which has developed from cells present in the breast. Generally, all tumours can be divided into two categories i.e. benign and malignant and it is the malignant tumour that is responsible for causing cancer. Breast cancer generally originates in the cells the  milk producing glands of the breast's or the passage, which carries milk from the glands to the lobules. Additionally, breast cancer can also originate in the stromal tissues, including the fibrous and fatty connective breast tissues.

Breast Cancer: Treatment Options
Treatment for breast cancer depends upon two things: the exact type of the cancer and how advanced the cancer is. Treatment options for breast cancer can thus be broadly divided into two categories as Local treatments and Systemic treatments.

Local Treatments
Treatments that target the tumour without having any effect on the rest of the body are called local treatments. The following types of local treatment options are available for treating breast cancer:

  1. Surgery: Surgical breast cancer treatment involves removal of the malignant cancerous tumour in an operation. Smaller tumours can be removed using a surgical process referred to as ‘lumpectomy’, wherein the tumour along with a small amount of healthy tissue surrounding the tumour is removed. For larger tumours, removal of the entire breast becomes mandatory, in a surgical process known as ‘mastectomy’. Women who undergo mastectomy can choose to undergo reconstructive plastic surgery for reconstruction of the removed breast(s).
  2. Radiation Therapy: This basically involves using radiation to kill cancer cells present in the body. Radiation therapy is a long-drawn process that usually involves a set number of treatments administered over a long period of time. Radiation therapy is also generally the follow-up procedure after a lumpectomy, or more rarely, a mastectomy.

Systemic Treatments
Treatments involving drugs that are administered via either the mouth or direct injection into the bloodstream are called systemic treatments. These include:

  1. Chemotherapy: This includes using drugs to destroy the cancer cells present in the body by stopping the cancer cells from growing and dividing. Chemotherapy can be administered using either an IV (intravenous) tube or via pills that can be swallowed.
  2. Hormone Therapy: This treatment option is used for treating tumours which have tested positive for progesterone or oestrogen receptors. Blocking hormones that fuel the tumour’s growth is the basis of this therapy.
  3. Targeted Therapy: This targets specific proteins and genes which contribute to growth and survival of the cancer cells. Targeted therapy is an extremely focused treatment, and is very effective in blocking the growth and division of cancer cells, as well as minimizing damage to surrounding healthy cells.
2587 people found this helpful

Breast Cancer - In A Nutshell

Post Doctoral Research (Ph.D.) (A.M) (Oncology), Integrative Oncology for Physicians (MSKCC, N.Y, USA), Doctor of Natural Medicine (N.D/ N.M.D), Ayurveda (I) Cert., Advanced Strategic Management (APSM), B.E (Computer Sc. & Engg.), Clinically Relevant Herb-Drug Interactions (CME) - (Cine-Med Inc. USA)
Alternative Medicine Specialist, Bhubaneswar
Breast Cancer - In A Nutshell

Breast cancer begins when cells in the breast(s) start to grow out of control. It is understood as being the most common cancer, seen predominantly in females, globally. It is reasonably treatable and often curable.

1. Type: Adenocarcinomas constitute more than 95% of breast cancers with infiltrating ductal carcinoma (IDC) being the most common form of invasive breast cancer.

Frequently occurring breast cancers present as one of the following types mainly

1. Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS): Is the most common type of non-invasive breast cancer and is confined to the milk ducts of the breast. There is no invasion in the basement membrane. Pure DCIS metastasizes rarely. Non comedo cribrioform carcinoma is the most common DCIS found which, when compared to the comedo type, is mostly non-aggressive.

2. Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma (IDC): Represents majority (about 3/4th) of the breast cancers, and is known to metastasize commonly to bones, lungs and liver.

3. Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS): Develops in multiple lobules of the breast (bilaterally). LCIS is less commonly seen, compared to DCIS.

4. Infiltrating Lobular Carcinoma (ILC): Represent about a tenth of all breast cancers and tends to metastasize to other regions of the body.

Less commonly occurring breast cancers such as

5. Inflammatory Breast Cancer: Is relatively uncommon and are caused probably owing to viral infections. The breast is warm, red and swollen.

6. Paget’s disease of the nipple: Is a rare form of breast cancer. It begins in the milk ducts and spreads to the nipple and areola.

7. Medullary Carcinoma

8. Mutinous Carcinoma

9. Tubular Carcinoma

10. Phylloides tumor etc all.

2. Gender: Affects the female populace predominantly. However, a small percentage of breast cancer is attributable to the male populace as well.

3. Etiology: No definite cause is known. However, diet, lifestyle, environment, hormonal/ reproductive factors, personal or family history of breast cancer especially in first degree relatives and also any benign breast disease history etc all are known to increase the risk of breast cancers. Specifically, excessive fatty diet, obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, benign breast disease, heredity/ inheritance of mutated breast cancer genes 1 (BRCA1) and 2 (BRCA2), smoking, alcohol intake, infertility, estrogen therapy/ hormone replacement therapy (long term) in post menopausal women, delayed age at first pregnancy, nulliparity (not having child), early menstruation, delayed onset of menopause, lactating mothers not breast feeding, exposure to ionizing radiation, sedentary lifestyle, depression, exposure to MMTV virus etc all can potentially increase the risk for breast cancer.

4. Features: Signs & symptoms, of breast cancer, manifest majorly in the following ways

  1. Lump/ nodule in the breast that gets attached to the skin of the breast over time. The lump / nodule could be hard and painless with irregular edges or it could also be soft, rounded, tender and painful.

  2. Enlarged lymph nodes in the axilla which are palpable.

  3. Swelling of whole or a part of a breast. This is even if there is no distinct lump felt.

  4. Retraction or thickening of the nipple(s).

  5. Pain in the breast or nipple.

  6. Discharge from nipple other than breast milk.

  7. Irritation/ scaliness of skin over the breast.

  8. Redness of nipples

  9. Rarely, red, swollen and tender breast.

5. Screening: Is generally recommended for asymptomatic populations goal of which, as usual, is to be able to detect & diagnose breast cancer at an early stage which is potentially curable. It is mostly radiologic with mammography/ USG being instrumental in raising suspicions for further diagnostics (i.e. biopsy) that help detect breast cancer, if any, early.

6. Diagnosis: A self-examination/ clinical exam of the breast(s)/ axilla that reveals a palpable mass prompts the following diagnostics. Abnormal blood test results may be indicative of malignancy, but a follow up imaging/ biopsy is always the gold standard for accurate diagnosis.

  1. Blood: ER/ PR/ HER2/neu, uPA, PAI-1, CA15-3, CA27.29 etc all tumor markers are helpful.
  2. Imaging: Mammography/ USG Scan usually, as relevant. Again, CT Scan of abdomen & pelvis and chest, PET CT scan, bone scan etc all help detect metastasis, if any, for cancers in stage III & above.
  3. Biopsy: either excisional, incisional, fine needle aspiration (FNA) or core biopsy technique, as contextually appropriate, is frequently employed and a histopathological examination (HPE) thereof clinches the diagnosis and the nature of the disease.

7. Treatment: Conventional treatment includes surgery, radiotherapy, hormone therapy/ chemotherapy as deems appropriate. Simultaneously, an adjunctive or integrative naturopathic treatment with suitable complementary & alternative medicines (CAM) too can help improve clinical outcomes and facilitate recovery as would be feasible contextually.

8. Prognosis: Preventive measures, earlier diagnosis and right early treatment is key for an effective therapeutic management & better prognosis. Like most other cancers, the chances of cure for an early stage breast cancer are more. The cure/ recovery chances are influenced by the type, grade, stage of cancer, recurrence and the patient’s general health & vitality etc all. Above-mentioned apart, age, menopause status, lymph node status, ER/ PR/ HER-2/ neu status, size & extent of breast cancer etc all also influence the treatment outlook in breast cancer. The five year survival rate is strongly correlated with the stage of breast cancer.

9. Prevention: Rightly said, prevention is always a better choice. Although genetic risks are difficult to modify, still an increased focus on protective factors and avoidance of the risk factors can be of help. An adherence to a Mediterranean diet, maintaining an ideal body weight and an active lifestyle with due emphasis on regular exercising (for at least 30 minutes daily), de-stressing and relaxation is highly recommended for reducing the risks of breast cancer. A healthy eating plate comprises essentially a low fat diet, fibre rich foods including whole grain cereals, green leafy vegetables cooked using healthy vegetable oils, fresh fruits of all colours as seasonally available and healthy proteins/ fats including fresh fish, poultry, beans, nuts etc all. It is advisable to limit milk/ dairy, preferably of low fat content, to 1 to 2 servings max daily. Although alcohol is optional and is not for everyone, the consumption of the same, if any, has to be strictly in moderation, and is best avoided. Smoking is to be avoided as well. Again, red meat, butter, refined grains, sweets, sugary drinks including carbonated beverages and other high calorie foods etc all, if any, are to be taken sparingly or are best avoided too. Limiting dosage/ duration of hormone therapy, if any, especially to counteract post menopausal symptoms and also avoiding exposure to radiation and environmental pollution can help reduce the risks of breast cancer. Apart from the above-mentioned, for high risk cases, a prophylactic oophorectomy, prophylactic radical mastectomy, long term hormone therapy etc all can help reduce the chances/ risks of developing breast cancer significantly. Breastfeeding is known to confer protection against breast cancer risk too.

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