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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.
- A lump in either of the breasts or armpits
- Change in size, shape, or contour of either breast
- Redness of your breast or nipple
- Discharge of clear or bloody fluid
- Thickening of breast tissue or skin that lasts through a period
- Altered look or feel of the skin on the breast or the nipple (dimpled, inflamed, scaly, or puckered)
- One area on the breast that looks very different from the other areas
- 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.
- 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.
- Family history of other cancers: Even if there is no breast cancer, if there are other cancers that run in the family, watch out.
- Age: Women over 50 are at higher risk of developing breast cancer.
- Race: Caucasian and Jewish women are at higher risk of breast cancer than African-American women.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Stage II: The cancer at this stage grows considerably or spreads to other parts. There are chances that cancer may grow and also spread.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Women in high-risk categories should have screening mammograms every year and typically start at an earlier age.
- Ultrasound screening can also be given in addition to mammograms.
- 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.
- Exercise and a healthy diet with reduced amount of alcohol are definitely effective in minimising the chances of developing cancer.
- Tamoxifen is used in women who are at high risk for breast cancer.
- Evista (raloxifene) which is used to treat osteoporosis after menopause. It is also widely used in preventing breast cancer.
- 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.
Hello Dr. Sir, I am Harvinder singh from yamunanagar, Haryana. I have lower back pain since last 2 years. Its slip disc and sciatica pain in left leg. I am very unhappy with this problem. Please advice me best of best treatment for the same and where I can get the same.
जिगर शरीर में सबसे बड़ा ग्रंथियों वाला अंग है और शरीर को विषाक्त पदार्थों और हानिकारक पदार्थों से मुक्त रखने के लिए विभिन्न महत्वपूर्ण कार्य करता है। पेट के दाहिने ऊपरी चतुर्भुज मंर स्थित है, पसलियों के ठीक नीचे। लिवर पित्त के उत्पादन के लिए जिम्मेदार है, जो एक पदार्थ है जो आपको वसा, विटामिन, और अन्य पोषक तत्वों को पचाने में मदद करता है। यह ग्लूकोज जैसे पोषक तत्वों को भी स्टोर करता है और दवाओं और विषाक्त पदार्थों को तोड़ता है।
लिवर कैंसर, जिसे हेपेटिक कैंसर भी कहा जाता है, एक कैंसर होता है जो लिवर में शुरू होता है। जब कैंसर लिवर में विकसित होता है, तो यह लिवर कोशिकाओं को नष्ट कर देता है और सामान्य रूप से कार्य करने के लिए लिवर की क्षमता में दखल देता है। लिवर कैंसर के दो प्रकार होते हैं। प्राथमिक लिवर कैंसर, जो लिवर की कोशिकाओं में शुरू होता है। जबकि, कैंसर जो कि कहीं और से शुरू होता है और अंततः जिगर तक पहुंच जाता है, उन्हें जिगर मेटास्टेसिस या द्वितीयक लिवर कैंसर कहा जाता है।
प्राथमिक लिवर कैंसर के विभिन्न प्रकार
विभिन्न प्रकार के प्राथमिक लिवर कैंसर लिवर के विभिन्न कोशिकाओं से उत्पन्न होते हैं। प्राथमिक लिवर कैंसर लिवर में एक गांठ के रूप में, या एक ही समय में लिवर के भीतर कई स्थानों में शुरू हो सकता है।
1. हेपैटोसेलुलर हेपैटोसेलुलर:
हेपेटोसेल्यूलर कार्सिनोमा (एच.सी.सी), जिसे हेपेटामा भी कहा जाता है, सबसे सामान्य प्रकार का लिवर कैंसर है। एचसीसी मुख्य प्रकार के लिवर कोशिकाओं में शुरू होता है, जिसे हेपोटोसेल्यूलर कोशिका कहा जाता है। एचसीसी के अधिकांश मामले हेपेटाइटिस बी या सी, या शराब के कारण जिगर के सिरोसिस के संक्रमण का नतीजा है।
2. फाइब्रोलैमेलर एचसीसी:
फाइब्रोलामेरेलर एचसीसी एक रेअर प्रकार का एचसीसी है, जो आम तौर पर अन्य प्रकार के लिवर कैंसर की तुलना में उपचार के लिए अधिक संवेदनशील होता है।
कोलेंजियोकार्सिनोमा, जिसे आमतौर पर पित्त नली के कैंसर के रूप में जाना जाता है, लिवर में छोटे, ट्यूब जैसे पित्त नलिकाओं में विकसित होता है। पाचन में मदद करने के लिए, ये नलिकाएं पित्ताशय में पित्त को ले जाने के लिए जिम्मेदार हैं। जब कैंसर लिवर के अंदर नलिकाएं के खंड में शुरू होता है, तो इसे इंट्राहेपेटिक पित्त नलिका कैंसर कहा जाता है। यद्यपि, जब लिवर के बाहर नलिकाओं के अनुभाग में कैंसर शुरू होता है, तो एक्स्ट्राहेपाटिक पित्त वाहिका कैंसर कहलाता है।
एंजियोनेसकोमा लिवर कैंसर का एक रेअर प्रकार है जो लिवर के रक्त वाहिकाओं से शुरू होता है। इस प्रकार का कैंसर बहुत तेज़ी से प्रगति करता है, इसलिए यह आमतौर पर एक और अधिक उन्नत चरण में डिटेक्ट किया जाता है।
हेपोटोब्लास्टोमा एक अत्यंत असामान्य प्रकार का लिवर कैंसर है।
लिवर कैंसर के लक्षण
ज्यादातर लोगों के प्राथमिक जिगर कैंसर के शुरुआती चरणों में लक्षण नहीं होते। जिसके परिणामस्वरूप, लिवर कैंसर बहुत देर से डिटेक्ट किया जाता है। लिवर कैंसर के लक्षणों में शामिल हैं:
- भूख में कमी
- वजन घटना
- एबडोमीनल पेन
- मतली और उल्टी
- सामान्य खुजली
- हेपटेमेगाली (बढ़े हुए जिगर)
- बढ़े हुए स्प्लीन
चूंकि लिवर कैंसर के लिए कोई व्यापक रूप से अनुशंसित नियमित स्क्रीनिंग टेस्ट नहीं हैं, इसलिये बीमारी के परिवार के या अन्य जोखिम कारकों के इतिहास वाले लोगों को उनके डॉक्टर से बात करनी चाहिए ताकि वे अपने जोखिम को मॉनिटर करने या कम करने के लिए सही कदम उठा सकें।
लिवर कैंसर के जोखिम कारक
प्राथमिक लिवर कैंसर के खतरे को बढ़ाने वाले कारकों में शामिल हैं:
- उपचय स्टेरॉयड्स
- कम प्रतिरक्षा और मोटापा
I am 39 years my weight is 95 kg, my height is 5.4, I have ligament tear in my right knee, I have slip disc in l4, l5, high bp. Etc, please suggest how to loose weight. Rapidly fast if any medicine that can help to reduce the weight.
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.
I have noticed that the space between c5 and c6 of my spine have increased and as a result my neck and shoulder are very painful. I have also little tmj. What will I do now? Please Please help me.
Are you experiencing excessive uterine bleeding? Excessive uterine bleeding may occur between a woman’s periods or before the periods, after having sex, or due to the development of spotting or bleeding after attaining menopause. Any menstrual cycle, which lasts longer than 21–35 days is called excessive, and this is an abnormal form of uterine bleeding.
Causes of Excessive Uterine Bleeding:
The various causes of excessive uterine bleeding are as follows:
One of the main causes is hormonal imbalance, as the balance between estrogen and progesterone gets disrupted. This balance is required for the regulation and development of the lining of endometrium or uterus lining. Because of the hormonal imbalance, the endometrium develops excessively causing heavy bleeding.
Uterine fibroids, which are non cancerous tumours, may lead to prolonged and excessive uterine bleeding.
Polyps are small benign developments on the uterus lining which cause heavy bleeding. They occur because of high levels of hormones.
Adenomyosis is a condition which develops when the endometrium glands get embedded in the uterine muscle, leading to excessive uterine bleeding.
Using intrauterine devices or IUDs may cause side effects as well.
Several uterine cancers, ovarian cancers and cervical conditions may be responsible as well. Inherited bleeding disorders such as von Willebrand’s disease is another likely cause.
Several medicines and drugs, including NSAIDs and anticoagulants are a common cause.
There are different ways of treating excessive uterine bleeding, depending upon the cause of bleeding and the patient’s age.
Medications: Several medicines are used for the treatment of abnormal uterine bleeding. Hormonal medicines and birth control pills are used to improve the regularity of periods. Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are also used to manage excessive uterine bleeding. Several antibiotics are also used.
Surgery: In many cases, a woman has to undergo a surgery for the removal of polyps and fibroids, which cause excessive bleeding. Certain fibroids are removed via hysteroscopy and other techniques for treatment are used as well. Endometrial ablation can be carried out to manage the bleeding. This treatment aims at permanent reduction of the excess bleeding. Hysterectomy has to be carried out when other treatments are unsuccessful. This is a serious surgery and after it, a woman will no longer have periods, and she will not be able to conceive a child.
In case of excessive uterine bleeding, you must consult a doctor as soon as possible. This will enable early treatment and prevent the development of further complications.
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?
We have more than 200 bones in our body and each of them is susceptible to bone cancer. However, long bones in the arms and legs are most susceptible to this condition. Bone cancer can be primary or secondary. Primary bone cancer involves uncontrolled and abnormal cell division within the bones while secondary bone cancer refers to cancer that originated somewhere else in the body and later spread to the bones. While children and adults are equally at risk for primary bone cancer, adults and elderly people are more susceptible to secondary bone cancer. If diagnosed early enough, bone cancer can be treated and even cured with surgery, chemotherapy or radiation.
Hence it is essential to recognize the signs and symptoms of bone cancer. Here’s what you should look out for.
- Pain in Bones: Pain is one the primary symptoms of bone cancer. As the tumour grows larger, this pain can become more intense. In its early stages, the pain may be experienced as a dull ache inside the bone or the affected part of the body. It may also increase or decrease according to your activity level or may be experienced only at night. However, not all bone pains signify ‘cancer’ as this is also a symptom associated with osteoporosis.
- Swelling: In some cases, the abnormal growth of bone cells can result in the formation of a lump of mass that may be felt through the skin. In other cases, the affected area may also show signs of swelling.
- Breaking of the Bone: Cancer can weaken the bones and make them more brittle. This may make the bones more susceptible to fractures. A bone breaking in an area that has been painful or sore for a long period of time may be a sign of cancer. This is known as a pathologic fracture.
- Reduced Flexibility: If the tumour is located near a joint, it may affect the range of movements possible and make simple actions uncomfortable. For example, a tumour around the knee may make walking and climbing stairs a painful exercise.
Other symptoms to look out for are sudden and drastic weight loss, tiredness, excessive sweating at night, fever and difficulty breathing in case cancer has spread to other organs. Since many of these symptoms are common to other medical disorders, you should consult a doctor immediately if you notice any of them. A physical examination and a couple of tests along with a biopsy will be required to confirm a diagnosis of bone cancer.
I am having slip disc. I want to know to cure it with exercises and what are the precautions to took for this?
A brain stroke can affect anyone at any point of time when the supply of blood to the brain is interrupted. It can threaten major physical functions and can prove to be fatally dangerous at times. The brain stem which is placed right above the spinal cord controls the breathing, heartbeat and levels of blood pressure. It is also in charge of controlling some elementary functions such as swallowing, hearing, speech and eye movements
What are the different types of strokes?
There are three main kinds of stroke: ischemic strokes, hemorrhagic strokes and transient ischemic attacks. The The most common type of brain stroke is the ischemic stroke is caused by narrowing or blocking of arteries to the brain, which prevents the proper supplyof of blood to the brain. Sometimes it so happens that the blood clot that has formed elsewhere in the body have travelled via the blood vessels and has been trapped in the blood vessel which provides blood to the brain. When the supply of blood to a part of the brain is hindered, the tissue in that area dies off owing to lack of oxygen. The other variant of brain stroke is termed as hemorrhagic stroke is caused when the blood vessels in and around the brain burstor or leak. Strokes need to be diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible in order to minimize brain damage.
What are the common symptoms of a brain stroke?
The symptoms of the brain stroke are largely dependent on the area of the brain that has been affected. It can interfere with normal functioning, such as breathing and talking and other functions which human beings can perform without thinking such as eye movements or swallowing. Since all the signals from the brain as well as other parts of the body traverse through the brain stem, the interruption of blood flow often leads to numbness or paralysis in different parts of the body.
Who is likely to have a stroke?
Anyone is at a risk of developing brain stroke although ageing is directly proportional to the risk of having a stroke. Not only that an individual with a family history of brain stroke or transient ischemic attack is at a higher risk of developing stroke. People who have aged over 65 accounts for about 33 percent of all brain strokes. It is important to point here that individuals with high blood pressure, high blood sugar, cholesterol, cancer, autoimmune diseases and some blood disorders are at a higher risk of developing brain stroke.
There are a few factors which can increase the risk of developing stroke beyond any control. But there are certain lifestyle choices as well which aids in controlling the chances of being affected by stroke. It is crucial to refrain from long-term hormone replacement therapies as well as birth control pills, smoking, lack of physical activity, excessive use of alcohol and drug addiction. A brain stroke is a life-threatening medical condition, and when an individual has symptoms that resemble that of stroke, it is crucial to seek immediate medical help.
Treatment for stroke:
- Treatment depends on the type of stroke.
- Ischemic strokes can be treated with 'clot-busting' drugs.
- Hemorrhagic strokes can be treated with surgery to repair or block blood vessel weaknesses.
- The most effective way to prevent strokes is through maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
What is TPA?
TPA is a thrombolytic or a “Clot Buster” drug. This clot buster is used to break-up the clot that is causing a blockage or disruption in the flow of blood to the brain and helps restore the blood flow to the area of the brain. It is given by intravenous (IV). This can be given only within 45.5 hrs of the onset of symptoms
Time is brain
Remember Every second Loss means brain cells die.
Rush to the nearest Stroke Centre whenever you experience such symptoms.
You can save the brain cells dying if you reach within 4.5 hrs by the CLOT BUSTER.
Another treatment option is an endovascular procedure called mechanical thrombectomy, strongly recommended, in whichtrained trained doctors try removing a large blood clot bysending sending a wired-caged device called a stent retriever, to the site of the blocked blood vessel in the brain
The good news is that 80 percent of all strokes are preventable. It startswith with managing keyrisk risk factors, including
- High blood pressure,
- Cigarette smoking,
- Diabetes Atrial fibrillation and
- Physical inactivity.
More than half of all strokes are caused by uncontrolled hypertension or high blood pressure, making it the most important risk factor to control.
The best way to get better after a stroke is to start stroke rehabilitation ("rehab"). In stroke rehab, a team of health professionals works with you to regain skills you lost as the result of a stroke. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a neurologist. Homoeopathic Remedies which may be helpful during stroke or after stroke: Creategus, Terminalia Arjuna, Arnica, Glonoine, Glycyrrhiza Glabra, Lachesis, Opium, Staphysagria, Gelsemium, Phosphorous etc.
Note : Do not take any Homoeopathic medicine without consulting any Homoeopath.
I am 43 years old and I have taken scan and in my report there is a small fibre on the both wall of the uterus, can you please tell me whether it is danger or not.
I am 42 year old female .After slip disc L1toL4 problem, pain in left heel and becomes severe at times. Is it spur in the foot ,slip disc or something else.
Step 1: Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips.
Here's what you should look for:
Breasts that are their usual size, shape, and color
Breasts that are evenly shaped without visible distortion or swelling
If you see any of the following changes, bring them to your doctor's attention:
Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin
A nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple (pushed inward instead of sticking out)
Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling
Step 2: now, raise your arms and look for the same changes.
Step 3: while you're at the mirror, look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples (this could be a watery, milky, or yellow fluid or blood).
Step 4: next, feel your breasts while lying down, using your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few finger pads of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together. Use a circular motion, about the size of a quarter.
Cover the entire breast from top to bottom, side to side — from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage.
Follow a pattern to be sure that you cover the whole breast. You can begin at the nipple, moving in larger and larger circles until you reach the outer edge of the breast. You can also move your fingers up and down vertically, in rows, as if you were mowing a lawn. This up-and-down approach seems to work best for most women. Be sure to feel all the tissue from the front to the back of your breasts: for the skin and tissue just beneath, use light pressure; use medium pressure for tissue in the middle of your breasts; use firm pressure for the deep tissue in the back. When you've reached the deep tissue, you should be able to feel down to your ribcage.
Step 5: finally, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting. Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so they like to do this step in the shower. Cover your entire breast, using the same hand movements described in step 4.
Does Knuckle breaking at neck at regular intervals when I'm feel stressed, will that leads to an disk injury or any problems in future. Usually I keep doing that when I work out in gym.
Am 24 years old and facing disc bulge from past 4 years (L4, l5, l6) I have taken treatment with exercises, massages and Physio therapy. Which is best way to cure in a quick time.
If you are concerned about liver cancer, you should know that most people do not experience signs and symptoms of the cancer in the early stages. Liver cancer is a form of cancer which occurs in the cells of the liver. There are various types of cancer which can develop in the liver. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common liver cancer which begins in the hepatocyte, which is the main liver cell.
Usually there are no specific primary stage symptoms of liver cancer. Some symptoms which may develop include the following:
Unusual weight loss is observed
Loss of appetite and developing food aversion
Pain in the upper abdomen
Nausea followed by vomiting
General weakness with intense fatigue
Swelling in the abdomen
The skin may become yellow
White and chalky stools are likely
In most cases, the causes of liver cancer cannot be clearly determined. In some cases, the cause is known, such as chronic infection with the hepatitis virus, which may lead to liver cancer. Liver cancer occurs when the liver cells undergo changes or mutations in their DNA structure. DNA mutations lead to changes in instructions of chemical processes taking place in the body. The cells may grow out of control and develop into a cancerous tumour.
There are several factors which enhance the risk of liver cancer. They are as follows:
Chronic infection with hepatitis B or hepatitis C increases the risk of liver cancer.
A progressive and irreversible condition known as cirrhosis leads to scar tissue formation in the liver, increasing the risk of liver cancer.
Certain inherited liver diseases such as Wilson’s disease and hemochromatosis also increase the chances of liver cancer.
People with diabetes are also at a greater risk of having liver cancer.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is the accumulation of fat in the liver, also increases the chances of getting this condition.
Excessive alcohol consumption is another factor which causes irreversible damage to the liver and the chances of getting liver cancer get boosted.
Exposure to aflatoxins, which are poisons produced by molds growing on poorly stored crops, make you more likely to get liver cancer.
Several tests and procedures are carried out for the diagnosis of liver cancer. These include blood tests for diagnosing liver function problems, and imaging tests such as ultrasound, CT scan and MRI scan.
Becoming a mum can lay down a whole lot of stress on you. But now you know that your brain is going to help you with all the adjustment s! ah ah a relief you get when your baby gives you a hug by kissing your cheecks the joy you get is amazing and gratitude to the almighty creater
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?
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.
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:
- 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).
- 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.
Treatments involving drugs that are administered via either the mouth or direct injection into the bloodstream are called systemic treatments. These include:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.