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Dr. P.S.Uppal

Radiologist, Delhi

Dr. P.S.Uppal Radiologist, Delhi
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I'm a caring, skilled professional, dedicated to simplifying what is often a very complicated and confusing area of health care....more
I'm a caring, skilled professional, dedicated to simplifying what is often a very complicated and confusing area of health care.
More about Dr. P.S.Uppal
Dr. P.S.Uppal is a popular Radiologist in Sheikh Sarai, Delhi. You can visit him/her at Aakash Medical Centre in Sheikh Sarai, Delhi. Book an appointment online with Dr. P.S.Uppal and consult privately on Lybrate.com.

Lybrate.com has an excellent community of Radiologists in India. You will find Radiologists with more than 44 years of experience on Lybrate.com. You can find Radiologists online in Delhi 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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Maulana Mohammad Ali Road, Okhala. Landmark: Opp Sccot Hospital and Near Surya Hotal, DelhiDelhi Get Directions
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Hi doctor. I have a severe backache as per Dr. Advice I have done mri. My mri report is as under kindly advise in matter degenerative lumber spondylitis are seen in the form of marginal osteophytes and multilevel disc dessication. 1. D12-l1 & l1-l2 discs show mild bulge, indenting anterior thecal sac without significant never root compression 2. L2-l3 disc reveals right paracentral disc extrusion, indenting anterior thecal sac and causing right lateral recess narrowing, impinging on right traversing l3 nerve root. 3. L3-l4 disc shows mild diffuse disc protrusion, indenting anterior thecal sac and causing bilateral mild neural foraminal narrowing, minimally abutting bilateraltraversing l4 nerve roots. 4. L4-l5 disc reveals mild diffuse disc protrusion, indenting anterior thecal sac and causing bilateral mild neural foraminal narrowing, minimally abutting right existing l4 nerve root-bilateral traversing l5 nerve roots. Nerve roots. Cord is seen ending at d11 vertebral level. Distal cord and conus appear normal. Both hip and si joints are normal. No pre / paravertebral, epidural soft tissue or haematoma is seen. Bilateral psoas and posterior paraspinous muscles are normal. Please advise for home exercise / medicine.?

Bachelor of Physiotherapist
Physiotherapist, Noida
Hi doctor. I have a severe backache as per Dr. Advice I have done mri. My mri report is as under kindly advise in mat...
Sir you should back strengthening and stretching exercise. It will relax and strengthen or back muscles. If you personally want to consult me Please consult privately.
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I am suffering from l5-s6 disc prolapse from a year. Not undergone surgery. Little weight lift becomes problem in next morning. Is there a permanent solution for my problem. Thanks in advance.

Hand Surgery, M.S. (Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Ahmedabad
Dear well, there is nonoperative treatment which is manipulation of spine, but should be done by a qualified person. There are risks involved and so you need proper evaluation and then I can decide if you are a proper candidate for the same or not.
2 people found this helpful
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I have got pain in my leg from two years. The MRI shows this diffuse posture lateral iv disc at L4-L5 level causing anterior epidural space and lateral recess narrowing with mild thecal sac indentation and abutting transversing nerve fibres and existing neural foramen stenosis.(2) subtle L3 -L4 diffuse posture lateral iv disc bulge causing anterior epidural space and lateral recess effacement. What is the treatment of it .is surgery necessary for it.

BPTh/BPT, MPTh/MPT
Physiotherapist, Noida
I have got pain in my leg from two years. The MRI shows this diffuse posture lateral iv disc at L4-L5 level causing a...
: keep your leg raised while sitting or lying quadriceps strengthening exercises- quad clenches: lie flat on your back or sit upright on a chair with leg kept horizontally on another surface. Now, tighten the muscle on the front of the thigh by pushing your knee down. You should feel your thigh muscles clench, hold for 3 secs. Repeat 10 times twice a day. Short arcs: lie flat on your back or sit upright with your leg placed horizontally on a flat surface like a chair or bed. Place a rolled up towel under the knee. Pull your toes towards you and clench you thigh muscles. Slowly lift your foot up off the bed until your knee is straight (keep your knee resting on the towel). Hold for 3 secs and slowly lower them on the chair. Repeat 10 times twice a day. Straight leg raise: lie flat on your back. One leg and knee will be straight and other leg should be bent. Pull your toes towards you and tighten/clench the muscle on the front of the thigh, locking your knee straight. Lift your foot up in the air, about 6 inches off the bed. Hold for 3 secs and slowly lower the leg. The knee must remain straight the whole time you are doing this exercise.
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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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I am male 39 I have a problem of obesity combined with disk problem. If to reduce tummy I go for walk the backache develops. If I take rest for improving disk problem then tummy gets large. Suggest solution.

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Faridabad
I am male 39 I have a problem of obesity combined with disk problem. If to reduce tummy I go for walk the backache de...
1. Mix three teaspoons of lemon juice, one teaspoon of honey, and one-half teaspoon of black pepper powder in one glass of water. 2. Drink it in the morning on an empty stomach. 3. Do this daily for at least three months. 4. Drink mint tea or make a paste of green mint with some simple spices and eat during meals. 5. Eat vegetables such as bitter gourd and drumsticks to control obesity. Warm mustard oil or sesame oil (1 teaspoon) with 3-4 cloves of crushed garlic and 1 tsp of ajwain (carom) seeds until it roasts to a reddish brown colour. Ensure that it does not get burned. Massage gently this oil on your affected areas. After that do hot fomentation with salt potli (bag). take 1 tsf triphala churna daily....n practice yoga daily twice..
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Should You Get a Mammogram?

MHA, PGDPMC, DGO, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Delhi
Should You Get a Mammogram?

A mammogram is an imaging test where an X-ray is taken to recreate the internal imagery of your breasts. This is a screening test that is widely used to find the earliest signs of cancer. There have been instances where the early signs of cancer have been found up to three years before the actual development of the same. There are a number of benefits and risks in this screening method. So let us find out more about getting a mammogram, and whether or not you should get one.

  • Procedure: A special X-ray machine is used for conducting a mammogram. There is a clear plastic plate on which the specialist will place the breast while another plate will press on the breast from above. While both the plates serve to flatten the breast and hold it still, the X-ray will be taken. Some pressure will be felt and the same steps will be repeated so as to get the side view of the breasts. The same procedure will be repeated for the other breast. Meanwhile, once it is done, you will need to wait so that the technician can check for clarity, and whether or not the procedure needs to be done again. The results of this procedure cannot be relayed by the technician, and all the images will be different because all breasts are slightly different from each other.
  • Preparation: You will need to remember that the process can be a slightly painful one, especially once the pressure gets applied. Many women complain of discomfort and pain. Yet, this discomfort gets over before you know it. The pressure and pain will depend on the size of your breasts and how much they will have to be pressed in order to get a picture. The skill of the technician will also come into play here. One must remember not to get this procedure done a week or so before or after the menstrual cycle, as the breasts tend to be tender around this time, and the pain will be much more.
  • Radiologist: Within a few weeks after the procedure, the radiologist will usually deliver the result. This is the professional who does an accurate reading of the X-ray.
  • Normal and Abnormal Readings: If your mammogram result has a normal reading, then you can resort to getting one done every once in a while. But an abnormal reading will require further X-ray and tests so as to be able to tell for sure.
  • Why should I get one: If you are over 40 and have a family history of such ailments, then you will have to get a mammogram done regularly. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
2763 people found this helpful

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.

PG Diploma in Emergency Medicine Services (PGDEMS), Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), MD - Alternate Medicine
Ayurveda, Ghaziabad
Hello Lybrate user according to Ayurveda Vata vikriti is the main factor for pain. Treatment- 1-apply prasarini oil or pranacharya restopain oil on your affected part and give hot water fomentation. 2-take yograj guggul and agni tundi vati after lunch and dinner with warm water. 3-Take maha rasnadi kwath 2-2 tsf twice a day. 4-Take pranacharya vatari capsule and syrup twice a day. Diet- Avoid fermented food. Junk food. Potato rice. Sleep well.
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Know All About Gynae Laparoscopy Surgery

Panchkula & Delhi
Mother and Child Care, Panchkula
Know All About Gynae Laparoscopy Surgery

Q1. What exactly is Laparoscopy?

Laparoscopy is an alternative to 'Open' surgery wherein the abdomen is opened by tiny 'key hole' incisions and surgery is done. 'Scopy' means the use of an endoscope or telescope to see inside the abdomen. This is attached to a camera and a light source and the inside of the abdomen is projected on to a monitor. The surgeon performs surgery looking at this screen. The surgeon makes a total of 2-4 small cuts on the abdomen ranging from half to 1 cm through which the telescope and other thin surgical instruments are passed into the abdomen. When the uterus is removed , known as hysterectomy, there is also a cut at the top of the vagina where the uterus is attached.

Q2. What kind of gynaecological surgeries can be performed by Laparoscopy?

Most surgeries done in gynaecology can now be performed by Laparoscopy and do not require the large incision as for open surgery. Laparoscopy can be done sometimes only for diagnosis and is called Diagnostic Laparoscopy, as in checking whether the tubes are open or not and to look for any causes of infertility or pain outside the uterus. In women who are unable to conceive, Diagnostic Laparoscopy is often combined with Hysteroscopy (endoscope inside the uterus, inserted from below, via the vagina). When laparoscopy is done to perform some surgical procedure inside the abdomen it is called Operative Laparoscopy. This may be for simple procedures like sterilization, minor adhesions, drilling ovaries; or for intermediate or major reasons like fibroids, endometriosis, removal of ovaries or tubes or both or removal of uterus, for staging of cancers or radical surgeries for cancer. However, about 5% of all surgeries including those for cancer or very large tumours may benefit from open surgery.

Q3. Why does an expert surgeon recommend Laparoscopy over Open Surgery?

Laparoscopic surgery has many advantages above open surgery: the incisions are much smaller (open surgery incisions are 8-10 cms long), therefore pain is much less; requirement for pain killers (which can have side-effects like sleepiness, impaired judgement) is lesser; hospital stay is shorter; complications fewer; requirement for blood transfusions infrequent; recovery in terms of physical, emotional and mental state is much better and quicker; return to work is faster with consequent lesser loss of working and earning days. Surgery with laparoscope is more precise because it is magnified view. Further vision is much better because it's like having your eye behind the structure because you can see with the telescope at places where the surgeon's eye cannot reach.

Q4. If the cuts on the abdomen are so small in Laparoscopic surgery, how do you remove the uterus or a large tumour from inside the abdomen?

Quite often if the tumour is not malignant and contains fluid, it is punctured to collapse it into a smaller size. If it is solid, it can be cut into smaller pieces inside the abdomen using a special instrument. The collapsed or cut structures can be removed gently through the 1 cm cut on the abdomen which may be increased a bit if required. After hysterectomy, the uterus can be removed easily from below, through the vagina.

Q5. Will there be much pain or discomfort after Laparoscopic Surgery?

There may be some pain and discomfort in lower abdomen for one day to few days after Laparoscopic surgery but this is much less as compared to open surgery because the incisions on the abdomen are much smaller and there is much less tissue handling inside the abdomen by fine instruments instead of rough, big, gloved hands which can cause tissue injury in open surgery. There may be some pain in the shoulder following laparoscopy. This is not serious and is due to the gas used in the surgery to make space for instruments.

Q6. When can I be discharged from hospital?

Following Diagnostic Laparoscopy or with simple Operative Laparoscopy you can expect to be discharged from hospital latest by the morning after surgery. In most other cases of intermediate or even major surgery, discharge is generally 1-2 days following the surgery unless there is some health issues prior to the surgery or any complication during the surgery. The complication rates for Laparoscopic surgery are not more than for open surgery and depend upon patient factors like anaemia, diabetes, obesity and skill of the surgeon.

Q7. When can I perform routine household activities or return to work after Laparoscopic Surgery?

Recovery after surgery depends upon many factors: presence of health problems before surgery; why the surgery is required; what surgery is being done; problems or complications of surgery, anaesthesia or blood transfusions. If all is well, one can perform routine household activities by 1 week, provided one doesn't feel tired. Although there may not be any harm, it may be unwise to be normally active within 48 hours of procedure. Following Diagnostic Laparoscopy or Operative Laparoscopy for simple procedures, one can return to work in 1 week. For other procedures, a 2-3 week off from work is reasonable. It depends on the type of work you are returning to. Avoid too rapid return to work if it is manually hard or requires standing for long durations of time. Sometimes a surgical procedure brings on a well needed rest and break from a lifetime of work. Mostly, when you return to work depends upon your own body and its signals of tiredness. You need to listen to those signals.

4326 people found this helpful

I am 38 years old man having back pain lasting for 20 days from mild to severe in left hip side. In consultation to orthopedic surgeon and after MRI one doctor told me the disease sciatica and another its slip disc. MRI of LS SPINE report says the result of AP diameter L1-L2=15, L2-L3=08, L3-L4=15, L4-L5=10 , L5-S1=09 Impression: 1) Degenerative DISC DISEASE with generalised disc bulge at L3-L4. Please tell.

DHMS (Hons.)
Homeopath, Patna
I am 38 years old man having back pain lasting for 20 days from mild to severe in left hip side. In consultation to o...
Hi, it might b sciatica which is painful when you r in absolut rest & b relieved when you r mobile. Take, homoeo medicine: @ rhus tox 1000-6 pills, wkly. Avoid, junk food, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, cold intake, jerks, riding tk, rest.
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I am 19 years old and I am having lower back pain (disc herniation l4-l5. I suffer pain everyday. What shall I do?

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 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.
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Uterine Cancer - Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

DGO, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Chennai
Uterine Cancer - Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Uterine cancer is also known as endometrial cancer. It is a cancer which begins in the lining of the uterus. The uterus is the part of a woman's body where the fetus develops. Uterine cancer is one of those rare cancers in India, which can be diagnosed in its early stages. This is because excessive vaginal bleeding occurs, thus making it a very serious and an apparent symptom. It is also one of the few forms of cancer which can be cured as removing the uterus is often more than enough to cure the patient of uterine cancer.

Here are the causes, diagnosis and treatment of uterine cancer:

Causes

The exact cause of uterine cancer is not yet known, however, there is a theory on what causes uterine cancer. Hormones in a woman's body have been thought to increase the chances of getting uterine cancer. This is because it has long been thought that having high levels of estrogen is the cause of uterine cancer. Increased estrogen thickens the endometrium and thus, increases the likelihood of uterine cancer.

Diagnosis

There are several tests used to diagnose whether you have uterine cancer including:

1. Pelvic exam: This is an examination in which the vagina, bladder, rectum and uterus are scanned for lumps. If they are found, it might be due to uterine cancer.
2. Pap test: A pap test is a special test designed to scan for uterine cancer.
3. Transvaginal ultrasound: A transvaginal ultrasound uses high-intensity sound waves so that pictures of the uterus can be taken.
4. Biopsy: During a biopsy, the doctor will remove tissue from the endometrium and it will then be analyzed for cancerous growths.

Treatment

1. Surgery: This is the most common treatment as it removes the entire uterus and prevents the spreading of the cancer.
2. Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy involves giving drugs which kill cancerous cells. They are given through either an intravenous line or even in pill form.
3. Hormone therapy: This is a therapy in which either progesterone levels are increased or estrogen levels are decreased.
4. Radiation therapy: In this treatment, high energy laser beams are used to destroy cancerous cells.

3752 people found this helpful

Dear sir I have problem of slip disc or disc herniation in cervical. Kindly solve my problem?

MBBS, cc USG
General Physician, Noida
Hello kindly review with X ray cervical AP and Lateral report consult neurosurgeon/orthopedic surgeon
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Causes and Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids

Fellowship In Minimal Access Surgery, MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Hyderabad
Causes and Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are referred to as benign, abnormal growths which tend to develop in the uterine walls of a woman. The size of such growths can range from a few centimeters to even excess of a few inches. As such, they can cause the uterus to increase to the size of a five month pregnancy. Although, the symptoms of fibroids are not always apparent, they often cause heavy bleeding and pain in women. A recent research concluded that around 60 to 75 percent women contract such fibroids by the age of 50, at least once in their life.

Depending on the site of formation, uterine fibroids are distinguished into different types. Intramural fibroids in the lining of the uterus and subserosal fibroids which develop outside the uterus are the most commonly observed fibroids.

What causes Uterine Fibroids?
Although, the exact reason for the formation of fibroids are obscure, medical professionals have determined certain factors that may affect their formation. Some of them are:
1) Hormones: Progesterone and estrogen, produced by the ovaries regenerate the uterine lining during each menstrual cycle and trigger the growth of fibroids.
2) Family history: If you have had a family history of uterine fibroids, then you're likely to develop the condition yourself as well.
3) Pregnancy: The production of progesterone and estrogen increases during pregnancy which increases the likelihood of fibroids.

What are the signs of the condition?
Depending on the location and size of the tumors, symptoms of such fibroids include:
1) Heavy bleeding and blood clots during periods
2) Pain in the pelvis
3) Frequent menstrual cramps
4) Pressure and pain in the lower abdomen
5) Swelling in the abdomen
6) Pain while intercourse

What is the procedure of the treatment?
Ultrasound and pelvic MRI are common diagnostic procedures to check for uterine fibroids. After diagnosis, depending on your age, size of the fibroid and your comprehensive health, the doctor would prescribe you with appropriate medications. Only after medications prove futile, doctors opt for minimally invasive surgeries. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.

2789 people found this helpful

Mri report- mild diffuse disc bulge at l4-l5 level causing the cal sac indentation and bilateral mild neural formalin narrowing (l> r). Please advice.

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. These are mri findings which you have suggested, but actually it is better if you mention your clinical condition so that if significant we can correlate them with your mri findings. So please mention your back pain duration, any associated leg pain, numbness, parestheisas, weakness etc in legs. Do not hesitate to contact me if you need any further assistance. Thanks & regards Dr. Akshay kumar saxena Consultant orthopaedics fortis hospital, new delhi.
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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
I have small disk. And my lift leg paining I went doctor he proscribed me some pain lure and nerve medication but sti...
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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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 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.
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I have a herniated disk (bulged disk/slip disk) at c7 and the c7 nerve is compressed for last 2 months. Do you have treatment in ayurveda ?

MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Delhi
However you may try 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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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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