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Dr. Yogendera Mittal

Radiologist, Delhi

Dr. Yogendera Mittal Radiologist, Delhi
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To provide my patients with the highest quality healthcare, I'm dedicated to the newest advancements and keep up-to-date with the latest health care technologies....more
To provide my patients with the highest quality healthcare, I'm dedicated to the newest advancements and keep up-to-date with the latest health care technologies.
More about Dr. Yogendera Mittal
Dr. Yogendera Mittal is a popular Radiologist in Krishna Nagar, Delhi. She is currently practising at Medicos Clinic in Krishna Nagar, Delhi. Save your time and book an appointment online with Dr. Yogendera Mittal on Lybrate.com.

Lybrate.com has an excellent community of Radiologists in India. You will find Radiologists with more than 27 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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I am 46 year old I have slip discs problem in l-4, l-5 it is curebel? and what should I do to get my self cure in this regards.

MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Delhi
Kindly show me digital x rays of ls spine. Not all patients of backache need surgery. Most of them can be managed without operation. 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. Ibuprofen 200mg od & sos x 5days bio d3 max 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. Do reply back for detailed treatment plan. Do not ignore. It could be beginning of a serious problem.
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I am having problem in l4 and I5. This problem is from around 3 years. But the condition is improved now. Can you please suggest some exercises?

PG Diploma in Emergency Medicine Services (PGDEMS), Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), MD - Alternate Medicine
Ayurveda, Ghaziabad
Hi Apply pranacharya restopain oil or prasarini oil on your affected part then give hot fomentation. Take maha rasnadi kwath 2-2 tsf twice a day. And agni tundi vati and maha yograj guggul 1-1 tab twice a day..
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Brain Stroke - Things You Must Know!

MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine, Fellow in Pain Management, DM - Neurology
Neurologist, Delhi
Brain Stroke - Things You Must Know!

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 45.5 hrs by the CLOT BUSTER. 

Endovascular procedures:
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

Stroke prevention:
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. 

Rehabilitation:
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.

  

2361 people found this helpful

I am 33 years old, I have backache from last 1 year, x ray indicate there is borderline slip disk, what kind of precaution can I take for future?

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.
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Sir I am FROM CHENNAI having back pain when mri scanned impression as follows Early lumbar spondylosis. Mild disc bulge with focal posterocentral and bilateral postrtolateraldisc at l3_ 4 disc level causing thecal sac ibdentation and bilatrral mild beural foranimal narrowings (L>R) MILD ligamentum flavum hypertrophy at L3_4 & L4_5 disc level causing mild posterior thecal sac indention Disc desiccation in L4_5 & L5_ S1 DISC LEVEL AS LOSS OF HYPERINTENSE SIGNAL ON T2W1 PLEASE HELP I REPLY ME POSITIVELY

Dip. SICOT (Belgium), MNAMS, DNB (Orthopedics), MBBS
Orthopedist, Delhi
Hello Sir, This is Dr Akshay from Fortis Hospital, New Delhi. It appears from your report that you have degenerative spine with multiple levels more at L3/4 level. I need to understand from you - How is your back pain? - Leg Pain? - How much distance can you walk? - Is there any numbness in legs, wekaness in legs etc? Please get back to me with answers and then we can start your treatment accordingly. Thanks & Regards Dr Akshay Email : akshaysaxena2004@yahoo.co.in
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I have problem of sleep disc, and sometimes its agony what are the exercise for this?

M.D. (Ayurveda )
Ayurveda, Patiala
I have problem of sleep disc, and sometimes its agony what are the exercise for this?
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.
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I have back pain before 3 years. I have checked MRI test in hospital that result show the mild disc dics bulge noted at L4 and L5 level intending the thecal sac without neurological compression. Doctor has given pain relief tablets but no get relaxation. Please give me solution.

DNB (Orthopedics), MS - Orthopaedics, MBBS
Orthopedist, Bhopal
I have back pain before 3 years. I have checked MRI test in hospital that result show the mild disc dics bulge noted ...
Your mri is normal as mild disc bulge is inconsequential. You better start some lower back muscle strengthening exercise (available on internet or visit a physio)
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Treatment of Cerebral Ischaemia and Cerebral Congestion With Homeopathy

BHMS
Homeopath, Gurgaon
Treatment of Cerebral Ischaemia and Cerebral Congestion With Homeopathy

Cerebral ischaemia or brain ischemia is a medical condition that restricts the flow of blood to the brain, resulting in an unmet metabolic demand. This leads to limited oxygen supply in the brain, which could result in death of brain tissues, cerebral infarction or an ischemic stroke. Thus, a cardiorespiratory arrest, a stroke, and irreversible brain damage are few possible consequences of cerebral ischaemia.

People with compressed blood vessels, low blood pressure, congenital heart defects or sickle cell anaemia have a high risk of developing cerebral ischaemia, since compressed blood vessels or very low pressure can lead to restricted blood flow. Also, sickle-shaped cells have a greater tendency to clot, causing obstructed blood flow.

Patients with cerebral ischaemia experience a host of symptoms, such as weakness in the body, problems in coordination and movement, vision and speech impairment and unconsciousness.

Cerebral congestion, on the other hand, refers to excessive quantity of blood in the brain vessels, causing pressure on the cerebral substance. Cerebral congestion is of two types. It is termed as active when there is too much arterial blood flow and passive when there is undue quantity of venous blood in the veins of the brain. Both conditions cause symptoms, such as severe headache, insomnia, irritability and unconsciousness. The patient gets little sleep and is disturbed, often followed by dreams. When awake, the patient’s mental activity in the brain is very high.

Homeopathy is now a well-established school of medicine backed with years of research and practice. Gone are the days when homeopathy was considered no more than an extension of herbal home remedies. Homeopathic laboratories around the world produce large number of medicines covering almost all ailments. The benefits of homeopathic treatment are now well established due to its holistic approach and minimal side effects. Homeopathy is undoubtedly a ray of hope for patients with cerebral ischaemia and cerebral congestion, as it delivers a comprehensive treatment plan designed to target the signs and symptoms of the disease and address its non-occurrence.

The medications deal with mild to severe symptoms, including inflammation of the brain, headache, vomiting, insomnia, stroke/convulsions and seizures. The stramonium drug, for example, deals with seizures. Belladonna is an effective remedy for sharp shooting headaches, a common symptom of cerebral congestion. Ferrum is believed to be a valuable remedy for brain ischaemia. Few drugs deal with the symptoms of both ischaemia and congestion—nux is a suitable drug for the treatment of ischaemia as well as for passive cerebral congestion. Similarly, phosphorus can be used to treat brain ischaemia and congestion. Zincum metallicum is a highly recommended drug for chronic cases of ischaemia.

The treatment is comprehensive and long term and shows substantive results. Regular follow-ups and consultation with a homeopath specialist is the key to an effective treatment.

4598 people found this helpful

I have L5-S1 disc extrusion condition from a year resulting in severe pain in the right leg. Is surgery the only solution?

BPTh/BPT, MPTh/MPT
Physiotherapist, Noida
I have L5-S1 disc extrusion condition from a year resulting in severe pain in the right leg. Is surgery the only solu...
Apply hot fomentation twice daily. Avoid bending in front. Postural correction- sit tall, walk tall.
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I am 27 year boy I have back pain l4 and l5 disk light move. I there any full relief treatment means contact me sir. Back pain person do sex fully or not. After two month marriage fixed so im tired.

BPTh/BPT
Physiotherapist, Delhi
I am 27 year boy I have back pain l4 and l5 disk light move. I there any full relief treatment means contact me sir. ...
Start with physiotherapy treatment. Learn spinal exercise. Don't sit on floor. Don't lift heavy things. Share your x ray report for further discussion.
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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

My wife is suffering from slip disc in spine after mri doctor diagnosis that she also suffering bone tb with unbearable pain in lower portion. Now as per doctor advice completely she is in bed rest. Now she cannot able to stand. Kindly advice.

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

BAMS, MD (Panchkarma)
Ayurveda, Mumbai
Hello doctor. I am I 32 years female and I have slip disc problem from last two years .I have 2 years baby vd normal ...
Hello lybrate user, thanks for writing. If you want fast, permanent weight loss, you can try our research oriented holistic medicines for assures results. You can lose up to 10 kg weight per month, without crush dieting, with out side effect, without gym, without surgery. Tips for you: 1. Eat plenty vegetable and fruits. 2. Drink 9 glass of water per day. 3. Avoid dieting for weight loss. 4. Avoid oily thing. 5. Have 5to 6 servings of food per day. If you have any questions you can contact us by lybrate.
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Treatment Of Uterine Cysts With Homeopathy

MD - Homeopathy, BHMS
Homeopath, Gurgaon
Treatment Of Uterine Cysts With Homeopathy

Uterine cysts are a type of cysts or tumours, which grow in the uterus. This is prevalent in women when they are near their childbearing years. Uterine cysts have some typical symptoms, which would let you know when to consult a medical practitioner for further help. It would cause excessive bleeding for a long duration of time. There is bleeding from the uterus in between your menstrual cycles. At times, it becomes very difficult to empty your bladder and irritation and discomfort are caused. It also leads to constipation. These are frequent symptoms, which accompany uterine cysts. These types of cysts are almost always non-cancerous, but it is beneficial to take an expert advice on that matter. Homeopathy is a great option to treat such cysts.

Homeopathy is becoming increasingly popular throughout the entire world. Now it is time to prove to the world what homeopathy can offer in surgical diseases. Homeopathic medicines cannot take the place of surgery but can be of great help to the patients who do not want to go for surgery or cannot be operated upon due to various medical reasons. There are specific medications to treat cysts through homeopathy.

Some of them are:

  1. Calcarea Carbonica: This medicine is suitable for those who bleed profusely during their menstrual cycle. Such excessive bleeding causes shivers and shrills in them, making them more prone to anaemia. In fact, excessive bleeding also influences their fertility cycles. This medicine is administered on overweight women who suffer from uterine cysts.

  2. Thlaspi Bursa Pastoris: This is prescribed to women who experience frequent menstrual cycles within short intervals. In fact, one does not even recover from the shock of the previous cycle and the new one starts. It is usually accompanied by excessive pain in the uterus. This medicine not only treats the cysts, but also the frequent period cycles and pain in the uterus.

  3. Trillium Pendulum: At times, due to excessive bleeding from the uterus, the patient suffers from fainting spells. Such cysts are also characterised by bright red blood flow during the menstrual cycle. These are the two main symptoms to administer this medicine on the individual.

  4. Fraxinus Americana: Apart from irregular periods with pain in the uterus, it is also followed by breaking down spells. One experiences cramps in the feet during this type of cyst. In such conditions, the best natural homeopathic therapy that can be administered is Fraxinus Americana.

  5. Calcarea Fluorica: This is a common medicine which is given to those patients who have extremely large tumours. These tumours are also characterised by their unique hardness.

Uterine cysts are a common problem in women and can be treated effectively. One needs to be alert about the symptoms and must immediately report to a specialized homeopathic practitioner for an effective administration of medicines, which may lead to a successful cure.   

3294 people found this helpful

Breast Cancer - Signs That Help You Spot It!

MBBS, DNB - Surgery, Fellowship in Breast Surgical Oncology
Oncologist, Gurgaon
Breast Cancer - Signs That Help You Spot It!

Breast cancer is an abnormal growth of cells in the tissues of the breast. Mainly it occurs in females but less than 1% of all the breast cancer cases develop in males. The majority of breast cancers start in the milk ducts. A small number start in the milk sacs or lobules. It can spread to the lymph nodes and to the other parts of the body such as bones, liver, lungs and to the brain.

With more reliable early detection methods as well as the trend towards less invasive surgery, there is hope that even more women with breast cancer will be treated successfully and will go on to resume their normal lives.

Signs & Symptoms 
It is painless, especially, during the early stage. Watch out for the following changes in the breast:

  1. A persistent lump or thickening in the breast or in the axilla. 
  2. A change in the size or shape of the breast. 
  3. A change in the colour or appearance of the skin of the breast such as redness, puckering or dimpling. 
  4. Bloody discharge from the nipple. 
  5. A change in the nipple or areola such as scaliness, persistent rash or nipple retraction (nipple pulled into the breast).

Consult a doctor immediately if you notice any of these changes.

Risk Factors 
Being a woman puts you at risk of getting breast cancer. There are certain factors that increase the risk of breast cancer. Some of them have been listed below:

  1. The risk increases with age; most cases of breast cancer develop after the age of 50 
  2. Genetic alterations in certain genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 
  3. Family history of breast cancer 
  4. Being overweight 
  5. Early menarche (onset of menstruation before the age of 12) 
  6. Late menopause (after the age of 55) 
  7. Never had children 
  8. Late childbearing 
  9. No breast feeding 
  10. Excessive consumption of alcohol 
  11. Use of hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) for a long period of time

However, most women who have breast cancer have none of the above risk factors. Likewise, not having any of these risk factors does not mean that you will not get breast cancer.

Early Detection and Screening

More treatment options are available when breast cancer is diagnosed at an early stage and hence the chances of recovery is also higher. So regular breast screening is important for early detection even if there are no symptoms. Following are the ways of screening:

  1. Breast Self-Examination (BSE): Perform BSE once a month about a week after your menses are over. If you no longer menstruate, choose a date each month which is easy to remember e.g. your date of birth or anniversary.
  2. Clinical Breast Examination: Get a breast specialist to examine your breast once a year if you are 40 years and above.
  3. Mammogram: Go for a screening mammogram once a year if you are 40 to 49 years old and once every two years if you are 50 years and above even if you do not have any symptom. It is not recommended for younger women (less than 40 years of age) as they have dense breasts, making it difficult for small changes to be detected on a mammogram. So ultrasonography of the breasts is advisable to them.

Types of Breast cancer

  1. Non-Invasive Breast cancer: These are confined to the ducts within the breasts. They are known as Ductal carcinoma in-situ (DCIS).
  2. Invasive Breast cancer: It occurs when cancer cells spread beyond the ducts or lobules. Cancer cells first spread to the surrounding breast tissue and subsequently to the lymph nodes in the armpit (Axillary lymph nodes). These cells can also travel to the other parts of the body such as bones, liver, lungs or brain and hence known as metastatic breast cancer.

Making A Diagnosis 

If you notice any unusual changes in your breasts, you should see a doctor immediately. He will examine you clinically and may ask you to undergo some tests so that a definitive diagnosis can be made. Further, the staging work up is done to find out the stage of the disease and management accordingly.

Treatment options 
Treatment of breast cancer may include various methods such as surgery with or without breast reconstruction, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy and targeted therapy. Treatment options offered, depend upon the number of factors such as the stage of cancer and likelihood of cure, your general health and your preference. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an oncologist.

1931 people found this helpful

Hello Dr. My mother facing the problem regarding slip disk in the year of 2012 now she is fine but some time he faced pain what I will do so he will get normal.

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. In asymptomatic periods in slipped disc, one should go for intensive back exercises daily brisk walks for 2-3 km every day in morning try to keep your weight to normal levels - take adequate supplementation of calcium and vitamin d as per requirement avoid heavy physical activity, acute forward bending in early morning as disc is hydrated in morning and has high chances of prolapse, avoid travelling on uneven surfaces for a long time. The mainstay is exercises, and more she does them, better is is, also keeping yourself physically fit is very important. Do not hesitate to contact me if you need any further assistance.
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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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MPT
Physiotherapist, Mumbai
Herniated disks or bone spurts in the vertebrae of the neck might take too much space and compress the nerves branching out from the spinal cord which may cause severe back pain.
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