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Question related to Ovarian Cancer Details : Completed 3 cemo cycle. Doctor suggested operation. Latest CT Scan reports shows 1. As compare to previous outside CT Scan dated 6th January 2015 - The Solid cystic pelvic mass remains relatively unchanged in size.(11.6 * 10.6) 2. The Soft tissue omental nodule has decreased in size (from approximately 6*5 cm to 4.2 * 3.7 cm). 3. Ascites has significantly reduced. Loculated peritonel fluid collection noted in the anterior abdomen, predominantly in infraumbilical location. 4. Thrombosis in the visualised left superficial femoral vein.
In the last week, I have seen two patients who have presented with features of a breast abscess but they ultimately turned out to be breast cancers. Although, inflammatory breast cancers are a known entity and they can present as breast abscesses but this fact is not well known among patients and many general practitioners, which leads to late detection of these cancers.
With this case, I want to highlight some pointers to diagnose these lesions early. A 39-year-old, nonlactating mother presented to with complaints to swelling in the right breast for the last 3 weeks. She had already taken a course of antibiotics from a general practitioner but did not get relieved of her symptoms. On examination, she had a swelling involving the skin fold below the breast (inframammary crease) with swelling and hardness spreading till the lower part of the breast. In addition to this, she had lymph nodes (glands) in the underarm area (axilla) as well.
An USG revealed a lump in the breast associated with the fluid collection, which on biopsy turned out to be an invasive cancer. Fortunately for the patient, on further examination, the cancer was found to be restricted to the breast and the underarm area only.
When should we suspect that a breast abscess can actually be associated with a malignancy (cancer)?
A nonhealing breast abscess - which is persisting despite antibiotics and surgical management
Breast abscess in a patient who is not lactating.
Breast abscesses in elderly patients
Breast abscesses associated with hard lumps in the breast
Patients with these symptoms should get an ultrasound and biopsy done to confirm the diagnosis. In India, another entity which should be ruled out is Breast Tuberculosis.
If you are undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer treatment, it is likely for you to experience and feel its ill effects on your body. Chemotherapy refers to the use of several medicines and drugs which are used in cancer treatment. Although chemotherapy is considered to be effective for improving cancer, it is associated with fatal side effects on the body. There are certain practices to follow in order to get through and survive chemotherapy, thereby inflicting less harm to your body. They are as follows:
Drink fluids: You need to drink large amounts of fluids at a rate which you think is beyond your body’s capacity. This helps in flushing out toxins from your system quickly, which will make you feel better. If you have a hard time drinking water, you should opt for fluids such as popsicles, broth, fruit juice and ginger ale.
Consume bland food: During chemotherapy, your craving for food and your appetite reduces. However, you can make a difference by eating. You should try eating bland and mushy food items, such as pudding, oatmeal, white potatoes, white bread and yoghurt. Do not eat fruits for the first few days after chemotherapy.
Find an outlet for your pain: You should find out vents or outlets for the pain and misery you are going through. Some people like to write about their emotions and feelings in the form of online blogs. By doing so, they get to share their feelings with other people online, which is a good form of support.
Dress comfortably: It is sometimes difficult for you to accept that you are a patient. You may want to avoid looking like a sick patient and want to get dressed up. However, this is kind of ridiculous and you should try to dress comfortably instead of trying to cover up your condition. Bring a blanket to the chemotherapy room and wear socks.
Exercise: Although you will not feel like working out and straining yourself because of weakness, exercise is very important for you. It helps in making you feel better as your blood circulation gets regulated properly, which results in the faster elimination of toxins from the body. You should try yoga or at least walk for 30 minutes regularly.
It is also very important for you to take your medicines properly. This will help you get back your strength and energy. You should be gentle with yourself and believe that you will be able to survive what you are going through. Give your body the time to heal.
A mastectomy is surgical removal of a breast. The surgery depends on various factors and choosing a type of mastectomy best suited for an individual suffering from breast cancer requires experience and expertise. With advancing technology, there are more options available for women to opt for surgeries, which are minimally invasive and conserving in nature. Following are the various types of mastectomies and the factors, which influence them:
Types of Mastectomy
1. Total or simple mastectomy
This is a surgical procedure which involves complete removal of the breast including the nipple. The lymph nodes, which are small glands, are an important part of your immune system and are kept intact during the surgery. This form of surgery is most suitable if the cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes.
2. Preventive mastectomy
Preventive mastectomy, also known as prophylactic mastectomy, is an option for women who have a high risk of developing breast cancer. Preventive mastectomy reduces the risk of breast cancer by a huge margin. In certain cases, removal of the entire breast along with the nipple is advisable. Women who develop cancer on one breast often opt for preventive mastectomy and remove the other unaffected breast as well.
3. Partial mastectomy
Women who are in stage I or stage ii of breast cancer can choose this procedure. It is a breast conserving technique where the tumor is removed along with the tissue that surrounds it. It is followed up by radiation therapy on the remaining breast tissue, which terminates the cancer cells and stops them from spreading. There are two types of partial mastectomy, namely, lumpectomy and quadrantectomy.
4. Radical mastectomy
Although this procedure is almost out of use, it is still considered in case the cancer has spread to certain areas like the chest muscle. In this form of surgery, the breast is removed entirety along with muscles beneath it and the lymph nodes.
5. Modified mastectomy
It is a more commonly used procedure characterized by complete removal of the breast including underarm lymph nodes. The chest muscles are untouched in the procedure, therefore allowing a breast reconstruction to follow.
Factors influencing the type of mastectomy:
• Age of the individual
• Health in general
• Size of the tumor
• The spread of the tumor
• The rate of progression of the tumor
• Whether lymph nodes are affected or not