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The incidence of breast cancer is increasing worldwide, especially in the western world due to a variety of factors like diet, genetics and lifestyle, including body weight. Other predominant factors are ovarian function and oestrogen exposure, pregnancy, and lactation. It is the second most common carcinoma in women and it occurs mostly after the age of 30. It’s most commonly seen in the age group of 40-60. Even though there is so much of awareness about this cancer, there is a high incidence of this cancer going undetected.
This cancer is treatable if detected early. For this, we need to know its common symptoms, which are
- Lump in breast i.e. presence of a hard mass in the breast with no defined margins
- Bleeding from nipple
- Nipple retraction
- Redness and pain
If left undetected, cancer in the breasts can spread to the bones, liver and even the brain.
We all know that Homeopathy, a popular holistic system of medicine cures by using the principle of ‘Like cures like’. Homeopathy relies on a specialised remedy based on the physical, psychological and emotional symptoms of a patient. This is the reason that self-medication fails abysmally in homoeopathy. The homoeopathic medicines for breast cancer in this article thus should be used just as a reference and you should consult a good homoeopath for a complete cure. Several proven homoeopathic remedies are available to treat symptoms of breast cancer like:
- Conium Mac: It is an excellent cure for breast cancer, especially when the breasts are hard and tender. The breast becomes rock-hard and there is a stinging pain in this type of breast cancer which starts in the milk ducts and spreads to outer regions. This type of breast cancer is tackled by Conium Mac.
- Baryta Carb: This homoeopathic drug is used when the breast is enlarged and inflamed. The mammary gland is also hard and stony plus sensitive to touch. The milk glands in this type of cancer become enlarged and tender. Blood from the nipple is another indication for use of Baryta carb.
- Hydrastis Can: The patient has to swell of the mammary glands and complains of pain and tenderness. Her nipples are engorged, have cracks and a watery discharge.
- Iodine: This homoeopathic remedy works mostly on the enlargement of the breasts which may be malignant or malign. In this type of cancer, the mucous membrane of the mammary glands as well as the breast tissue gets inflamed. The breast tissue becomes enlarged and hard and presents with nodes.
- Phytolacca: A hard, irregular tumour with retracted nipples is the main indication for this homoeopathic remedy. A sore that extends from the breasts to the arms is another predominant feature. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
The procedure of breast reduction surgery-
Breast reduction surgeries can be conducted in an outpatient facility. You may have to stay for one night at a hospital as well. While performing this surgery, a patient is given general anaesthesia, which will make the patient asleep during the process.
Breast reduction surgery requires about two to five hours to be completed successfully. During the process, the surgeon will create a cut around the nipple and then on the breast. The cut is made in the shape of a keyhole. Extra skin, tissue and fat will be removed from the breast through the keyhole-shaped incision. Drainage tubes are also utilized for removal of excess skin and fat. After the removal is complete, and enough skin has been removed, the breasts are stitched. They are then wrapped in a special gauze. Sometimes, a surgical bra is required to be worn by the patient during the surgery.
Recovery from breast reduction surgery-
After a breast reduction surgery is performed, the patient must take a minimal one week off from any kind of work or school. Some women require two weeks or more to recover. However, this varies from patient to patient, but not more than three weeks are required for recovery.
You will be having a follow-up appointments with your surgeon, where the bandages and stitches on the breasts are removed.
As a part of the recovery process, a woman must abstain from all kinds of physical activities for one month following the surgery. After the surgery, it is likely for a patient to feel tired and experience breast pain. However, this is normal and you can have oral pain killers prescribed by your surgeon to get relief and ease. Heavy lifting should be strictly restricted.
Breast reduction surgery is an efficient cosmetic surgery, which enables women to reduce their breast size and volume. The results of such a surgery are quite satisfactory. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer that affects women. It is also deemed to be one of the major reason of death among women, though lung cancer is the leading cause of this. The chances that a woman may die of breast cancer is about 2.7% of the women who are suffering. Breast cancer is known to affect men as well, in certain cases. Breast cancer may be genetic but, in certain cases, it is caused due to excess intake of alcohol. Surgery is an option, but treatments also include therapies like radiation and chemo.
Treatment for breast cancer
Breast cancer can be treated in several ways; however, the treatment depends upon many factors. These factors include the type of breast cancer, its stage, sensitivity of a person to the hormones, age of the patient, health of the patient and most importantly, preferences of the patient. The most common treatment options for breast cancer are radiation therapy, biological therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and surgery.
Cytotoxic drugs are important medications that are used to eliminate cancer cells. This medication is used if the chances of the cancer cells spreading are high. This process is known as the adjuvant chemotherapy.
Many a time, the tumor increases in size and surgery becomes essential. This is when the chemotherapy is administered to reduce the tumor size and make it easier for the surgeons to remove the tumor. This process is referred to as neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Chemotherapy can treat metastasized cancer or cancer that has affected other body parts, thereby reducing the symptoms, mostly in the advanced stages.
Radiation is targeted towards the tumor in controlled doses so that the cancer cells are destroyed. Radiation therapy is mostly advised to the patients after they go through surgery, to eliminate the cancer cells that may still be there.
Hormone blocking therapy
Most people go through breast cancer that is hormone sensitive. The hormone blocking therapy helps in preventing the recurrence in this type of breast cancer. The hormone blocking therapy is also used to reduce the size of the tumor, but this method is also suggested after a person goes through surgery.
There are some drugs that fall under this category that is used for destroying the various types of the breast cancer.
If at all the patient requires surgery, it depends on his or her diagnosis reports and his or her will to undergo surgery. The types of surgery include Lumpectomy, Sentinel node biopsy, Mastectomy, Axillary lymph node dissection, and Reconstruction. Reconstruction is the method which the doctors make use of to make both the breasts look similar after the surgery is complete. There are several treatment options available to treat breast cancer, and it depends on the choice of the patient to opt for surgery. Surgery helps in eliminating the risk of the spreading of the cancer cells, and it is one of the most effective treatments for breast cancer.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Adenomyosis is a condition which occurs when the muscle wall of the uterus is broken by the endometrium lining. You experience pressure in the lower abdomen, menstrual cramps and bloating, before the onset of menstrual periods, resulting in heavy bleeding during the periods. This disorder is not life threatening but is known to cause pain and heavy bleeding.
The symptoms of adenomyosis are severe pain during periods, prolonged periods and pressure in the abdominal area. You may also experience heavy bleeding during the periods and may also experience intense pain. Sex may be very painful as well. The lower abdomen might feel tender and bigger; this occurs when the size of the uterus increases in this particular condition.
The exact cause of this disorder is not yet ascertained. However, certain possible causes could be:
- Congenital Defect: In this case, the condition is known to occur from birth wherein the endometrial tissue grows on the uterine muscle wall during the fetus formation.
- Invasive Growth of Tissues: This is said to occur when endometrial cells invade the uterus lining, leading to adenomyosis. This can also be triggered by a C-section operation.
- Inflammation During Childbirth: During the childbirth process, inflammation may occur in the lining of the uterus leading to this disorder.
In addition to the possible cause, there are certain risk factors which increase the risks of the disorder, such as:
- Giving birth to a child
- Surgery related to the uterus such as a C-section
Once you reach menopause, this disorder tends to subside. So depending on how close you are to menopause, the treatment is designed accordingly. The various treatments for adenomyosis are –
Anti-inflammatory Medications: If you are nearing menopause, then anti-inflammatory medications will be administered. This helps in reducing pain and the heavy blood flow.
Hormone Medications: Hormone medications such as hormone patches can also help with the bleeding and pain.
Hysterectomy: If the pain turns intense, then the doctor may recommend hysterectomy, a surgery to remove the uterus.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
The most powerful and amazing organ in our body is the brain. It differs from many other organs of our body not only by its shape, but also by its special type of cell called neurons. When these cells gets affected or dead it can never be reverted or regenerated which is the most exclusive nature found only in brain cells. The cells in other parts of our body has the capacity to regenerate (can be replaced or new one can be grown or produced), but brain cells are exception. Hence any damage to the brain, injury or trauma is really a crucial thing to be considered with utmost care.
Brain surgeries really need skill, proper training, confidence and intelligence to perform this highly complicated and risky surgery.
Brain surgeries are performed to:
- Remove the brain tissues that are grown abnormally
- Aneurysm is clipped to prevent flow of blood cliff off an aneurysm
- Biopsy purpose or to remove the tumour
- Make a nerve free
- Drain the abnormal blood or clot collection or to drain any excessive fluid collection caused by infection.
- To implant artificial electronic device as a treatment for conditions like Parkinson’s disease
- Biopsy: A part of brain tissue is removed for the brain or whole tumour is removed.
- Craniotomy: The skull bone is opened to remove tumour, an aneurysm and drain fluid or blood from infection.
- Minimally invasive endonasal endoscopic surgery: Endoscopic devices are inserted through the nose to remove the lesions or tumour.
- Minimally invasive neuroendoscopy: Similar to endonasal surgery but small incision is made.
- Anaesthesia risks like breathing difficulty, allergic reaction to medications, excessive bleeding or clots and infection.
- Risk related to the brain surgeries are seizures, coma, swelling of brain, infection to brain or meanings, surgical wound infection that intrudes to the brain structures, abnormal clot formation and bleeding.
- General risks include muscle weakness, disturbances in memory, speech, vision, coordination, balance and other functions that are controlled by the brain. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a neurosurgeon.
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.
My dad was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma. But there were no symptoms. They removed half kidney by surgery. Will there be any chances of spreading cancer cells to other body parts or will the cancer be back? What are the precautions to be taken?
Breast cancer is a medical condition that refers to the uncontrolled growth of cells in the breast. These cells can be like small tumours or lumps. The tumour can be malignant if it is found that the cells are growing into surrounding tissues or are spreading. It occurs mostly in women.
Breast cancers can originate from any part of the breast. Most of these cancerous growths start in the milk-carrying ducts. There are also cancerous growths in the glands that produce milk. These are known as lobular cancers. In rare cases, cancer may also start from the breast tissues. These are known as sarcomas and lymphomas.
Here are some of the ways to get prevented from the possibility of developing breast cancer:
- Check your weight: It is important that you maintain a healthy weight. You don’t need do follow the hard and fast dieting charts or starve. But eat a balanced diet and exercise a bit to maintain a stable and healthy weight throughout. Being obese or overweight increases the chance of developing breast cancer.
- Be Active: A sedentary lifestyle devoid of activities is something that invites diseases. It has been found that women who are physically active and exercise for at least 30 minutes a day are at a low risk of developing breast cancer.
- Don’t avoid fruits and vegetables: It is important for you to have a balanced diet. Include lots of leafy vegetables and fruits in your diet to avoid the possibility of developing any form of cancer. Don’t drink excessive alcohol on regular basis. Remember a healthy diet is a key to a healthy life.
- Don’t Smoke: Smoking increases the chance of developing heart diseases, stroke and 15 types of cancers. It also increases the risk for breast cancer.
- Breastfeed your baby: It is mandatory for good health that you breastfeed your baby. Exclusive breastfeeding is best for the health of your baby as well as yours. It lowers the chances of developing breast cancer.
- Avoid Birth Control Pills: These pills have side-effects. They increase the risk of developing breast cancer. It also increases the chances of developing heart diseases and ovarian cancer.
- Avoid Post-Menopausal Hormones: Post-menopausal hormones have an adverse effect on the health. They increase the risk of some diseases while lowering the effects of other ones. It should be taken for a shorter period and its prolonged use must be avoided. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Gynaecologist.