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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.
Patra panda sweda(ela kizhi) is a specialized therapy which is performed for the diseases related to Bones, muscles and nerves. Patra means leaves of medicinal plants. Pinda means a bolus. Sweda means Fomentation or sudation. The swedana karma or sudation therapy which is given by using a bolus which is prepared by the different combination of medicinal leaves which is processed with medicinal oil along with the medicinal herbs is called as patra panda sweda or ela kizhi. This procedure is unique, which comprises both snehana (oleation) and swedana (sudation) (snehayukta swedana)
Benefits of Patra Pinda Sweda:
It strengthens and rejuvenates the bones, muscles and nerves
Strengthens the tissues
Increases the circulation
Provides color and complexion of the skin
Helps to Reduce pain, inflammation and stiffness of the muscles
Induces good sleep and reduces the stress.
Sprains and cramps
This is my Mri report impression. Disc degeneration and disc bulge is seen at L5/S 1 level indenting the thecal Sac without any nerve root compression. Annulus tear is noted. 2 this r my x ray report impression. Pid L5. S 1.
स्तन वसा, संयोजी ऊतक, और लोब में विभाजित ग्रंथि ऊतक से बना होता है। स्तन कैंसर तब शुरू होता है जब स्तन में कोशिकाएं नियंत्रण से बाहर निकलने लगती हैं। नलिकाएं का एक नेटवर्क लोब से निपल तक फैलता है। एक स्तन आमतौर पर दूसरे से छोटा होता है। महीने में अलग-अलग समय पर आपके स्तन अलग-अलग महसूस कर सकते हैं स्तनों के लिए आपकी अवधि के ठीक पहले लंपट महसूस करना आम बात है। आपके स्तन महीने में अलग-अलग समय पर अलग-अलग महसूस हो सकते हैं। स्तनों का आपकी अवधि के ठीक पहले लंपट महसूस होना आम बात है।
स्तन कैंसर सामान्यतः कोशिकाओं जो स्तन के नलिकाएं होती हैं, में शुरू होता है। स्तन कैंसर तब शुरू होता है जब स्तन में कोशिकाएं नियंत्रण से बाहर बढ़ने लगती हैं। कोशिकाओं का यह उत्परिवर्तन एक ट्यूमर को जन्म देता है, जिसे एक गांठ के रूप में महसूस किया जा सकता है। अगर अनुपचारित छोड़ दिया जाता है, तो घातक कोशिका अंततः शरीर के अन्य भागों में फैल सकती हैं, एक प्रक्रिया जिसे मेटास्टैसिस कहा जाता है।
स्तन कैंसर के लक्षण
स्तन में एक गांठ आमतौर पर स्तन कैंसर से जुड़ा है, लेकिन अधिकतर समय, स्तन में गांठ कैंसर नहीं होता। किशोरावस्था में हार्मोनल परिवर्तन से लेकर क्षतिग्रस्त वसा ऊतक तक, महिलाओं में शुरुआती 20 से लेकर शुरुआती 50 की उम्र तक सभी स्तन गांठों में से 90 प्रतिशत से ज्यादा गैर-कर्कश (सौम्य) हैं।
स्तम्भों में लंप्स स्तन संक्रमण, फाइब्रोकाइसटिक स्तन रोग (ढेलेदार स्तन), फाइब्रोएडीनोमा (गैर-कन्सेसर ट्यूमर), वसा-परिगलन (क्षतिग्रस्त ऊतक) जैसे कई अन्य कारणों के कारण हो सकते हैं।
यद्यपि अधिकांश स्तन गांठ कम गंभीर स्थितियों के कारण होते हैं, नए, पीड़ारहित गांठें फिर भी स्तन कैंसर का सबसे आम लक्षण हैं। एक महिला अपने स्तन में बदलाव देख सकती है, और मामूली असामान्य दर्द जो दूर जाता प्रतीत नहीं होता। इन परिवर्तनों के लिए देखें:
1. स्तन या निपल का अलग महसूस होना:
- निपल कोमलता, या स्तन या अंडरआर्म क्षेत्र में या उसके पास एक गांठ या मोटा होना।
- त्वचा की बनावट में परिवर्तन या स्तन की त्वचा में छिद्रों का इज़ाफ़ा
- स्तन में एक गांठ
2. दिखने में बदलाव:
- स्तन के माप या आकार में कोई भी अस्पष्टीकृत परिवर्तन
- स्तन पर कहीं भी गढ़ा
- स्तन की अस्पष्ट सूजन (खासकर अगर यह केवल एक तरफ है)
- स्तन का अस्पष्ट संकुचन (खासकर अगर यह केवल एक तरफ है)
- निप्पल जो थोड़ा सा आवक हो जाता है, या उलटा हो गया है
3. निपल निर्वहन:
किसी भी प्रकार के निप्पल निर्वहन, विशेष रूप से साफ़ निर्वहन या खूनी निर्वहन स्तन कैंसर का संकेत हो सकता है। एक दूधिया निर्वहन जब महिला स्तनपान नहीं कर रही है, हालांकि स्तन कैंसर से जुड़ा नहीं है, लेकिन एक डॉक्टर द्वारा जांच कराया जाना चाहिए।
इन लक्षणों में से एक या अधिक होने का मतलब यह नहीं है कि आपको स्तन कैंसर है। यदि आप इन संकेत और लक्षणों में से किसी का अनुभव करते हैं, तो एक पूर्ण मूल्यांकन के लिए अपने चिकित्सक को देखें।
Medical science constantly challenges the boundaries by finding not only the cures to the most dangerous diseases, but finds a way to prevent them even before they occur. With years of research, practice and data available for analysis, scientists are using advanced technology in combination with years of research to create a predicting mechanism for often fatal diseases like cancer.
Breast cancer screening has always been done with mammography. The fact is that this method is only 75% accurate, laden with false positives and misses a whole set of women totally- and that too when cancer has already developed. Part of the problem comes from the dense breast tissue which one in three women have. This tissue masks the lumps, which makes it difficult for mammograms to accurately screen cancer.
Some breakthrough scientific methods are changing this by drawing on years of research to predict this deadly disease, years before it can manifest itself.
A genetic test to predict cancer 10-11 years ahead of time. This test was performed to see how environmental factors could influence cancer, along with habits like smoking, abusing alcohol or hormones, genetic changes that occur and are put a large percentage of the women at a high risk of developing this disease.
A simple blood test is used for the genetic analysis of hereditary cancer. Researchers found a biological marker, methylation of the ATM gene, which has a very high ability to predict the risk of developing cancer, several years before diagnosis. 'Methylation' concluded that when one biological indicator is exposed to carcinogenic substances, or other abusive substances like tobacco and alcohol, it may trigger the development of cancer. On the flip side, this test will take time to reach the commercial market and even then cannot give an exact timeline as to when someone may develop the disease.
A simple blood test to predict breast cancer 5 years before it develops. This is the kind of medical miracle the world is looking for. Last year in April, researches in Denmark identified a simple blood test that can predict breast cancer five years before it actually develops with an accuracy of a whopping 80%.
It works by "measuring all of the compounds in the blood to build a 'metabolic profile' of an individual, in order to detect changes in the way chemicals are processed, during a pre-cancerous stage," says Laura Donnelly, health editor at The Telegraph, which covered this development. Danish researchers observed 57,000 participants over 20 years, gathering blood samples along the way, specifically comparing a set of 800 women who remained healthy or developed breast cancer within 7 years of their first blood sample. The researchers found they were able to predict, with 80 percent accuracy, which patients would be affected by the disease, just by looking at the metabolic profiles they built from the participants' blood samples. The results have been published in Metabolomics.
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.
Another treatment option is an endovascular procedure called mechanical thrombectomy, strongly recommended, in whichtrained trained doctors try removing a large blood clot bysending sending a wired-caged device called a stent retriever, to the site of the blocked blood vessel in the brain
The good news is that 80 percent of all strokes are preventable. It startswith with managing keyrisk risk factors, including
- High blood pressure,
- Cigarette smoking,
- Diabetes Atrial fibrillation and
- Physical inactivity.
More than half of all strokes are caused by uncontrolled hypertension or high blood pressure, making it the most important risk factor to control.
The best way to get better after a stroke is to start stroke rehabilitation ("rehab"). In stroke rehab, a team of health professionals works with you to regain skills you lost as the result of a stroke. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a neurologist.
Any kind of bleeding from the uterus, which is not normal, can be termed as abnormal uterine bleeding. This refers to bleeding between periods or before periods, bleeding after having sex, spotting, abnormally heavy bleeding or bleeding after attaining menopause. If you are suffering from any of these issues, you need to consult with the doctor.
It is very important to diagnose abnormal uterine bleeding. There are several examinations and tests that have to be carried out, depending on age. For irregular spotting, a pregnancy test can be undertaken in case you think you could be pregnant. If your uterine bleeding is very heavy, a test has to be performed to check blood count. This is done to observe whether you have anemia. An ultrasound test of the pelvic region will also be advised by your doctor to know the cause of the bleeding. Several hormonal tests and thyroid function tests are required as well.
Other diagnostic tests include:
- Sonohysterography: When fluid is placed within the uterus and ultrasound images of the uterus are taken. An image of the pelvic organs is obtained.
- Hysteroscopy: It can be carried out when a device is inserted via the vagina and enables the doctor to examine the uterus internally.
- Magnetic resonance imaging: This is also used to get images of the organs.
- Endometrial biopsy: It involves insertion of a catheter to take out a tissue which is microscopically observed.
There are different types of treatment for abnormal uterine bleeding depending upon factors such as the cause of bleeding and the age of the patient.
- Medications: Several medicines are used to treat abnormal uterine bleeding. Sometimes hormonal medicines are used. Birth control pills are also used to improve the regularity of periods. Hormonal infections, vaginal creams and an IUD device releasing hormone can be used. Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are also used to control bleeding. Several antibiotics may also be prescribed.
- Surgery: In some cases of abnormal uterine bleeding, a woman has to undergo a surgery for the removal of growth such as polyps and fibroids, which results in bleeding. While some fibroids can be removed via hysteroscopy, others require different techniques for treatment.
- Endometrial ablation: It can be undertaken to control bleeding. This mode of treatment aims at reducing the bleeding permanently. In case all treatment methods fail, hysterectomy has to be carried out. This is a serious surgery and after it is performed, a woman does not have periods anymore and will not be able to conceive a child.
Abnormal uterine bleeding is a serious health condition, which may lead to severe complications. Immediate diagnosis and appropriate treatment methods should be undertaken in case of any abnormal uterine bleeding.
Is there any other possible cure for herniated disc except operation when the patient has started losing power in one leg while other leg is having radiative pain.
Ultra sound is commonly known as sonography. It is a process of reproducing ultrasound images of soft tissues of a particular body part and other organs on the computer screen with the help of the echoes of the sound waves produced by the transducer, a high-frequency generating instrument.
Ultra sound is commonly used during the different stages of pregnancy to denote the foetal health, date of delivery, birth defects etc. However, in recent times, the ultra sound has also been associated with the diagnosis of other body parts such as the eyes, heart, gall bladder, liver, ovary, uterus, kidney, uterus, testicles, and ovaries. Ultra sound has also been useful in conducting biopsies for suspecting cancer patients, although not all of the cancers are detected by this imaging process. 3D & 4D ultrasound imaging are useful for looking at a particular body portion with much more precision and in slow motion respectively.
The advantages of ultra sound are:
1. The process of ultrasound imaging is a painless and a fast one. It does not require any insertion of needles or similar objects to denote the problems of the concerned body part.
2. The process is more convenient as compared to other similar imaging processes like MRI, mammogram and x-rays as they can capture images of the soft tissues, blood flow & cysts more clearly than the other processes.
3. The process is free of any harmful effects as there are no chances of exposure to radiation as compared to similar processes such as CT scans or X-rays. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
The thought of going under the knife to treat your spine problem may give rise to a range of emotions; make you ponder over a number of things such as the recovery period, procedure and techniques involved and so on. Nonetheless, before opting for the surgery, there are certain points that you should go over and these are:
- Be well aware of the cause of your pain - Identifying the cause that is behind your pain is vital in order to decide whether the surgery is going to prove beneficial in the long run or not. If the cause is not identified as the right one, the surgery may prove futile and you may not get the pain relief that you're looking for.
- Gather detailed information about your spine surgeon - Before visiting the spine surgeon, you should collect detailed information about the specialist so as to be able to come up with appropriate questions concerning the surgery. From questions concerning about the surgeon's success and complication rates, numbers of surgeries performed to qualifications of the surgeon, these and much more should be part of your evaluation process.
- Prepare yourself before a consultation - It's good to prepare yourself before a medical consultation. Whether it's researching about the surgery and your condition or being well aware of your family's medical history, or details about the pain that you experience, or your expectations from the surgery, every aspect should be covered so that you derive the maximum benefit from your meeting.
- Carry out your own research - Carrying out your own research on the alternatives before opting for the surgery can put you on a better footing. It's imperative to compare the opinion put forward by the surgeon from genuine sources so that you're better able to understand the merits and demerits of the treatment. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Orthopedist.
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.
Fibroid tumour is the abnormal cell growth in the uterus and they are mostly benign. Fibroids usually affect women in the age bracket of 30 - 40. Fibroid tumours are of three types, depending on their location:
- Submucosal fibroids: The tumour develops under the lining of the uterus
- Intramural fibroids: The growth is found amongst the muscles in the wall of the uterus
- Subserosal fibroids: The growth develops on the wall of the uterus right in the pelvic cavity
Causes behind it
The exact cause of fibroids in not known clearly. But certain factors have been discovered that might influence their formation. These factors include:
- Hormones: Progesterone and estrogen are the hormones responsible for recreating the uterine lining during every menstrual cycle. These hormones might trigger the formation of tumour.
- Family history: If any member in your family; your mother, grandmother or sister has/had fibroids in their uterus, you may also develop it.
- Pregnancy: Your body produces excessive progesterone and estrogen when you are pregnant, which may cause an increase in the size of a pre-existing small fibroid. Myomectomy can be done by giving incision on the abdomen or by laparoscopy depending on the size and location of the fibroids.
Signs You are suffering from it
- Heavy bleeding along with blood clots during or between your periods
- Lower back or pelvic pain
- Elevated menstrual cramping
- Frequent urination
- Pain during sex
- Longer than normal periods
- Bloating or pressure in lower abdomen
- Enlargement or swelling of the abdomen
How it can be treated?
Your doctor will formulate the right treatment depending on your age, the mass of the fibroids and your overall health. Your doctor may choose a combination of treatment to cure your fibroids, and they include:
- Medication: Gonadotropin releasing hormones (GnRH) agonists, birth control pills and ibuprofen (anti-inflammatory medicine) are prescribed. GnRH agonists reduce the level of progesterone and estrogen in your uterus.
- Surgery: Myomectomy and hysterectomy are two common surgical procedures to treat fibroids. Myomectomy is performed by removing the fibroids only by making an incision on the abdomen. But hysterectomy completely removes the uterus. The latter is reserved for serious cases.
- Non-invasive surgery: Forced ultrasound surgery, myolysis (shrinking fibroids with laser or electric current), cryomyolysis (fibroids are frozen) and endometrial ablation (an instrument uses heat, hot water, microwaves or electric current to destroy fibroids) are some non-invasive surgical procedures. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
I have diagnosed with infiltrating ductal carcinoma, NOS, in right breast (in biopsy report, triple negative (ER-negative, PR-NEGATIVE, HER 2-NEGATIVE). The tumor measures 4 cm* 3 cm mammographically. After giving 3 no. Of chemo My doctor suggest me for modified radical mastectomy. Please tell me if I go for complete breast removal & subsequent chemotherapy Radiotherapy is must or optional?
I am 34 years old male. I am suffering from back pain for the last 3 years. I have done MRI. In MRI it is found that 1. MILD DIFFUSE DISC BULGE IS NOTED AT L3-4 LEVEL CAUSING ANTERIORTHECAL SAC indentation MINIMAL NARROWING OF BILATERAL NEURAL forminal AS WELL AS LATERAL RECESSES. 2. MILD DIFFUSE DISC BULGE IS NOTED AT L4-5LEVEL CAUSING ANTERIOR THECAL SAC INDENTATION AND NARROWING OF BILATERAL NEURAL forminal AS WELL AS LATERAL RECESSES. MILD facial ARTHROPATHY IS NOTED BILATERALLY. please MAKE ME UNDERSTAND WHAT IS THE PROBLEM AND WHAT IS THE SOLUTION.
I have slip disc l4, l5 Should I avoid carrying weights. More over what are the exercise I must follow?
What is Bone cancer?
Bone cancer is malignant tumour of the bones which can spread to lungs or other parts of the body. It may have arisen primarily from the bone itself (primary bone cancer) or more commonly, may have spread to the bones (secondary bone cancer) from cancer of some other body organ like Breast cancer, Prostate cancer etc.
Primary bone cancer usually occurs in growing children and young adolescents, whereas, secondary bone cancer usually occurs in older age group. Usually, the patient experiences pain in the affected area, which over the time, gets worse and continuous. There may also be swelling in the involved region. It can cause weakening of bones resulting in fracture. Some patients may attribute these symptoms to any prior antecedent trauma. Unintentional weight loss may also be seen. Sometimes, these patients are wrongly being treated for infection, thus delaying the correct treatment which may have a bearing on the final outcome.
How common is bone cancer?
Secondary bone cancer is the most common type of bone cancer with bone being the third most common site of cancer spread (metastasis) from other organs. However, primary bone cancers are rare accounting for less than 1% of all cancers.
Causes of bone cancer?
There are no known environmental or other hereditary factors which cause bone cancer, however, certain patients are at a greater risk for bone cancer which include:
- Patients who have received prior radiation therapy
- Patients with a history of Paget’s Disease
- Patients with hereditary retinoblastoma - a type of eye cancer that most commonly affects very young children
- Patients with Li-Fraumeni syndrome - a rare genetic condition
How is it diagnosed?
A patient suspected with bone cancer needs to be investigated thoroughly with blood tests, Xrays, MRI to look for local extent of disease. Since bone cancer can spread to lungs and other bones, staging of the disease is done either with whole body PET CT or a bone scan with CT Chest. Alongwith that, a biopsy (usually with a needle) is required to establish the diagnosis. It’s important to do biopsy from the correct site since wrong biopsy site can be detrimental in limb salvage and can result in amputation (cutting the limb). Therefore, it’s recommended that the biopsy should always be done by the surgeon (Orthopaedic Oncologist) who will be doing the final surgery for bone cancer.
Treatment of bone cancer is a multidisciplinary approach requiring an Orthopaedic Oncologist (Bone & Soft tissue tumour specialist), Medical Oncologist (Chemotherapy Specialist), Radiation Oncologist (Radiotherapy specialist) and Pathologist (Specialist in tissue diagnosis).
Usually in primary bone cancers, chemotherapy is given to the patient followed by surgery to remove the diseased bone which is further followed by adjuvant chemotherapy. Limb salvage surgery is possible nowadays for bone cancers in which the part of the bone involved with tumour is removed surgically (rather than cutting the whole limb) and the defect is reconstructed with artificial joint, thereby saving the limb. In some cases, the cancerous bone so removed is given very high dose of radiation so as to kill all the cancer cells and the sterilised bone so formed is fixed back to the parent bone with the help of plates and screws, a technique commonly called as Extra Corporeal Radiation Therapy (ECRT). In children, since the artificial joint will not grow as the child grows leading to unequal limb lengths over a period of time, the defect can be reconstructed with expandable joint which can be lengthened as the child grows which allows to maintain limb length equality at the time of skeletal maturity.
Is cure possible in bone cancer?
With the current chemotherapy regimes and advanced surgical technology, cure is possible in upto 70-75% patients with primary bone cancer. In patients with secondary bone cancer, cure can still be achieved depending upon the primary cancer and the extent of disease. In advanced cases also, a lot can be done to control the disease and give a quality of life to the patient.
Is it possible to prevent bone cancer?
Since the exact cause of bone cancer is not known, as of now it’s not possible to prevent bone cancer.
Whom to consult?
First chance is the best chance when it comes to curing bone cancers. So, it’s advisable to seek treatment from a trained Orthopaedic Oncologist when confronted with a bone cancer to achieve maximum beneficial outcome.
I am suffering from slipped disc in cervical spine from 6 months. So my question is that I am a dance choreographer should I continue with my dance or not can you suggest me and how this problem Will be cured.
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:
- A persistent lump or thickening in the breast or in the axilla.
- A change in the size or shape of the breast.
- A change in the colour or appearance of the skin of the breast such as redness, puckering or dimpling.
- Bloody discharge from the nipple.
- 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.
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:
- The risk increases with age; most cases of breast cancer develop after the age of 50
- Genetic alterations in certain genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2
- Family history of breast cancer
- Being overweight
- Early menarche (onset of menstruation before the age of 12)
- Late menopause (after the age of 55)
- Never had children
- Late childbearing
- No breast feeding
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- 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:
- 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.
- Clinical Breast Examination: Get a breast specialist to examine your breast once a year if you are 40 years and above.
- 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
- Non-Invasive Breast cancer: These are confined to the ducts within the breasts. They are known as Ductal carcinoma in-situ (DCIS).
- 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 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.