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Dr. Arunabha Sen

Radiologist, Kolkata

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Dr. Arunabha Sen Radiologist, Kolkata
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Hello and thank you for visiting my Lybrate profile! I want to let you know that here at my office my staff and I will do our best to make you comfortable. I strongly believe in ethics; a......more
Hello and thank you for visiting my Lybrate profile! I want to let you know that here at my office my staff and I will do our best to make you comfortable. I strongly believe in ethics; as a health provider being ethical is not just a remembered value, but a strongly observed one.
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Dr. Arunabha Sen is a renowned Radiologist in 24 Parganas, Kolkata. You can consult Dr. Arunabha Sen at Recovery in 24 Parganas, Kolkata. Book an appointment online with Dr. Arunabha Sen and consult privately on Lybrate.com.

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5 Ways to Deal With Uterine Cysts

Diploma in Advance Endoscopy, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (MRCOG), MS, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Delhi
5 Ways to Deal With Uterine Cysts

A uterine cyst, also called as ovarian cyst, is the formation of a fluid-filled sac within the ovary of a woman. Uterine cysts may sometimes cause several physical symptoms. They can cause great pain and unpleasant sensations. Most cysts go away by themselves, but still sufficient measures should be taken to deal with the inconvenience caused by a uterine cyst. In severe cases, the cyst can damage the ovaries. Scar tissue is also likely to build up in such cysts to form an adhesion, which causes discomfort.

Uterine cysts can cause great damage to the sexual organs of a woman, and hence, it should never be ignored. Here are 5 ways to deal with uterine cysts:

  1. Using Birth Control Pills: In case of recurrent uterine cysts, you can take oral contraceptives with the prescription of a doctor. This will prohibit ovulation, and the development of new cysts will be prevented. The risk of ovarian cancer is also reduced.

  2. Laparoscopy: In case the cyst is small, a laparoscopy surgery can be conducted by a doctor. This will enable the surgical removal of the cyst. The process of laparoscopy involves making of a small incision around the navel region. A small instrument or device is inserted into the abdomen, which removes the cyst.

  3. Laparotomy: Laparotomy is a surgical procedure of removing a large uterine cyst. This procedure is applied when a cyst becomes too large to be removed using laparoscopy. The procedure involves the removal of the cyst via an incision made in the abdomen. An immediate biopsy is conducted and in case the cyst is found out to be cancerous, a hysterectomy surgery is conducted, which removes the ovaries and uterus completely.

  4. Herbal Tea: Moving from medical procedures to natural ways for dealing with uterine cysts, herbal tea is believed to be one of the best natural treatments for uterine cysts. Herbal tea helps in the breakdown of large cysts and the side effects of the cysts such as discomfort or pain are eased. Have a cup of herbal tea every day to get rid of uterine cysts.

  5. Diet: Uterine cysts may develop due to an unhealthy diet. Modern food items contain synthetic and natural estrogens, which cause disruption in ovarian health. Consuming adulterated meat, where the animals are given hormones, and antibiotics may result in uterine cysts. Soy contains a great amount of estrogen, which leads to uterine cysts. All the food items which may lead to ovarian cysts should be avoided.

Uterine cysts are common in women and are caused due to several complications. You should not let uterine cysts develop as development increases severity.

2464 people found this helpful

Sir I have a problem of slipped disc in cervical spine. I am a dance choreographer so I should do my profession or I should stop it.

Fellowship in Shoulder and Upper Limb, Fellowship in Joint Replacement, MS - Orthopaedics, MBBS
Orthopedist, Mumbai
If the problem is recent and correctly diagnosed you should take rest for a couple of weeks and then start gradually with neck physio. Once your neck muscles are strong then you can gradually restart your dance activity.
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6 Preventive Measures Of Breast Cancer

DNB - Obstetrics & Gynecology, MBBS
Gynaecologist,
6 Preventive Measures Of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is one of the most feared diagnoses in women. When cancerous cells develop in a woman's breast, irregular lumps, changes in the shape or size of the breast and discharge of blood from the nipples may be experienced. There are lots of preventive measures that you can take to avoid breast cancer. It is important to live a healthy life with as less exposure to toxins as possible. Here are some tips and strategies that can lower your risk of breast cancer

Preventive measures:

  • Plant based dietStudies have shown that a high plant based diet, full of vegetables and fruits, is packed with antioxidants, minerals, and nutrients that lower the risk of breast cancer. Eat light, and avoid refined sugar and processed meat. Try to construct a healthy Mediterranean diet plan rich in olive oil and nuts.
  • Maintain an appropriate weight - Do not gain extra weight as obesity and excessive weight gain are related to breast cancer. Cut down on fat and exercise regularly to lead an active life.
  • Breastfeeding - If you are a new mom, breastfeed your baby as it has numerous health benefits for both you and your child, including lowering the chances of breast cancer in the mother.
  • Sleep - It is important to get 8 hours of sleep every night to live a healthy life. Many studies have shown that a short duration of sleep and exposure to light at night that disrupts the circadian rhythm increases the risk of breast cancer.
  • Avoid tobacco and alcohol - Do not smoke as it increases the chances of cancer in other organs and also leads to toxin inclusion in the body. Also, be sure to drink in moderation as excess alcohol consumption is cancer causing offender.
  • Artificial hormones - Women during menopause often resort to hormone replacement therapy, and the extended use of this therapy can heighten the risk of breast cancer. Therefore, it is recommended to look for other options to smoothen your transition to the menopausal phase.
5 people found this helpful

I am 39 years my weight is 95 kg, my height is 5.4, I have ligament tear in my right knee, I have slip disc in l4, l5, high bp. Etc, please suggest how to loose weight. Rapidly fast if any medicine that can help to reduce the weight.

MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Delhi
I am 39 years my weight is 95 kg, my height is 5.4, I have ligament tear in my right knee, I have slip disc in l4, l5...
Weight reduction can not be done over night. You have to take it as a way of life. Do diet control. No sugar in tea, coffee, milk etc. No sweets take small frequent feeds. When you get used to it, skip one meal. You should do non weight bearing yoga exercises. For your knee problem you would need arthroscopic knee surgery. It is a very safe procedure in our hands with uniformly good results. We have very good well equipped center in delhi. Do ask for detailed treatment plan. Don? t ignore it lest it become beginning of a bigger problem.
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Sir my sister aged 32 years is going under total hip replacement. I much confused about prosthetic which one to go for Ceramic with poly or Ceramic on Ceramic Please advice which one is better.

Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS), MRCS, DNB (Orthopedics), MBBS
Orthopedist, Visakhapatnam
Hi Lots of studies are there. As per my experience in UK 12 yrs, ceramic on ceramic is good in long term. But risk of fracture is there always when ever patient jumps. Ceramic on poly is more safe and it's better combination too. I preserve ceramic on ceramic. Hope it solves you r question.
1 person found this helpful
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6 Symptoms of Uterine Prolapse

MBBS, M.S( Gynaecology)
Gynaecologist, Surat
6 Symptoms of Uterine Prolapse

The uterus is a muscular structure held in place inside your pelvis with the help of muscles, ligaments, and tissues. These muscles weaken in women due to pregnancy, childbirth or delivery complications and can lead to severe complications. One such complication is a uterine prolapse. Uterine prolapse occurs when the uterus sags or slips from its normal position into the vaginal canal.

The causes of uterine prolapse are varied and include:

- Delivering a large baby
- Pregnancy
- Difficulty in labor and delivery
- Reduction in estrogen levels post menopause
- Traumatic childbirth
- Loss or weakening of the pelvic muscle
- Conditions which lead to increased pressure in the abdominal area such as a chronic cough, straining, pelvic tumors or accumulation of fluid in the abdomen
- Loss of external support due to major surgery in pelvic area

Uterine prolapse can be complete or incomplete depending on how far the uterus sags into the vagina. Women who have minor uterine prolapse may not have any visible symptoms. However, if the condition worsens, it manifests itself in visible signs.

Symptoms of moderate or severe prolapse are:

1. A feeling of fullness or pressure in your pelvis when you sit
2. Seeing the uterus or cervix coming out of the vagina
3. Vaginal bleeding or increased discharge
4. Painful sexual intercourse
5. Recurrent bladder infections
6. Continuing back pain with difficulty in walking, urinating and moving your bowels

Without proper attention, the condition can cause impairments in the bowel, and can also affect bladder and sexual function. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Gynaecologist.

2752 people found this helpful

I am 63 year old. I am having sciatica, back pain and numbness in both legs. I do not have BP and my sugar level is with in limit. As per CT scan report the impression are as follows: Lumbar Spondylitis with Disc herniation at L4-5, L3-4 levels and disc bulge at L5-S1 level. Canal stenosis at L4-5 level. Cervical spondylosis - Decreased height of C5 and C6. Vertebral bodies with end plate irregularities at C4-C7 levels. Disc bulge at C3-4 level. Disc herniation with canal stenosis at C4-5, C5-6 and C6-7 levels. Can it be cured with Homeopathy.

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 knee & general exercises. It may have to be further investigated. Make sure you are not allergic to any of the medicines you are going to take. For emergency treatment contact your nearest hospital or family doctor. If it does not give relief in 4-5days, contact me again. Why not discuss with me in a video conference? (facility provided by lybrate. Com)
2 people found this helpful
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Disk Pain

MSPT (Master of Physical Therapy), BPT
Physiotherapist, Gurgaon
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Hi I am Dr. Kirti Yadav, senior physiotherapist from Mat-Harbor family clinic, Gurgaon.

Today I want to talk about a very common problem which every one, if we count about the population 100% then 70% of people they talk about Disk pain. So I want to enlighten this topic today. If there is a normal pain and ache in your neck or back you go to a doctor and the doctor assess you and tells you to get an MRI done. Whenever you get an MRI done there is some level of disk involvement and the doctor ask you to take rest, not to do exercise and all those things and then just being fear of disk pain you don’t exercise for the rest of your life.

So just to come onto that area, just to enlighten this topic, as a physiotherapist I want to tell you about the fact. Disk pain, YES it happens but it happens in 20% of the cases. The rest 50% of the cases have been misdiagnose, they take disk pain and they don’t do exercise all of their life. Now we don’t exercise, we don’t strengthen up our muscle that is the problem that we get these pains and aches and the muscle is being stretched which is counted to be as the disk pain. Now when we talk about this, when you get an MRI done even today if I get my MRI done I will have some level of disk involvement whether the disk is causing you pain or not that is more important. The nature of pain tells you about the disk involvement.

So if you have tingling sharp shooting burning kind of pain which travels through a nerve, which travels through area, it dignifies, it signifies the disk pain. But if you have a localized dull, aching kind of pain please don’t take it as a disk pain and don’t take it as a nerve pain. So just coming to the treatment part. About 50% of the people who don’t have disk pain, who says we have cervical spondylitis but they don’t have cervical spondylitis they have trapezius muscle involvement. In that case what we do please strengthen up your trapezius muscle, please strengthen up your shoulder muscle so that you don’t have these pains and aches again and again. Why this happens? This happens because of repetitive strain injuries that happens because of more of computer use more of mobile use, texting and other sedentary live cells which we are going in. So the ultimate solution for pains and aches muscular is strengthening the particular part.

If you want to know more about this, if you want to talk more about it you can contact me through Lybrate.

2 people found this helpful

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.

FRHS, Ph.D Neuro , MPT - Neurology Physiotherapy, D.Sp.Med, DPHM (Health Management ), BPTh/BPT
Physiotherapist, Chennai
This is my Mri report impression. Disc degeneration and disc bulge is seen at L5/S 1 level indenting the thecal Sac w...
Do Take Physiotherapy treatment of IFT and vacuum Therapy Physiotherapy treatment for pain relief for 12 days followed by strengthening exercise from physiotherapist Best wishes.
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Left paracentral L5-S1 disc protrusion causing compression of left traversing nerve roots associated with diffuse L1-L2 Disc bulge. Now what is best treatment for me.

MBBS
General Physician, Mumbai
Best treatment is to do go for laparoscopic surgery and treatment depends on the symptoms and if there are bearable symptoms than we can do ESWT through a physiotherapist.
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My MRI report of LS Spine is as: Diffuse Disc bulge at L3 /L4 indenting the thecal sac Partial desiccation of L4 / L5 with diffuse posterior disc bulge Indenting the thecal sac encroaching bilateral neural foramina (left>right) Partial desiccation of L5 / S1 Please tell. Me the seriousness of the problem with precautions Is this normal.

MBBS
General Physician, Bangalore
My MRI report of LS Spine is as:
Diffuse Disc bulge at L3 /L4 indenting the thecal sac
Partial desiccation of L4 / L5...
hello, this means a part of your spine is bulging out and in later cases it may compress your nerve roots and may cause pain of your lower back and your one or both of your lower limbs causing sciatica. but then, there are two things one is simple bulging of the disc and another is herniation of the disc where there is a tear in the cartilage, the later condition more often causes pain. bulging usually causes no pain. i would like to advice you to have a good posture, sit straight. prefer chairs without cushion. your mattress should not be too soft. sleep on a regular less bulky mattress where you can keep your spine straight. while trying to get up from a lying down position do it from one side. never try to sit up straight from the lying down position. change your position to left or right lateral then take support with your hands and get up. do a set of spinal exercises at least 20 minutes a day. you can do twice a day of 10 minutes duration too. you can consult me for the types and instructions of the exercises. if you have not get pain yet, consider yourself fortunate and start making these lifestyle changes.the pain you get in sciatica is ugly. prevention is better than cure. wish you a very good health.
1 person found this helpful
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I have got pain in my leg from two years. The MRI shows this diffuse posture lateral iv disc at L4-L5 level causing anterior epidural space and lateral recess narrowing with mild thecal sac indentation and abutting transversing nerve fibres and existing neural foramen stenosis.(2) subtle L3 -L4 diffuse posture lateral iv disc bulge causing anterior epidural space and lateral recess effacement. What is the treatment of it .is surgery necessary for it.

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

IFAANS, DNB (Neurosurgery), MBBS
Neurosurgeon, Ghaziabad
How Herniated Disk Effects Your Health?

The symptoms caused due to herniated disc can be very severe and can also cause a bit of disability. The disc of the spine is like a cushion and separates the set of bones on the backside. The discs are shock absorbers of the spine and are mainly composed of 2 parts, a soft jelly centre called the nucleus and a tough outer covering called the annulus.

Effects of Herniated Disk
A herniated or cracked disc is a severe condition and it seems to happen most commonly in the lower back.  It happens when a fraction of the soft centre gets pushed through the destabilized area due to degeneration, trauma or by putting pressure on the spinal cord. 

Nerves are located precisely at the back of every disc and are responsible for controlling everything in our body. While a disc gets herniated, the external covering of the disc tears and creates a bulge. The soft jelly gets shifted from the centre of the disk to the region where the damage has occurred on the disc. Most commonly, the bulge occurs in areas where the nerve is located and it causes strain on the affected nerve. It has been observed that individuals do not feel any painful sensations even if their disc gets damaged.

When is Surgery Recommended for Herniated Disc?
Surgery for herniated disc is recommended only after options like  pain relievers, exercise and non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs do not work. If the pain persists even after these options, then it becomes important to go for surgery. There are certain risks involved in this surgery like infection, bleeding or nerve damage. 

There are chances that the disc may get ruptured again if it is not removed. If you are a patient suffering from degenerative disc disease, then there are chances that problem occurs in other discs. It is very important that a patient maintains healthy weight to prevent any further complications.

The main factor that increases the risk of herniated disc is excess body weight, which causes a lot of stress on the lower back. A few people become heir to a tendency of developing this condition. Even individuals with physically demanding jobs are prone to this condition. 

Surgery for herniated disc is recommended only after options like pain relievers, exercise and non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs do not work. If the pain persists even after these options, then, needs to be removed as steroid injections is not advisable per se.

Activities like bending sideways, pushing, twisting, repetitive lifting can increase the risk of a herniated disk. At times, emergency surgery is also required to avoid paralysis in a patient.

1 person found this helpful

Doctor my 13 year old daughter has developed slip disc in her L4 and L5 vertebrae. What should be her treatment?

MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Delhi
Disc prolapse at age of 13 years is not common, though it still may occur. Treatment is analgesics, back care, rest and physiotherapy. However, the child needs to be examined before I can suggest precise treatment
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I have a herniated disk (bulged disk/slip disk) at c7 and the c7 nerve is compressed for last 2 months. Do you have treatment in ayurveda ?

MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Delhi
However you may try sleep on a hard bed with soft bedding on it. Use no pillow under the head. Kindly take biod3 max 1 tab dailyx10 paracetamol 250mg od & sos x5days do back (spine)/shoulder/knee exercises make sure you are not allergic to any of the medicines you are going to take do not ignore it. It may have to be further investigated. It could be beginning of a serious problem. If no relief in 4_5 days, then contact me again. Contact your family doctor or nearest hospital for emergency help.
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I'm 25 years old. I've mild disk bulge in L4 and L5. Whether I can lead normal life or not? And it's curable completely or not? Pls tell me.

Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS), Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS)
Orthopedist, Trichy
Mild disc bulge is nothing serious. As long as you do not have any back pain radiating to your legs then the nerve roots are not getting compressed. Make sure you do not lift heavy objects or strain urself, avoid long distance 2 and 4 wheeler rides, back exercises help.
2 people found this helpful
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Just recovered from slip disc. What exercises can I do now? Is walking or Treadmill is recommended?

B.P.T, M.P.T(ORTHO), Certification in Gym Instructor & Prenatal and Post natal
Physiotherapist, Gurgaon
Dear sir, You need to strengthen your back first with floor exercises. Then you cn start with treadmill with simple walking fr 20 min at a stretch with no running no inclination. Back exercises you hv to do fr 3mths religiously U cn further contact us
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I have back pain L4. L5 problem fast in 5 years. I want to reduce pain with out operation is possible. Please Inform

M.Ch, DNB (Orthopedics), MBBS
Orthopedist, Mohali
You should do a proper regime of medicaton and Exercises for 3 months. the kind of exercises depend on your x-ray and mri reports. Only of this fails completely then we think of other measures like injections to the spine, surgery etc. the basic principle of spine therapy is minimal intervention.
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Bone Cancer - Signs That Can Help You Identify!

M.Ch - Oncology, MS - General Surgery, M.B.B.S., F.I.A.G.E.S.
Oncologist, Bhopal
Bone Cancer - Signs That Can Help You Identify!

We have more than 200 bones in our body and each of them is susceptible to bone cancer. However, long bones in the arms and legs are most susceptible to this condition. Bone cancer can be primary or secondary. Primary bone cancer involves uncontrolled and abnormal cell division within the bones while secondary bone cancer refers to cancer that originated somewhere else in the body and later spread to the bones. While children and adults are equally at risk for primary bone cancer, adults and elderly people are more susceptible to secondary bone cancer. If diagnosed early enough, bone cancer can be treated and even cured with surgery, chemotherapy or radiation.

Hence it is essential to recognize the signs and symptoms of bone cancer. Here’s what you should look out for.

  1. Pain in Bones: Pain is one the primary symptoms of bone cancer. As the tumour grows larger, this pain can become more intense. In its early stages, the pain may be experienced as a dull ache inside the bone or the affected part of the body. It may also increase or decrease according to your activity level or may be experienced only at night. However, not all bone pains signify ‘cancer’ as this is also a symptom associated with osteoporosis.
  2. SwellingIn some cases, the abnormal growth of bone cells can result in the formation of a lump of mass that may be felt through the skin. In other cases, the affected area may also show signs of swelling.
  3. Breaking of the Bone: Cancer can weaken the bones and make them more brittle. This may make the bones more susceptible to fractures. A bone breaking in an area that has been painful or sore for a long period of time may be a sign of cancer. This is known as a pathologic fracture.
  4. Reduced Flexibility: If the tumour is located near a joint, it may affect the range of movements possible and make simple actions uncomfortable. For example, a tumour around the knee may make walking and climbing stairs a painful exercise.

Other symptoms to look out for are sudden and drastic weight loss, tiredness, excessive sweating at night, fever and difficulty breathing in case cancer has spread to other organs. Since many of these symptoms are common to other medical disorders, you should conduct a doctor immediately if you notice any of them. A physical examination and a couple of tests along with a biopsy will be required to confirm a diagnosis of bone cancer. Consult an Expert & get answers to your questions!

1951 people found this helpful

Breast Cancer - In A Nutshell

Post Doctoral Research (Ph.D.) (A.M) (Oncology), Integrative Oncology for Physicians (MSKCC, N.Y, USA), Doctor of Natural Medicine (N.D/ N.M.D), Ayurveda (I) Cert., Advanced Strategic Management (APSM), B.E (Computer Sc. & Engg.), Clinically Relevant Herb-Drug Interactions (CME) - (Cine-Med Inc. USA)
Alternative Medicine Specialist, Bhubaneswar
Breast Cancer - In A Nutshell

Breast cancer begins when cells in the breast(s) start to grow out of control. It is understood as being the most common cancer, seen predominantly in females, globally. It is reasonably treatable and often curable.

1. Type: Adenocarcinomas constitute more than 95% of breast cancers with infiltrating ductal carcinoma (IDC) being the most common form of invasive breast cancer.

Frequently occurring breast cancers present as one of the following types mainly

1. Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS): Is the most common type of non-invasive breast cancer and is confined to the milk ducts of the breast. There is no invasion in the basement membrane. Pure DCIS metastasizes rarely. Non comedo cribrioform carcinoma is the most common DCIS found which, when compared to the comedo type, is mostly non-aggressive.

2. Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma (IDC): Represents majority (about 3/4th) of the breast cancers, and is known to metastasize commonly to bones, lungs and liver.

3. Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS): Develops in multiple lobules of the breast (bilaterally). LCIS is less commonly seen, compared to DCIS.

4. Infiltrating Lobular Carcinoma (ILC): Represent about a tenth of all breast cancers and tends to metastasize to other regions of the body.

Less commonly occurring breast cancers such as

5. Inflammatory Breast Cancer: Is relatively uncommon and are caused probably owing to viral infections. The breast is warm, red and swollen.

6. Paget’s disease of the nipple: Is a rare form of breast cancer. It begins in the milk ducts and spreads to the nipple and areola.

7. Medullary Carcinoma

8. Mutinous Carcinoma

9. Tubular Carcinoma

10. Phylloides tumor etc all.

2. Gender: Affects the female populace predominantly. However, a small percentage of breast cancer is attributable to the male populace as well.

3. Etiology: No definite cause is known. However, diet, lifestyle, environment, hormonal/ reproductive factors, personal or family history of breast cancer especially in first degree relatives and also any benign breast disease history etc all are known to increase the risk of breast cancers. Specifically, excessive fatty diet, obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, benign breast disease, heredity/ inheritance of mutated breast cancer genes 1 (BRCA1) and 2 (BRCA2), smoking, alcohol intake, infertility, estrogen therapy/ hormone replacement therapy (long term) in post menopausal women, delayed age at first pregnancy, nulliparity (not having child), early menstruation, delayed onset of menopause, lactating mothers not breast feeding, exposure to ionizing radiation, sedentary lifestyle, depression, exposure to MMTV virus etc all can potentially increase the risk for breast cancer.

4. Features: Signs & symptoms, of breast cancer, manifest majorly in the following ways

  1. Lump/ nodule in the breast that gets attached to the skin of the breast over time. The lump / nodule could be hard and painless with irregular edges or it could also be soft, rounded, tender and painful.

  2. Enlarged lymph nodes in the axilla which are palpable.

  3. Swelling of whole or a part of a breast. This is even if there is no distinct lump felt.

  4. Retraction or thickening of the nipple(s).

  5. Pain in the breast or nipple.

  6. Discharge from nipple other than breast milk.

  7. Irritation/ scaliness of skin over the breast.

  8. Redness of nipples

  9. Rarely, red, swollen and tender breast.

5. Screening: Is generally recommended for asymptomatic populations goal of which, as usual, is to be able to detect & diagnose breast cancer at an early stage which is potentially curable. It is mostly radiologic with mammography/ USG being instrumental in raising suspicions for further diagnostics (i.e. biopsy) that help detect breast cancer, if any, early.

6. Diagnosis: A self-examination/ clinical exam of the breast(s)/ axilla that reveals a palpable mass prompts the following diagnostics. Abnormal blood test results may be indicative of malignancy, but a follow up imaging/ biopsy is always the gold standard for accurate diagnosis.

  1. Blood: ER/ PR/ HER2/neu, uPA, PAI-1, CA15-3, CA27.29 etc all tumor markers are helpful.
  2. Imaging: Mammography/ USG Scan usually, as relevant. Again, CT Scan of abdomen & pelvis and chest, PET CT scan, bone scan etc all help detect metastasis, if any, for cancers in stage III & above.
  3. Biopsy: either excisional, incisional, fine needle aspiration (FNA) or core biopsy technique, as contextually appropriate, is frequently employed and a histopathological examination (HPE) thereof clinches the diagnosis and the nature of the disease.

7. Treatment: Conventional treatment includes surgery, radiotherapy, hormone therapy/ chemotherapy as deems appropriate. Simultaneously, an adjunctive or integrative naturopathic treatment with suitable complementary & alternative medicines (CAM) too can help improve clinical outcomes and facilitate recovery as would be feasible contextually.

8. Prognosis: Preventive measures, earlier diagnosis and right early treatment is key for an effective therapeutic management & better prognosis. Like most other cancers, the chances of cure for an early stage breast cancer are more. The cure/ recovery chances are influenced by the type, grade, stage of cancer, recurrence and the patient’s general health & vitality etc all. Above-mentioned apart, age, menopause status, lymph node status, ER/ PR/ HER-2/ neu status, size & extent of breast cancer etc all also influence the treatment outlook in breast cancer. The five year survival rate is strongly correlated with the stage of breast cancer.

9. Prevention: Rightly said, prevention is always a better choice. Although genetic risks are difficult to modify, still an increased focus on protective factors and avoidance of the risk factors can be of help. An adherence to a Mediterranean diet, maintaining an ideal body weight and an active lifestyle with due emphasis on regular exercising (for at least 30 minutes daily), de-stressing and relaxation is highly recommended for reducing the risks of breast cancer. A healthy eating plate comprises essentially a low fat diet, fibre rich foods including whole grain cereals, green leafy vegetables cooked using healthy vegetable oils, fresh fruits of all colours as seasonally available and healthy proteins/ fats including fresh fish, poultry, beans, nuts etc all. It is advisable to limit milk/ dairy, preferably of low fat content, to 1 to 2 servings max daily. Although alcohol is optional and is not for everyone, the consumption of the same, if any, has to be strictly in moderation, and is best avoided. Smoking is to be avoided as well. Again, red meat, butter, refined grains, sweets, sugary drinks including carbonated beverages and other high calorie foods etc all, if any, are to be taken sparingly or are best avoided too. Limiting dosage/ duration of hormone therapy, if any, especially to counteract post menopausal symptoms and also avoiding exposure to radiation and environmental pollution can help reduce the risks of breast cancer. Apart from the above-mentioned, for high risk cases, a prophylactic oophorectomy, prophylactic radical mastectomy, long term hormone therapy etc all can help reduce the chances/ risks of developing breast cancer significantly. Breastfeeding is known to confer protection against breast cancer risk too.

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