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Dr. Alka Karnik

Radiologist, Mumbai

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Dr. Alka Karnik Radiologist, Mumbai
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I'm dedicated to providing optimal health care in a relaxed environment where I treat every patients as if they were my own family....more
I'm dedicated to providing optimal health care in a relaxed environment where I treat every patients as if they were my own family.
More about Dr. Alka Karnik
Dr. Alka Karnik is one of the best Radiologists in Andheri West, Mumbai. You can meet Dr. Alka Karnik personally at Sona Sight in Andheri West, Mumbai. Save your time and book an appointment online with Dr. Alka Karnik on Lybrate.com.

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I have a disc bulge at L4-L5 and L5-S1, its being more then 7 months now. My physiotherapy session is going on but i still have pain and weakness in my legs

M.Ch, DNB (Orthopedics), MBBS
Orthopedist, Mohali
You need and MRI and clinical assessment and may end up having a surgery if you have weakness which has not improved on censervative treatment for 7 months.
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I am having problem in my spinal cord disc L4 -L5. With some loss of fluid. Now my knee joint also getting pain. What you wil suggest.

BPTh/BPT, MPTh/MPT
Physiotherapist, Noida
I am having problem in my spinal cord disc L4 -L5. With some loss of fluid. Now my knee joint also getting pain. What...
Core strengthening exercises- straight leg raised with toes turned outward, repeat 10 times, twice a day. Back stretching- lie flat, pull one of the knee forward to chest, hold for 3 seconds, then bring the other knee forward to the chest and again hold for 3 seconds. Then pull both knees towards the chest and hold for 3 seconds. Repeat 10 times each exercise twice a day. Do the cat/cow stretch. Get on all fours, with your arms straight and your hands directly under your shoulders; your knees hip-width apart.
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Guideline Steps for Breast Examine by Patient

Homeopath,

Step 1: Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips.


Here's what you should look for:

Breasts that are their usual size, shape, and color

Breasts that are evenly shaped without visible distortion or swelling

If you see any of the following changes, bring them to your doctor's attention:

Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin

A nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple (pushed inward instead of sticking out)

Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling


Step 2: now, raise your arms and look for the same changes.

 

Step 3: while you're at the mirror, look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples (this could be a watery, milky, or yellow fluid or blood).


Step 4: next, feel your breasts while lying down, using your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few finger pads of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together. Use a circular motion, about the size of a quarter.

 

Cover the entire breast from top to bottom, side to side — from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage.

 

Follow a pattern to be sure that you cover the whole breast. You can begin at the nipple, moving in larger and larger circles until you reach the outer edge of the breast. You can also move your fingers up and down vertically, in rows, as if you were mowing a lawn. This up-and-down approach seems to work best for most women. Be sure to feel all the tissue from the front to the back of your breasts: for the skin and tissue just beneath, use light pressure; use medium pressure for tissue in the middle of your breasts; use firm pressure for the deep tissue in the back. When you've reached the deep tissue, you should be able to feel down to your ribcage.
 

Step 5: finally, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting. Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so they like to do this step in the shower. Cover your entire breast, using the same hand movements described in step 4.

1 person found this helpful

How Can You Prevent Breast Cancer?

MD - Oncology
Oncologist, Hubli-Dharwad
How Can You Prevent Breast Cancer?

If you are concerned about breast cancer, you should know about the steps you can take to prevent the condition. Breast cancer is a type of cancer developing from the breast tissue. Symptoms such as a lump in the breast, fluid flowing from the nipple, changes in the shape of the breast and occurrence of red scaly patches on the breast denote breast cancer.

You need to make certain lifestyle changes in order to prevent breast cancer. The ways you should adopt include the following:

  1. Limit your alcohol intake: The more you consume alcohol, the more you put yourself at the risk of getting breast cancer. It is recommended for you not to drink more than one drink per day. Small amounts of alcohol increase the risk of breast cancer as well.

  2. Abstain from smoking: There is a direct link between tobacco smoking and breast cancer, and the risk is even more in premenopausal women. You should quit smoking to reduce the risk of breast cancer along with many other conditions, which can develop because of the ill-effects of smoking.

  3. Control your weight: Obese women are more prone to breast cancer when compared with women with a healthy weight. This is especially true when obesity occurs at a later stage in life, after menopause.

  4. Keep physically active: Regular physical activity is essential for you to maintain a healthy weight, which is important for preventing breast cancer. 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercises or 75 minutes of vigorous exercises are recommended along with strength training.

  5. Breastfeed: Breastfeeding plays an important role in preventing breast cancer. The more you breastfeed your baby, the more protected you are from breast cancer.

  6. Limit the dosage and duration of hormone therapy: If you undertake combination hormone therapy for more than three to five years, you are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer. In case you are taking hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms, you should talk to your doctor about alternative options such as non-hormonal therapy and medications. If you still require hormonal therapy, you must use the lowest dose that will be effective.

  7. Avoid exposure to radiation and pollution: Certain medical imaging procedures like computerized tomography involves radiation of high doses. There is a link between breast cancer and radiation exposure. Thus, you should abstain from getting exposed to radiation and avoid taking such tests if it is not very urgent.

Maintaining a healthy diet also helps in reducing your risk of developing breast cancer. You should include food items which are plant based in your regular diet, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains and legumes. Also, consume healthy fats such as olive oil instead of red meat and butter. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult an oncologist.

3020 people found this helpful

Hello meine last year neck k 2 ct scan bhi krwaye the report normal h aur kisi karan last year bahut depressed bhi thi aur roti rehti thi. Kya in sabse breast cancer ka risk increase hota h kya please provide me accurate answer.

MBBS, MS - General Surgery, FBD (Fellowship in Breast Diseases), UICC Fellowship
Oncologist, Pune
No increase in any type of cancer because of stress and ct for a small period. So don't worry. Inspire of that try to reduce your chances by doing morning walk for 30-40 minutes and having a good diet.
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The Breast Cancer Myth

Diploma in Endoscopic Surgery, DGO, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Delhi

1. You felt a lump in your breast and it always means you have breast cancer.

The Truth

It's a small percentage of breast lumps only that will turn out to be cancer.  If you discover a persistent lump in your breast or notice any changes in breast tissue,  never ignore it.  You  must see a physician for a clinical breast examination. He or she may possibly order breast imaging studies to determine if this lump is of concern or not.

Take charge of your health by performing routine breast self-exams, establishing ongoing communication and counseling with your doctor, getting an annual clinical breast exam, and scheduling your routine screening mammograms.

2. Only women get breast cancer, men do not.

The Truth

Quite the contrary, each year it is estimated that approximately 2,190 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 410 will die. While this percentage is still small, men should also check themselves periodically by doing a breast self-exam while in the shower and reporting any changes to their physicians. 

Breast cancer in men is usually detected as a hard lump underneath the nipple and areola.  Men carry a higher mortality than women do, primarily because awareness among men is less and they are less likely to assume a lump is breast cancer, which can cause a delay in seeking treatment.

2 people found this helpful

Treatment Of Uterine Cysts With Homeopathy

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

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

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

Some of them are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

3295 people found this helpful

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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Hello Dr. Sir, I am Harvinder singh from yamunanagar, Haryana. I have lower back pain since last 2 years. Its slip disc and sciatica pain in left leg. I am very unhappy with this problem. Please advice me best of best treatment for the same and where I can get the same.

BAMS
Ayurveda,
Hello Dr. Sir, I am Harvinder singh from yamunanagar, Haryana. I have lower back pain since last 2 years. Its slip di...
You may use yogi joint pain churna for few days, if its helpful for you, then continue to get relief from sciatica.
1 person found this helpful
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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

I am having slip disc. I want to know to cure it with exercises and what are the precautions to took for this?

MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Surat
Till you have pain, exercises would have little help. Initially you have to take bed rest. Avoid forward bending & cross-legged sitting on ground. Sit with a straight back. You can wear l. S. Belt temporarily. When pain subsides you can start exercises as guided by your doctor to prevent future disc problems.
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Hi doctor, What are the chances of me getting breast cancer if my mom has got it during her menopause? I am getting married soon and this has raised a concern in my fiance's mind.

MS - General Surgery
General Surgeon, Kanpur
yes there is 2 to 5 times more risk than general population of developing breast cancer if 1 or 2 member of 1st degree relatives are suffering from breast cancer, do routine self examination of your breast.
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Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease

MBBS, Diploma In Orthopaedics (D. Ortho), DNB - Orthopedics, mch
Orthopedist, Delhi
Play video

Different methods to treat Disc problems

Hello friends, I am Dr Gaurav Khera. I am an orthopaedic surgeon, doing joint replacements and spine surgeries at the Access healthcare. Now today I will be talking about the lumbar degenerative disc disease. Now it sounds very big, but it is not as complicated as it sounds. It basically is what you people commonly know as a disc disease. So it is a fairly common problem that is seen in our population today. In fact about 30 or 40% of the patients who come to our OPD have lower back pains, some have other disc problems and very commonly seen after 40 years of age and this incidence gradually increases up to 60-70 years of age. The other ecological factors which are associated with this are, first of all smoking, secondly it is, mild to moderate trauma, thirdly its seen in people who lift heavy weights, fourth is obesity, especially central obesity, that is if you have a very heavy waistline.

Now what is Lumbar degenerative disc disease? Now, our spine is composed of multiple bones, which are starting from your neck and they come all the way down to your hip, divided into the cervical, dorsal, lumbar and sacral spine. And between these bones, there are these small pieces of discs, which act as cushions. When your body walks, these act as shock absorbers between your body’s bones. Now this discs, when these come out of their normal place, it gives or presses against the nerves which are passing through these areas and it causes pain. This is what happens in the disc disease. Basically, in the patient it will come as a lower back pain, and this pain will be travelling down to the hip, and it will also be coming down to the legs. Some people complain that as they walk, the pain increases.

They also complain of tingling numbness. They complain that sometimes their fingers or their toes are feeling numb. These are some of the very common symptoms which are being seen. Few people may have only lower back pain, and these are the people who do not have very significant disc disease. Now there are two main causes of the disc disease. First is an inflammatory reaction that occurs in the disc, and second is the micro motion instabilities that occur. Inflammatory reactions may occur as a result of some small traumas which may occur such as when you may injure your back. Such inflammatory reactions occur in the form of small swellings in the body. And micro motion instabilities are when the body ages, the disc which has an outer fibrous thick layer, that degenerates, and as it degenerates, the pulp which is there at the centre, of the discs, tends to degenerate. What I mean is it comes out of its normal space. And as it comes out of the normal place, it comes and tends to press on the nerves and these are the two most common causes.

All disc patients are not to be operated. When we get these patients, the first and foremost investigation that we do is a X-Ray. And if required, we go in for a MRI. Frankly MRI is the known standard to diagnose the disc disease. The findings of a MRI are always coordinated with the clinical findings. Once we have diagnosed that it is a disc problem, we have to establish that what the compression on the nerves is. If the nerve compression is a lot, and if we think that we cannot do anything other than surgery, then we take the patient for a surgery.

If not, we take the patient fro physiotherapy, lifestyle changes and few medications. These medications may carry on for few weeks to few months. And a lot of exercise has to be carried on regularly. Lifestyle changes such as weight loss, stoppage of smoking is very important. And if you can achieve this, then your problems are very easily solved. If you have any queries regarding your disc problems or back pains, then you can get in touch with me for the same.

You can reach me in my clinic, which is there in Indrapuri, by the name of Dr Khera’s Wellness Clinic or you can also contact me through Lybrate for the same. Thank You.
 

3714 people found this helpful

In the CT chest scan they found ground glass opacities in lower libs of the both lungs. And the possibility are INFECTIVE ETIOLOGY/PNEUMONIA/pulmonary HEMORRHAGE. Is it leads to lung cancer?

M.D - Radiotherapy
Oncologist, Mohali
Infection can't leads to cancer it can be cured. You ll go for biopsy to check whether that lesion is cancer or not.
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I am having neck pain radiating to my right thumb which started around oct'2014. I am working in it sector and prolonged hours I have to sit infront of computers. I took some treatment in ayurveda for almost one month. Then later shifted to idd therapy which showed hood results and I was able to get back into my job after 1-2 months treatment. There's a disc prolapse in c5 c6 region and that's the reason. So, now the pain again started to come back although not severe and I am afraid I have to quit my job and go for surgery. Can any body help me send a suggest a solution without surgery.?

DNB (Radiodiagnosis), DMRD, MBBS
Radiologist, Bangalore
Hi, thanks for writing in to us. Your mri scan shows disc problem at c 5 - c 6 level. This requires rest, physical therapy and pain relief as first line of treatment. Maxgalin er is a good medicine and will treat nerve related pain. The condition you have might be due to trauma or degeneration. It is unlikely to heal completely. You can try a rehabilitation and treatment with nerve pain reliever like maxgalin er. Please do not stress your neck for a long duration and avoid sudden neck movement. Go slow on your job. Non surgical pain relief options are best. They might be steroid shots or rf ablation. Regards,
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Back Injury

BPTh/BPT
Physiotherapist, Delhi
Back Injury
Herniated disks or bone spurts in the vertebrae of the neck may become the reason behind severe neck pan. They sometimes take too much space and compress the nerves branching out from the spinal cord.
225 people found this helpful

Why Is Cancer the Biggest Threat to India

PGD IN ULTRAASONOGRAPHY, Non invasive cardiology course, MD - Medicine, MBBS
General Physician, Narnaul
Why Is Cancer the Biggest Threat to India

Cancer is the one of the biggest threat to the young Indian population because of the factors that cause cancer, but also due to late detection. However, certain bad habbits and the factors increase the risk of cancer in India.

Causes of cancer in India:

  1. Overpopulation and the problem of nutrition: As per records, India is the world's third most populous country. However, it lacks in resources to feed the multiplying number of mouths. Nutrition plays a key role in deciding the quality of a person's life. Nutrition has therefore emerged as an essential branch of research and medical care in the last few decades. Lack of nutrition directly results in weakened immunity. Your body becomes prone to diseases, some of which can be fatal. To fight off cancer cells, one must have a strong immune system that comes from the right kind of nutrition.
  2. Smoking is a recurrent habit among children and adults: Smoking can cause cancer. Every cigarette packet reads the same warning messages but it doesn't actually deter smokers in any way. Smoking is prevalent among people of all age groups in India. From poor children to conscious educated adults, all are seen smoking.
  3. A Tropical country and its woes: Tropical countries are known to face the wrath of the sun. While most places in central, western, partly eastern and southern India experience extremes of temperature in summer, other places with moderately hot summers are not exempted from the harmful UV rays. Ultraviolet rays can be very harmful for one's skin, as it can cause skin cancer. Indians have a high amount of melanin, which protects them against sun rays, but the threat exists nonetheless.
  4. The concept of fast food: A global economy has opened avenues awaiting your attention in the realm of food. To suit the tones and moods of a fast life, fast food has been made available to you. We take pride in consuming things that can be prepared in an instant: instant noodles, soups and even curries. Packaged food and junk food are sources of cancer cells.
  5. Lack of awareness regarding the most common types of cancer: Breast and cervical cancer are the two most common types of cancer eating away the health of Indians. The problem lies in being unaware about the root causes, symptoms and treatment procedures related to these kinds of cancer. Social repression turns health concerns into matters of insignificance. Women fear social alienation after coming in the open with their problems.
5589 people found this helpful

Treating Breast Cancer With Ayurveda

Skin Diseases Cancer Heart Diseases Musculoskeletal Disorders Male Sexual Disorders AIDS, Hypertension Diabetes Mellitus Blood Disorders Respiratory Disorders, Gastrointestinal Disorders Endocrine Disorders ENT Disorders, Gynecological Disorders Opthalmic Disorders Psychiatric Disorders Urological Disorders
Ayurveda, Indore
Treating Breast Cancer With Ayurveda

Breast cancer, is a type of cancer, which is common to women, where cancer cells grow on the breasts or the female mammary gland. It starts out with the formation of a small lump in your breast and can spread out to your other organs very rapidly. It generally affects women above forty years of age. Breast cancer can be classified into two types. They can either start forming on the inner linings of your milk ducts ( known as Ductal carcinoma) or in the lobules which supply milk (known as Lobular carcinoma).

There are many causes responsible for breast cancer they are mentioned below

  • Obesity or post-menopausal obesity (Learn more about Heart Diseases Post Menopause)
  • Exposure to frequent radiation (X-ray)
  • Consumption of alcohol
  • Being taller than average
  • Start of periods at an early age
  • Late menopause
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Consumption of birth control pills

The most common symptoms of breast cancer are as follows

  1. Formation of a lump in your breast
  2. Swelling or shrinking of your breast
  3. Change of size, shape and color of your nipple
  4. Blood or milk discharge from the nipple
  5. Breast pain
  6. Itching sensation
  7. Appearance of rashes (Learn more about to maintain the skin health)

Breast cancer if not diagnosed and treated at an early stage may turn out to be fatal. Ayurveda offers promising cures for breast cancer.

A few of the Ayurvedic remedies are mentioned below

  1. Include foods, which are well supplied with vitamin D in your diet. Researches show that women with less amount of vitamin D in their bodies are more likely to develop breast cancer. Consider including foods like eggs, orange juice, dairy products and fish like salmon in your diet.
  2. Drink more of green tea as it has anti cancer properties.
  3. Exercises like walking, yoga, meditation and certain breast exercises can help you to relax the pain sensation, reduce stress and also get cured.
  4. Incorporate bitter gourd in your diet. Researches show that bitter gourd can kill those cancer cells, which cause breast cancer.
  5. Ayurvedic herbs like Ashwagandha, tulsi, curcumin have certain properties that can destroy cancer cells.

Since, breast cancer has less survival rates, it is absolutely essential for you to visit an Ayurvedic practitioner if you wish to get cured through Ayurvedic treatment.

5886 people found this helpful

Any pill or exercise posture to get out of disc bulge, raging on spine chord other than surgery.

MBBS, M.S. General Surgery
Podiatrist, Kochi
In many cases physiotherapy to the back may help, like Yoga postures, learned from and expert. If this doe not help, or there is nerve compression, surgery is the only answer.
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Breast Cancer - 8 Warning Signs Your Body Will Give You!

MBBS, MS - General Surgery, FBD (Fellowship in Breast Diseases), UICC Fellowship
Oncologist, Pune
Breast Cancer - 8 Warning Signs Your Body Will Give You!

Breast cancer is the most common forms of cancer in females, affecting one in every eight women in the US. There are huge awareness campaigns, which revolve around ways to recognize if you are prone for it and how to identify the disease in its early stages. Knowing the symptoms can help in early diagnosis and thereby early intervention and better prognosis.

How and why of breast cancer?
The breasts produce milk through the glands, which also contain connective tissue including fat, fibrous tissue, nerves, blood vessels, etc. The milk reaches the exterior through a fine network of ducts. Most cancers develop as small calcifications in these ducts, which continues to grow and spread to distant organs.

Warning signs and symptoms: Given the high incidence of breast cancer, knowing the symptoms helps in early identification. Read on to know more, especially if there is a family history.

  1. Any change in the size, shape, or contour of the breasts
  2. Appearance of a lump in the breasts or the armpits
  3. Presence of a clear or bloody discharge from the breast
  4. The breast or the nipple turning red
  5. Sudden thickening of breast tissue or skin that continues for a while
  6. Change in the feel or look of the skin (dimpling, puckering, scaliness, reddishness, warmth, etc.)
  7. Hardening of the tissue under the breast skin
  8. Difference in appearance or feel of one area in comparison with other areas

The presence of any of these or a combination of these symptoms should be an indication for a detailed checkup. As mentioned, early diagnosis helps in reducing complications and improving prognosis. It is also good to know risk factors, which also indicate if you need to watch for symptoms.

  • Family history: Breast cancer runs in families, and if you have a first-degree relative with breast cancer, watch out for symptoms.
    • Tested positive for BRCA1 and BRCA2
    • Family history of other cancers
  • Age: Women over the age of 50 are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
  • Race: Caucasian women carry greater risk than African-American women.
  • Hormones: Increased use of estrogen increases the chances of developing breast cancer. Therefore, women who have used birth control for long time or are on hormone replacement are at greater risk.
  • Abnormal gynecologic milestones: Women who have abnormal menstrual milestones are more predisposed to developing breast cancer. For instance, girls who attain menarche before age of 12, get pregnant after 30, and reach menopause after 55. Women with menstrual irregularities including cycles earlier than 26 days and later than 29 days are also likely to have hormonal issues and are, therefore, at higher risk of breast cancer.
  • Other factors: Smoking, alcohol abuse, and obesity also increase the chances of a woman developing breast cancer. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Oncologist.
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