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Dr. Charuchandra Patni

Radiologist, Pune

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Dr. Charuchandra Patni Radiologist, Pune
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I'm a caring, skilled professional, dedicated to simplifying what is often a very complicated and confusing area of health care....more
I'm a caring, skilled professional, dedicated to simplifying what is often a very complicated and confusing area of health care.
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Dr. Charuchandra Patni is one of the best Radiologists in Camp, Pune. He is currently practising at Patni Diagnostics in Camp, Pune. Don’t wait in a queue, book an instant appointment online with Dr. Charuchandra Patni on Lybrate.com.

Lybrate.com has top trusted Radiologists from across India. You will find Radiologists with more than 29 years of experience on Lybrate.com. You can find Radiologists online in Pune and from across India. View the profile of medical specialists and their reviews from other patients to make an informed decision.

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Kindly prescribe ayurvedic medicine for l5s1 disc herniation. Kindly note I am taking jointhar from last six months but cud not find any relieve.

MBBS
General Physician, Mumbai
I will suggest you to take Panchkarma therapy treatment as a part of ayurved treatment for a minimum of five sessions
1 person found this helpful
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Breast Cancer - Why Go For Early Diagnosis?

MBBS, MD(General Medicine), Fellowship Hemato - Oncology (Hemat-Oncology), DM(Medical Oncology), DNB(Medical Oncology)
Oncologist, Kolkata
Breast Cancer - Why Go For Early Diagnosis?

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:

  1. A persistent lump or thickening in the breast or in the axilla. 
  2. A change in the size or shape of the breast. 
  3. A change in the colour or appearance of the skin of the breast such as redness, puckering or dimpling. 
  4. Bloody discharge from the nipple. 
  5. 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.

Risk Factors 
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:

  1. The risk increases with age; most cases of breast cancer develop after the age of 50 
  2. Genetic alterations in certain genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 
  3. Family history of breast cancer 
  4. Being overweight 
  5. Early menarche (onset of menstruation before the age of 12) 
  6. Late menopause (after the age of 55) 
  7. Never had children 
  8. Late childbearing 
  9. No breast feeding 
  10. Excessive consumption of alcohol 
  11. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Clinical Breast Examination: Get a breast specialist to examine your breast once a year if you are 40 years and above.
  3. 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

  1. Non-Invasive Breast cancer: These are confined to the ducts within the breasts. They are known as Ductal carcinoma in-situ (DCIS).
  2. 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 options 
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.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2587 people found this helpful

Prolapsed Uterus - 7 Conditions That Can Cause It!

DGO, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Faridabad
Prolapsed Uterus -  7 Conditions That Can Cause It!

The uterus is set up inside the pelvis with different muscles, tissue, and tendons. Due to pregnancy, labour or complicated delivery, in a few ladies, these muscles tend to weaken. Additionally, as a woman ages and with a loss of the hormone oestrogen, her uterus can drop into the vaginal canal, bringing about the condition known as a uterine prolapse.

The following conditions can bring about a prolapsed uterus:

  1. Pregnancy with complicated or even ordinary delivery through the vagina.
  2. Weakness in the pelvic muscles with the increase in age.
  3. Weakening and loss of tissue after menopause and loss of normal oestrogen.
  4. Conditions leading to increased weight in the abdomen, for example, constant coughing (with bronchitis and asthma), straining along with constipation, pelvic tumours (uncommon), or clogging of liquid in the abdomen.
  5. Being overweight puts extra strain on pelvic muscles.
  6. Previous surgery in the pelvic region leading to loss of outer support
  7. Smoking

However, this condition can be treated effectively:

  1. Self care at Home: You can strengthen your pelvic muscles by performing Kegel workouts. You do these by contracting your pelvic muscles, as though attempting to stop the stream of urine. This exercise makes the pelvic muscle strong and gives some support. Have your specialist train you on the best possible approaches to exercise your muscles.
  2. Medications: Oestrogen (a hormone) cream or suppository ovules or rings embedded into the vagina help in strength and endurance building of the tissues in the vagina. However, oestrogen is just for use in some of the postmenopausal ladies.
  3. Surgery: Based on your age and whether you wish to conceive a child naturally, surgery can repair the uterus or remove it. The uterus as in many cases can be expelled with a hysterectomy. During the surgery, the specialist can repair the hanging or saggy vaginal dividers, urethra, bladder, or rectum. The surgery might be performed by an open abdomen procedure, through the vagina, or through little cuts in the abdomen or vagina with particular instruments.
  4. Other Therapy: In case that you do not need surgery or have a poor possibility for surgery, you may choose to wear a steady gadget, called a pessary. It is worn in the vaginal tract to strengthen the falling uterus. It can be utilised briefly or can be long-lasting. They come in different shapes and sizes and should be fitted according to the person. In case that the prolapse is extreme, a pessary may not work. Prolapse surgery is always preferred by vaginal route. Likewise, pessaries can disturb the insides of the vagina and may bring about a noxious release.

It can be prevented in the following manner:

  1. Decrease your weight.
  2. Try to avoid constipation by consuming a high-fiber diet.
  3. Do Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles.
  4. Stay away from heavy lifting or straining.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3704 people found this helpful

Bone Cancer - 4 Signs You are Suffering from it!

MBBS, MD - Oncology, DNB - Super Speciality, Immuno Oncology
Oncologist, Delhi
Bone Cancer - 4 Signs You are Suffering from it!

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. Swelling: In 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 consult 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.

3348 people found this helpful

Breast Cancer - The Truth !

MBBS, DNB ( Radiation Oncology)
Oncologist, Mumbai

Breast Cancer is the most common cancer of females in urban cities. It is a curable disease if detected early. The usual age of presentation is usually after 40 to 50 years of age, though it is becoming common in earlier age as well. This could be due to many factors like late marriages, older age of pregnancy, diet and lifestyle, etc. The usual presentation is a swelling or lump in the breast, not associated with pain. That is the reason why females are advised regular self-breast examination, clinical breast examination and annual mammograms for screening purpose in order to detect early breast cancers. Many times, the breast lump is associated with blood stained discharge from the nipple. There can be skin changes on the breast like thickening, crusting or sometimes itching. If the skin lymphatics get blocked, there may be pitting and or dimpling of the skin too. There may be lumps felt in the armpit felt too. Many times the lump is not noticeable or felt and felt by chance during a bath. These are some of the commonest presentations. The lady should immediately consult a doctor and get evaluated in such scenario. Many women are at increased risk of developing breast cancer like those who have a positive family history especially first degree relatives like mother& sister. Breast cancer is usually a disease of women but 1% of cases are also seen in men.

If a lady feels any such lump she should immediately bring it to the attention of a doctor or oncologist who can do the necessary evaluation and investigations. Breast cancer is curable if detected early, hence the importance!

The primary modality of treatment is surgery followed by chemotherapy and or radiotherapy and or hormonal treatment depending on the report of the specimen after the surgery. Many times if the lump cannot be operated upfront, initially chemotherapy and or targeted therapy can be given to shrink the tumor for better resectability.

People should be aware that having cancer is not the end of life. It can be treated like many other diseases and the most important thing is awareness and early detection for a durable cure.

Spinal Cord Injury - Physical Therapy Treatments For It!

M.P.T. (Neuro), BPTh/BPT
Physiotherapist, Lucknow
Spinal Cord Injury - Physical Therapy Treatments For It!

A spinal cord injury is damage to the spinal cord. It’s an extremely serious type of physical trauma that’s likely to have a lasting and significant impact on most aspects of daily life.

The spinal cord is responsible for sending messages from the brain to all parts of the body. It also sends messages from the body to the brain. We are able to perceive pain and move our limbs because of messages sent through the spinal cord.

If the spinal cord sustains an injury, some or all of these impulses may not be able to ‘get through’. The result is a complete or total loss of sensation and mobility below the injury. A spinal cord injury closer to the neck will typically cause paralysis throughout a larger part of the body than one in the lower back area.

Causes-

A spinal cord injury is often the result of an unpredictable accident or violent event. The following can all result in damage to the spinal cord:

  • a violent attack such as a stabbing or a gunshot
  • diving into water that’s too shallow and hitting the bottom
  • trauma during a car accident (specifically trauma to the face, head and neck region, back, or chest area)
  • falling from a significant height
  • head or spinal injuries during sporting events
  • electrical accidents
  • severe twisting of the middle portion of the torso

Symptoms -

Some symptoms of a spinal cord injury include:

  1. problems walking
  2. loss of control of the bladder or bowels
  3. inability to move the arms or legs
  4. feelings of spreading numbness or tingling in the extremities
  5. unconsciousness
  6. headache
  7. pain, pressure, stiffness in the back or neck area
  8. signs of shock
  9. unnatural positioning of the head

If you suspect that someone has a back or neck injury:

  • Don’t move the injured person – permanent paralysis and other serious complications may result
  • Call 911 or your local emergency medical assistance number
  • Keep the person still
  • Place heavy towels on both sides of the neck or hold the head and neck to prevent them from moving until emergency care arrives
  • Provide basic first aid, such as stopping any bleeding and making the person comfortable, without moving the head or neck

Treatment

Treatment should be focused upon that individual and tailored specifically to their condition. A treatment programme is formulated following a thorough physical assessment which might include:

  1. Stretching activities to maintain muscle and tendon length and reduce or keep muscle spasms/spasticity to a minimum.
  2. Flexibility and strengthening exercises for the whole body.
  3. Breathing exercises to maximise lung function and prevent chest infection.
  4. Balance and posture exercises which can help to reduce pain associated with poor posture and balance impairment and ensure correct transfer techniques (in/out of wheelchair, bed, toilet/bath, car etc.)
  5. Functional activities to improve fundamental movement patterns such as rolling over and sitting up, and standing where appropriate.
  6. Walking re-education, if there is sufficient muscle activity and power in the legs.

Your physiotherapist might also be able to advise an individual on use of appropriate equipment such as wheel-chairs and pressure releasing cushions, exercise equipment and electrical muscle stimulators.

Prevention

Because spinal cord injuries are often due to unpredictable events, the best you can do is reduce your risk.

 Some risk-reducing measures include:

  1. Always wearing a seatbelt while in a car
  2. Wearing proper protective gear while playing sports
  3. Never diving into water unless you’ve examined it first to make sure it’s deep enough and free of rocks

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3280 people found this helpful

Abnormal Uterine Bleeding - How Best to Diagnose It?

Fellowship and Diploma in Laparoscopic Surgery, FOGSI Advanced Infertility Training, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (MRCOG), MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Gurgaon
Abnormal Uterine Bleeding - How Best to Diagnose It?

It is perfectly normal for women to experience the periodic monthly bleeding cycle. However, if a woman experiences uterine bleeding which is abnormal and dysfunctional, it could be a symptom of infection. Other causes of abnormal uterine bleeding include hormonal imbalance, infection in cervix and cancer of the uterus. Many women can also experience abnormal uterine bleeding during first trimester of pregnancy.

The following are considered to be abnormal or dysfunctional uterine bleeding:

  1. A menstrual cycles occurs between 21 to 35 days, anything shorter or longer than this is abnormal
  2. No period for 3–6 months (amenorrhea) is abnormal
  3. Spotting or bleeding between periods
  4. Spotting or bleeding after intercourse
  5. Bleeding that is heavier or lasts longer than usual
  6. Spotting or bleeding after menopause

What can cause such a situation?

Some of the common causes leading to abnormal bleeding are as follows:

  1. Miscarriage
  2. Ectopic pregnancy
  3. Pregnancy
  4. Cervical or uterine infections
  5. Fibroids
  6. Hormonal imbalances
  7. Problems with blood clotting
  8. Polyps
  9. Polycystic ovarian
  10. Endometrial hyperplasia
  11. Cancer of the reproductive tract

How to Diagnose it?

Most women tend to ignore abnormal bleeding, taking it as something to do with age or hormones. A detailed physical examination and history is done to understand menstrual cycle patterns and family history. In addition, the following would be used.

  1. Ultrasound: The pelvic organs are examined through sound waves to locate the problem area
  2. Hysteroscopy: Through a thin device that is inserted into the vagina, the doctor takes a look at the inside of the organs and identify the cause for the bleeding
  3. Endometrial biopsy: The uterine lining tissue is removed and examined under microscope to look for tissue changes that could be causing the bleeding

How Best to Treat It?

This would depend on the reason for the abnormal bleeding. However, in most cases, combinations of the following are useful in treatment.

  1. Hormone replacement can be done depending on the age and gynecological history, the type and the dose of the hormone would be decided upon. These could be in the form of tablets, vaginal creams, injections, or through an intrauterine device
  2. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen are useful in reducing bleeding and controlling cramps during excessive menstrual bleeding.
  3. Antibiotics may be useful if there is infection of the pelvic organs.
  4. Polyps, cysts, cancers, and other growths can be removed via hysteroscopy and sent for biopsy to confirm they are not cancerous.
  5. Endometrial ablation where the endometrial tissue is treated with heat can be used to control bleeding permanently.
  6. Hysterectomy would be done if other forms of treatment have failed. This could depend on their gynecologic history and other considerations as she cannot get pregnant after this.

Do not ignore if you see a change in the pattern of your uterine bleeding. It definitely calls for medical attention and if identified early, can be managed in much simpler ways. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist.

4116 people found this helpful

Uterine Fibroid - How Removing Them Will Help You?

MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, MBBS, Diploma in Specialised Advanced Gynaecological Endoscopy
Gynaecologist, Delhi
Uterine Fibroid - How Removing Them Will Help You?

It is very common for women to have heavy and painful periods or have a feeling of fullness in the lower abdomen. Although, it may not sound very alarming these could be the symptoms of uterine fibroids. These are the most common types of benign tumours found in women. The fibroids are basically some tissues and muscle cells that grow within the uterus, outside the uterus, or along the wall of the uterus. The fibroids are usually benign and asymptomatic and do not require any treatment unless they cause problems. 

Know the causes 

Though the exact cause of fibroid formation is not known, it is believed that the female hormones estrogen and progesterone have a role to play in their formation. Fibroids are formed only when a woman is producing these hormones and they are not seen in women in non-reproductive age i.e. before starting of menses or after stoppage of menses (menopause). If fibroids are persisting even after menopause or especially if increasing in size then it is an alarming sign. Such a fibroid needs to be taken care of immediately. 

What are the symptoms? 

Fibroids often remain quiet for long periods of time. They cause nonspecific symptoms in the pelvis and abdomen including: 

  1. Fullness in the abdomen 
  2. Low back pain 
  3. Irregular menstruation 
  4. Cramping with menstruation 
  5. Painful sex 
  6. Increased urgency to urinate 
  7. Anemia, leading to tiredness and weakness 
  8. Infertility Diagnosing the fibroids 

When these symptoms are recurrent, it is good to confirm the diagnosis. This can happen with a pelvic exam followed by ultrasound scanning to confirm the size and location of the fibroids. A blood test also may be done to confirm anemia, which is common due to heavy periods.

Treatment Options 

Management of fibroids can range from doing nothing to periodic monitoring to surgical removal. 

  1. If pain and heavy bleeding are the only symptoms, then pain killers like ibuprofen should suffice for symptomatic relief. Anemia, if severe, may require iron supplementation. 
  2. Embolization is an option which shrinks the fibroid, at the same time preserving the uterus. The blood flow to the fibroid is cut off, thereby preventing its further growth. It takes about 1 to 3 hours and requires some bed rest after the procedure. There could be some pelvic pain and vaginal bleeding, which will gradually subside. The fibroids may grow back, but the benefits of keeping the uterus are definitely there. This is suitable in case of single fibroid with specific blood supply. 
  3. The next surgical option is myomectomy, where the portion of the uterus which contains the fibroid alone is removed. This is done in women who still wish to get pregnant and in women who would like to retain the uterus. This can also be achieved laparoscopically( key hole surgery). In such cases, fibroids are cut into small pieces and then removed from the body. This procedure should be done by a doctor specialised in advanced gynecological endoscopy as all this cutting should be done in a bag to avoid any spillage of cells inside the abdominal cavity. This procedure is known as Laparoscopic Myomectomy with In-bag Moecellation. 
  4. In women who have crossed their pregnancy phase, hysterectomy or complete removal of the uterus is advised. In these women, the bleeding and pain may not have subsided even after years of treatment with hormones. The growing fibroids could be pressing on the adjacent organs, causing pressure. This is the only definitive treatment and should be done in women have completed their family and don’t desire to be pregnant. 
  5. Myomectomy and hysterectomy may be done laparoscopically or with an open method depending on the overall health, the size and location of the fibroids in the uterus.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3960 people found this helpful

Know More About Meningitis!

Fellowship in Neonatology, MRCPCH(UK), Diploma in Child Health (DCH), MBBS
Pediatrician, Delhi
Know More About Meningitis!

Arguably one of the most fatal diseases that threaten human life, Meningitis has been the cause of a lot of recent deaths. Essentially Meningitis is triggered off by the anomalous inflammation of the protective membranes called meninges in the brain and spinal cord. Spurred by some sort of a bacterial or viral attack, this condition emanates from an infection of the fluids in the cranial chamber. Often such conditions are also stimulated by some external injury, cancerous development or even certain kinds of reaction from a given drug or the other. 

Depending on the precise cause of the disease, Meningitis may be categorized as Bacterial Meningitis, Viral Meningitis or Fungal Meningitis. Other forms of Meningitis include parasitic Meningitis, Amebic Meningitis and Non-Infectious Meningitis. Meningitis could potentially be contagious. Through lengthy and proximal contact like coughing or kissing, if saliva or spit gets exchanged, Meningitis causing germs may spread from one person to the other.

Bacterial Meningitis
Streptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria Meningitidis are the two of the most rampant Meningitis causing bacteria. They have the potential of causing irreversible damage to several vital organs. However, with substantive progress in medical science, effective and suitable medication has been made available to the larger populace. But, immediate attention is imperative in this case.

Viral Meningitis
Viral Meningitis is relatively milder than the other forms of meningitis. Enteroviruses, arboviruses and herpes virus are some of the most common sources of this kind of Meningitis. People with strong immunity are usually able to overcome this without much ado. Vaccines are available widely in the markets to cure viral meningitis.

Fungal Meningitis
Fungal Meningitis are caused primarily from external influences. Inhaling fungal spores from the environment is one of the most prominent factors that lead to Meningitis. People suffering from fatal diseases like cancer, diabetes or HIV are more susceptible to fungal Meningitis. While these are a few of the primary forms of meningitis, other triggers to this disease occur due to various environmental interventions. These are consequent upon interactions with various disease causing allergens. Cure to meningitis is available in the form of intravenous injections. But timely diagnosis and treatment is essential for a good outcome. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a pediatrician.

4482 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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