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Dr. Ram Kalesh

Diploma In Radiology

Radiologist, Satna

11 Years Experience
Dr. Ram Kalesh Diploma In Radiology Radiologist, Satna
11 Years Experience
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Our team includes experienced and caring professionals who share the belief that our care should be comprehensive and courteous - responding fully to your individual needs and preferences....more
Our team includes experienced and caring professionals who share the belief that our care should be comprehensive and courteous - responding fully to your individual needs and preferences.
More about Dr. Ram Kalesh
He has helped numerous patients in his 11 years of experience as a Radiologist. He is a Diploma In Radiology . Save your time and book an appointment online with Dr. Ram Kalesh on Lybrate.com.

Lybrate.com has a nexus of the most experienced Radiologists in India. You will find Radiologists with more than 43 years of experience on Lybrate.com. You can find Radiologists online in Satna 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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Diploma In Radiology - New Delhi - 2006
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English
Hindi

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How Is Breast Cancer Diagnosed?

MBBS, MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Delhi
How Is Breast Cancer Diagnosed?

Breast cancer is a form of cancer which develops from the breast tissue. Breast cancer is indicated by signs such as a lump in the breast, changes in breast shape, fluid flowing from the nipple, dimpling of skin, or the development of red scaly patches. Breast cancer is a fatal form of cancer in women and immediate diagnosis is required on observing the symptoms.

Diagnosis of breast cancer
Other than the regular breast screening, the diagnosis of breast cancer involves the following steps and methods:

  1. Seeing your general practitioner (GP): It is very important to visit your GP soon after noticing the symptoms of breast cancer. Your GP will examine you properly and in case your symptoms need more assessment, he/she will refer you to a breast cancer clinic.
  2. Mammogram and breast ultrasound: You will be required to have a mammogram, as recommended by a specialist breast unit. This is an X-ray of the breasts. An ultrasound scan may also be required. Breast ultrasound should be undertaken only if you are less than 35 years of age. This is because, young women have denser breasts and a mammogram is not as effective as ultrasound in the diagnosis of breast cancer. In ultrasound, high frequency sound waves are used for obtaining an image of your breasts. It is observed to notice any abnormality or lumps. A breast ultrasound is also important for determining whether a lump is solid or contains liquid.
  3. Biopsy: In this diagnosis process, a sample of the tissue cells is taken from the breasts and tested under a microscope to find out if it is cancerous. A scan and needle test for the lymph nodes present in your armpit is also done to check whether they have also been affected. A biopsy is undertaken in several ways, depending upon the condition and severity. A needle aspiration biopsy is used for testing a sample of your breast cells without the removal of the tissues. This is the most common form of biopsy and it is also used for draining a small fluid-filled lump or benign cyst. During the process, you will be given a local anesthetic. Usually, a needle biopsy is carried out guided by an X-ray, ultrasound and an MRI scan as well. This helps in distinguishing it from non-invasive changes such as ductal carcinoma in situ.

Another form of biopsy used for the diagnosis of breast cancer is called vacuum assisted biopsy or mammotome biopsy. In this process, a needle gets attached to a suction tube, which helps in obtaining the sample and for clearing the bleeding. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a general-surgeon.

3009 people found this helpful

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.

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Diseased Uterus - Can it be Replaced?

Health and Medical ARC Fertility
IVF Specialist, Chennai
Diseased Uterus - Can it be Replaced?

In case you have a diseased uterus, which makes you infertile, you can undergo a procedure known as uterus transplant or uterine transplant to get pregnant. In the process of sexual reproduction, a diseased uterus does not allow embryonic implantation. This factor is referred to as uterine factor infertility or UFI. As a result, you will not be able to get pregnant. Learn more about having healthy pregnancy.

Who requires a uterus transplant?
This procedure involves women who have UFI and women who had their uterus removed by hysterectomy. Women who have a damaged uterus on account of an injury or infection, which does not function anymore, can also undergo a uterus transplant procedure. Women from the age of 21 to 45 are eligible for this procedure. Many women are born without having a uterus. This condition is called Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome.

Procedure
Uterus transplantation begins with undertaking a uterus retrieval surgery on the uterus donor. The uterus, which is recovered has to be stored and transported to the location of the patient undergoing the transplant. An ischemic tolerance may last over 24 hours. Three major surgeries have to be carried out with the recipient. Firstly, a transplantation surgery is required in which the donor’s uterus gets transplanted. In case pregnancy develops, a caesarean section surgery has to be performed. The patient is given immune suppressive therapy. After childbirth, a hysterectomy is done in order to terminate the immune suppressive therapy.

Will the women be able to get pregnant after having sex?
Women receiving a uterus transplant will not be capable of becoming pregnant without undergoing fertility treatments. The transplanted uterus is not connected with the fallopian tubes, which is the location of the normal fertilisation process. The women will require to carry out IVF or in vitro fertilisation to become pregnant after a uterus transplant. IVF is a process in which the eggs are removed from the ovaries and get fertilised in a laboratory. Then, they are implanted in the uterus. After undergoing the uterus transplant procedure, a woman has to wait for a period of one year. The uterus requires time for healing and after recovery, the embryo may be implanted for pregnancy. After giving birth successfully, a woman will be able to keep the transplanted uterus. Why IVF is a popular procedure.

She has the option to get pregnant again. However, after giving birth twice, a hysterectomy must be carried out for the removal of the uterus. This is done so that the woman can stop using the immune suppressant drugs, which are associated with major risks. Uterus transplant is a relatively new technology. In October 2014, the first healthy baby was born to a woman who had undergone a uterus transplant. This surgery is kind of experimental in nature and is usually the last option for getting pregnant.

3817 people found this helpful

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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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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I am having ls S1 disk bulge problems if I am having physiotherapist it will cure or not?

DNB (Radiodiagnosis), DMRD, MBBS
Radiologist, Bangalore
Hi, thanks for your query a l 5 - s 1 disc bulge might respond to physical therapy. It cannot be cured completely like before but with precautions and medicine you will feel much better and have a normal life. Please take care not to involve yourself in any activity which might stress your lower back. This will delay recovery and might also cause complications and the pain and discomfort to increase. Avoid doing sudden movement involving lower back and lifting weight more than 5 kg. This will help you recover quickly. For mild pain you should use ointments with muscle relaxant and pain relief. In severe pain plase adk your doctor for oral ner pain reluef medicine and non steroidal anti inflammatory pills. Use of heat pack is also recommended. Regards.
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Lung Cancer: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

MD PULMONARY, DTCD
Pulmonologist, Faridabad
Lung Cancer: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both lungs. These abnormal cells do not carry out the functions of normal lung cells and do not develop into healthy lung tissue. As they grow, the abnormal cells can form tumors and interfere with the functioning of the lung, which provides oxygen to the body via the blood.

Lung cancer is the most common cause of death due to cancer in both men and women throughout the world. According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, approximately one out of every 14 men and women in the U.S. is diagnosed with cancer of the lung at some point in their lifetime. Lung cancer is predominantly a disease of the elderly; almost 70% of people diagnosed with lung cancer are over 65 years of age, while less than 3% of lung cancers occur in people under 45 years of age.

What Causes Lung Cancer?

The development of lung cancer is strongly associated with cigarette smoking, approximately 90% of lung cancers are attributable to use of tobacco. Pipe and cigar smoking can also cause lung cancer, but the risk is not as high as with cigarette smoking. Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 chemical compounds, many of which are cancer causing (carcinogens). Passive smoking, i.e. the inhalation of tobacco smoke by non-smokers who live or work with smokers, is also an established risk factor for the development of lung cancer.

Genetic susceptibility (i.e. family history) may play a role in the development of lung cancer. Other causes of lung cancer include air pollution (from vehicles, industry, and power generation) and inhalation of asbestos fibres (usually in the workplace).

Lung Cancer Symptoms:

Early symptoms and signs of lung cancer:

There may be no symptoms at the onset of the disease. When present, common symptoms of lung cancer may include:

  1. Coughing: This includes a persistent cough that doesn't go away or changes to a chronic smoker's cough, such as more coughing or pain.
  2. Coughing up blood: Coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum (spit or phlegm) should always be discussed with your doctor.
  3. Breathing Difficulties: Shortness of breath, wheezing or noisy breathing (called stridor) may all be signs of lung cancer.
  4. Loss of Appetite: Many cancers cause changes in appetite, which may lead to unintended weight loss.
  5. Fatigue: It is common to feel weak or excessively tired.
  6. Recurring infections: Recurring infections, like bronchitis or pneumonia, may be one of the signs of lung cancer.

Signs of advanced stages of lung cancer: Advanced stages of lung cancer are often characterized by the spread of cancer to distant sites in the body. This may affect the bones, liver or brain. As other parts of the body are affected, new lung cancer symptoms may develop, including:

  1. Bone pain
  2. Swelling of the face, arms or neck
  3. Headaches, dizziness or limbs that become weak or numb
  4. Jaundice
  5. Lumps in the neck or collar-bone region

Treatment: Treatment for cancer involves a combination of surgery to remove cancer cells, chemotherapy and radiation therapy to kill cancer cells. Lung cancer is incurable unless complete surgical removal of the tumour cells can be achieved. Surgery is the most effective treatment for lung cancer, but only a few percentage of lung cancers are suitable for surgery i.e. Stage I and II NSCLC and cancer that has not spread beyond the lung.

Radiation therapy may be used for both NSCLC and SCLC and is a good option for people who are not suitable for surgery or who refuse surgery. Chemotherapy is used for both NSCLC and SCLC. Chemotherapy drugs may be given alone or in combination with surgery or radiation therapy. Chemotherapy is the treatment of first choice for SCLC since it has usually spread extensively in the body by the time it has been diagnosed.

Also used in the treatment of lung cancer are targeted therapies. These are drugs (gefitinib and erlotinib) or antibodies (cetuximab, bevacizumab) that block the growth and spread of cancer by interfering with specific molecules involved in tumor growth and progression. They are used in some patients with NSCLC that does not respond to standard chemotherapy.

3096 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.
5586 people found this helpful

Please advice some treatment for bulging of disc I tried everything possible. Visited all type of doctor, did physical exercise and massage as well but still pain persists.

BPTh/BPT, MPTh/MPT
Physiotherapist, Ranchi
Please advice some treatment for bulging of disc
I tried everything possible. Visited all type of doctor, did physica...
Ok, please try for the laser therapy 6 to 10 session may do some change for your back pain please don't discontinue your spinal extension exercises planks, core strengthening exercises, hamstring stretching, standing balance on stability disc or you may try for seragem for one month.
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My MRI INDICATE 1. Lumbosacral transitional Vertebra with complete socialization of L5 2. Disc desiccation with diffuse disc bulge and broad based posterior central disc protrusion at L4-L5 level causing ventral thecal sac indentation and significant compromise of bilateral neural forminal (right>left). Mild ligamentum flavum thickening is also seen at this level with maintained spinal canal dimensions. 3. Cervical spondylitis changes with disc osteophyte complexes at C4-C5 and C5-C6 levels. Broad based left paracentral disc protrusion at C4-C5 level causing ventral thecal sac indentation and moderate compromise of left sided neural forminal. 4. Mild disc bulge at d5-d6 (screening of rest of spine revealed) I am confused. Dr. Said physio will fix it. I read too many damages. Please guide and suggest sustainable solutions. I am willing to take prolonged treatment. What does this report mean?

Radiologist, Delhi
Hello Mr. lybrate-user. The report says that there is significant compression of nerves at L4-5, C4-5 and C5-6 vertebral levels. You need to wear lumbar hot belt on regular basis, have to take medicines, you have to undergo physiotherapy and take precautions like no forward bending, no lifting weight, using ortho matress to keep spine straight. I would advise you to meet an orthopedician and discuss your symptoms in detail. Clinical examination and some further tests are required before prescribing medicines.
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Health Tip

Doctor Of Physical Therapy (DPT), Bachelor of Physical Therapy
Physiotherapist, Bangalore
Health Tip

Herniated disks or bone spurs in the vertebrae of the neck may become the reason behind severe neck pain. They sometimes take too much space and compress the nerves branching out from the spinal cord.

5 people found this helpful

Good day to you. For a few months i've been having numbness and weakness in my left leg and scrotum. Got my mri results back and they say. Mild scoliosis at L4 L5 region with minor disc bulge with no nerve compression. No sign of cauda equina. Small annular tear at L4 region with muscular spasm. What's causing my numbness? How do I fix the disc bulge?

MBBS, MD - General Medicine, DM - Neurology
Neurologist, Hyderabad
Good day to you.
For a few months i've been having numbness and weakness in my left leg and scrotum. Got my mri resul...
Most likely, the cause of your symptoms are disc bulge. The best treatment at this stage is physiotherapy. Medications such as pregabalin and gabapentin are also helpful.
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Health Quote of the Week

DM in Nephrology, MD in Internal Medicine, MBBS
Nephrologist, Ghaziabad
Health Quote of the Week

Blueberry is loaded with special compounds that helps reverse free radical kidney cell damage.

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 am a student. Usually I used to sit more than 8 hours a day in chair. Now a days I am feeling very much pain on regions of backbone and neck. Is this a chance of disk failure?

BPTh/BPT, MPTh/MPT
Physiotherapist, Noida
I am a student. Usually I used to sit more than 8 hours a day in chair. Now a days I am feeling very much pain on reg...
Neck advice hot fomentation x twice daily. Neck exercises. Neck stretching. Postural correction. Shoulder shrugs. Core strengthening exercises. Take frequent breaks at work use cervical pillow. Use back support. Back advice. Apply hot fomentation twice daily. Avoid bending in front. Postural correction- sit tall, walk tall. Extension exercises x 15 times x twice daily. Bhujang asana. Core strengthening exercises. Back stretching. Do the cat/cow stretch.
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Hello doctor plzz say me is surgery essential for Diffuse annular disc bulge seen at l4 and l5 level causing indentation over thecal sac with bilateral recess narrowing and significant nerve decompression.

MS - Orthopaedics, MBBS
Orthopedist, Hyderabad
Pivd l4-l5 initially can be treated with rest, physical therapy, medication, epidural steroid injection. If the problem is severe n you are having numbness n weakness in the feet n radiculopathy then you will meed surgery.
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Uterine Fibroids: 5 Surgeries that are Done to Treat them

MBBS, MD, Registrar, DNB, MNAMS
Gynaecologist, Delhi
Uterine Fibroids: 5 Surgeries that are Done to Treat them

Uterine fibroids, also known as leiomyoma or myoma, are benign growths on the uterus, occurring mostly during the years of childbearing. Few of the common symptoms of fibroids are leg pain or backache, constipation, difficulty in emptying the bladder, frequent urination, pain or pressure in the pelvic region, menstrual periods stretching over a week and excessive menstrual bleeding.

Causes:

  1. Certain genetic changes of the uterus which are different from the ones normally present in the muscle cells of the uterus can cause this disorder.

  2. Certain hormones such as progesterone and estrogen that prepare the body for pregnancy are even responsible for triggering the development of fibroids.

  3. Substances which help the body maintain its tissues trigger fibroid growth as well.

  4. Family history, excessive consumption of alcohol and red meat while going low on foods such as dairy products, fruits, green vegetables and vitamin D, obesity, usage of birth control pills and early onset of the menstruation cycle are other factors that may escalate the risks of one suffering from fibroids.

Treatment:

  1. Be careful and take a closer look: Fibroids are fundamentally non-cancerous and they hardly interfere with pregnancy. Often, they do not exhibit notable symptoms and are prone to shrinkage after menopause. Hence giving them and yourself some time might be the best option.

  2. Medications generally aim at the hormones controlling the menstrual cycle and treating symptoms such as pelvic pressure and excessive menstrual bleeding. However, they do not treat fibroids completely but work towards contracting them. They include-

    • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gn-RH) agonists to block estrogen and progesterone production

    • Progestin-releasing intrauterine device (IUD) to alleviate severe bleeding caused due to fibroids

    • Tranexamic acid to ease excessive menstrual periods

    • Progestins or oral contraceptives to regulate menstrual bleeding

    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to ease pain associated with fibroids

Surgeries to Treat Fibroids:

Depending on symptoms and whether medical therapy has failed, the patient may have to undergo surgery. The following surgical procedures may be considered:

  1. Hysterectomy: removing the uterus. This is only considered if the fibroids are very large, or if the patient is bleeding too much. Hysterectomies are sometimes an option to prevent fibroids coming back.

  2. Myomectomy: fibroids are surgically removed from the wall of the uterus. This option is more popular for women who want to get pregnant.

  3. Endometrial ablation: removing the lining of the uterus. This procedure may be used if the patient's fibroids are near the inner surface of the uterus; it is considered an effective alternative to a hysterectomy.

  4. UAE (Uterine artery embolization): this treatment cuts off the fibroid's blood supply, effectively shrinking the fibroid.

  5. Magnetic-resonance-guided focused ultrasound surgery: an MRI scan locates the fibroids, and sound waves are used to shrink the fibroids.

2809 people found this helpful

Hello, I am 41 yr. Old, female. I have got breast cancer & undergoing chemotherapy. I have completed 5 chemo out of 8. Since 2 days I am experiencing severe and unbearable pain in right leg. Is this a symptom of chemotherapy? We have tried all kinds of balm and oils, but nothing is working. Pls prescribe me some medicine or home remedy for it.

MD - Radio Diagnosis/Radiology
Radiologist, Kolkata
Kindly get venous Doppler b/l lower limb done .it can be due to DVT. Its a serious condition. It can occur in a cancer patient as well as pt on chemotherapy.
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Breast Cancer - Know More to Say 'No' More!

MBBS, DGO, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, MRCOG
Gynaecologist, Delhi
Breast Cancer - Know More to Say 'No' More!

Cancer is the abnormal, uncontrolled growth of cells in a particular body part. With continued growth, pieces of this tissue travel through the blood to different body parts and continue to grow in the new area. This is known as metastases. Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer and affects about 1 in 8 women in the USA. Read on to know more details of breast cancer – breast anatomy, causes, symptoms, risk factors, detection, prevention, and of course treatment.

Anatomy: The main function of the breast is lactation through its milk-producing tissue that are connected to the nipple by narrow ducts. In addition, there is surrounding connective tissue, fibrous material, fat, nerves, blood vessels and lymphatic channels which complete the structure. This is essential to know as most breast cancers develop as small calcifications (hardened particles) in the ducts or as small lumps in the breast tissue which then continues to grow into cancer. The spread can happen through lymphatic or blood flow to other organs.

Warning signs/symptoms: The following are some symptoms that need to be watched out for if you have a predisposition to breast cancer.

  1. A lump in either of the breasts or armpits
  2. Change in size, shape, or contour of either breast
  3. Redness of your breast or nipple
  4. Discharge of clear or bloody fluid
  5. Thickening of breast tissue or skin that lasts through a period
  6. Altered look or feel of the skin on the breast or the nipple (dimpled, inflamed, scaly, or puckered)
  7. One area on the breast that looks very different from the other areas
  8. Hardened area under the breast skin

Either one or a combination of these should be an indication to get a detailed checkup done. Early diagnosis results in controlling the disease with minimal treatment and reduced complications.

Causes and risk factors: The exact cause for breast cancer is yet to be pinned down. However, risk factors are clearly identified, and women with risk factors need to watch out for warning signs.

  1. Family history: Of all the risk factors, the family history is the most important. Breast cancer runs in families, and if there is a first-degree relative with the breast cancer, the chances of developing it are almost double. Two genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the carriers of the disease, and this testing can be done in women to identify if they are at risk.
  2. Family history of other cancers: Even if there is no breast cancer, if there are other cancers that run in the family, watch out.
  3. Age: Women over 50 are at higher risk of developing breast cancer.
  4. Race: Caucasian and Jewish women are at higher risk of breast cancer than African-American women.
  5. Hormones: Greater exposure to the female hormone estrogen increases the chances of developing breast cancer. Women who use birth control pills for contraception and hormone replacement after menopause are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
  6. Gynecologic milestones: Women who have abnormal menstrual milestones need to watch out. These include those who attain menarche before 12 years of age, get pregnant after 30, attain menopause after 55, and have menstrual cycles shorter than 26 days or longer than 29 days.
  7. Obesity and alcohol abuse are also likely to increase a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer.

Stages: Starting from stage 0, higher stages indicate advanced disease.

  1. Stage 0: The growth which has begun in the milk-producing tissue or the ducts has remained there (in situ) and not spread to any other area, including the rest of the breast.
  2. Stage I: The tissue slowly becomes invasive and has begun to affect the surrounding healthy tissue. It could have spread to the fatty breast tissue and some breast tissue may be found in the nearby lymph nodes.
  3. Stage II: The cancer at this stage grows considerably or spreads to other parts. There are chances that cancer may grow and also spread.
  4. Stage III: It may have spread to the bones or other organs but small amounts are present in up to 9 to 10 of the lymph nodes in the armpits and collar bones which makes it is difficult to fight.
  5. Stage IV: The cancer is widespread to far-flung areas like the liver, lungs, bones, and even the brain.

Screening: This is one of the most effective ways to identify the disease in its early stages. This will help in controlling cancer from spreading with minimal treatment.

  1. Self-examination: A thorough self-examination to look for changes in terms of shape, size, colour, contour, and firmness should be learned by all women. Watch for any discharge, sores, rashes, or swelling in the breasts, surrounding skin, and nipple. Examine them while standing and when lying down.
  2. In most women, annual screening mammograms are advised after the age of 40. However, in women who have a strong family history or genetic makeup, it is advisable to have screening mammograms starting at age 20 every 3 years and then annually from the age of 40.
  3. Women in high-risk categories should have screening mammograms every year and typically start at an earlier age.
  4. Ultrasound screening can also be given in addition to mammograms.
  5. Breast MRI is another way to screen for breast cancer if the risk is greater.

Breast Cancer Prevention: Now that there is so much awareness about causes and risk factors, there are definitely ways to prevent or delay the onset of the disease.

  1. Exercise and a healthy diet with reduced amount of alcohol are definitely effective in minimising the chances of developing cancer.
  2. Tamoxifen is used in women who are at high risk for breast cancer.
  3. Evista (raloxifene) which is used to treat osteoporosis after menopause. It is also widely used in preventing breast cancer.
  4. In high-risk women, breasts are surgically removed to prevent the development of cancer (preventive mastectomy).

Treatment: As with all cancers, treatment would depend on the stage at which it is identified and include a combination of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. As noted earlier, if you are at risk, look out for warning signs as early diagnosis is the key to maximum recovery.

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