With the recent rise in number of breast cancer cases, it is important that we should get the examination done on a regular basis as a preventive measure. Even if someone is suffering from it, it is important that we should make an effort and learn about it.
Screening for Breast Cancer:
Screening can be done in 3 ways
- Self Breast Examination: Done every month after menstrual periods are over
- Clinical Breast Examination: If you have a doubt on self breast examination, you should go to a surgeon for further checkup.
- Mammography, Ultrasound or MRI of breast: Surgeon may order any of these If you have breast cancer then a surgery will be part of your treatment.
Based on the condition, surgery will be carried out due to any of the following reasons:
- To remove the cancerous tissues from the breast
- To check whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes below the arm
- To reconstruct the breast once the cancer is removed
- To treat symptoms of cancer that has progressed to an advanced stage
Breast cancer surgery may be classified into two types:
- Mastectomy: Mastectomy involves removing the entire breast; tissues in the adjoining region may also be removed. Arm pit nodes if involved are also removed. A double mastectomy is a rare procedure where both the breasts are removed for cancer in both breasts.
- Breast-conserving surgery: In this surgery, only part of the breast affected by cancer are removed. The area of the breast that is to be removed will depend on the severity of the cancer. Some healthy tissues surrounding the cancer is also removed in this surgery. Usually, if a woman is in the initial stages of cancer then she may opt for the latter as it entails removing parts of the breast. She may also need medical treatment and/ or radiation therapy along with surgery.
- Breast Reconstruction: This is nowadays important aspect of breast cancer treatment. Once the mastectomy procedure is completed, you can opt for a breast reconstruction surgery to rebuild the area. You may opt for this procedure at the time of breast cancer removal or at a later stage. If you are considering breast reconstruction surgery then you should discuss it with your surgeon. Surgery is sometimes not used to treat cancer, but in slowing the progression of cancer or even reducing its symptoms.
It is important you talk to your surgeon before the procedure to understand the goal of the surgery. One important thing is that early treatment and recent advances in breast cancer treatment can definitely make your life normal or extend it by many years. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!