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Breast Cancer Tips

Breast Lumpectomy - All You Should Know!

Dr. Sharad Daga 90% (27 ratings)
DNB - General Surgery, MBBS, FMAS.Laparoscopy
General Surgeon, Jaipur
Breast Lumpectomy - All You Should Know!

Lumpectomy is a surgery where a cancerous or benign tumour is removed from a breast along with some surrounding tissues. The amount of tissue removed varies according to the nature of the tumour. It is a form of breast-conserving surgery. It is also called a partial mastectomy.

Lumpectomy is the first option of treatment for women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer.

What is the goal of lumpectomy?

Lumpectomy aims to remove the cancerous cells from the breast and at the same time maintaining the appearance of the breast. Studies have proved that for early stage breast cancer, lumpectomy is as effective as mastectomy (complete removal of the breast).

Doctors may recommend lumpectomy to remove precancerous cells as well.

Pre lumpectomy measures-

If you are under any other medication or if you suffer from allergies, inform your doctor. Other pre-surgery measures include-

• Stop taking aspirins or any pain relieving medication

• Your doctor will recommend you to not drink or eat anything 8-12 hours prior to the surgery.

The procedure:

A mammogram and a biopsy reveal the exact location of a tumour. Lumpectomy is performed under general anaesthesia. The surgeon makes a small incision over a tumour to extract the cancerous cells and the surrounding tissues. Sometimes doctors have to perform sentinel lymph node surgery or axillary node dissection.

The surgeon then closes the incisions with sutures. The sutures may dissolve over time or may have to be extracted later by a doctor.

If you have undergone lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy, you will be discharged on the same day as the surgery as soon as your blood pressure stabilizes.

However, after lumpectomy with axillary node extraction, you may have to stay in the hospital for 2-3 days.

Therapy after lumpectomy

Your oncologist will recommend a follow-up radiation therapy to destroy the mutated cells that may have remained in the area where a tumour had developed. Radiation reduces the risk of breast cancer recurrence.

You might also have to undergo hormone therapy. Some types of breast cancer need female hormones like estrogen and progesterone to grow. Hormone therapy inhibits the development of cancerous cells by not allowing these hormones to reach the cells.

Your doctor will advise you to avoid strenuous physical activities for at least a month after the surgery.

Lumpectomy is a safe surgical procedure that can root out tumours or precancerous cells from the breast without deforming the shape of it.

3367 people found this helpful

Breast Cancer - How To Surgically Handle It?

Dr. Anuj Sharma 90% (595 ratings)
MBBS, MS - General Surgery, Fellowship of Indian Association of Gastrointestinal Endo Surgeons (FIAGES)
General Surgeon, Meerut
Breast Cancer - How To Surgically Handle It?

With the recent number of breast cancer cases on the rise, 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.

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:

1. To remove the cancerous tissues from the breast
2. To reconstruct the breast once the cancer is removed
3. To check whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes below the arm
4. To treat symptoms of cancer that has progressed to an advanced stage

Breast cancer surgery may be classified into two types

1. Mastectomy: Mastectomy involves removing the entire breast; tissues in the adjoining region may also be removed. A double mastectomy is a procedure where both the breasts are removed.
2. Breast-conserving surgery: In this surgery, only parts 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 may also be 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. They may also undergo radiation therapy along with these surgeries.
For checking if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes below the arm, the lymph nodes are removed from the body. Once they are removed, they are studied under a microscope to check if it has spread, if yes then the extent of their damage. This procedure is carried out along with the surgery to remove the cancer.

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.

3213 people found this helpful

Breast Cancer - Signs That Can Spot It!

Dr. Sanket Shah 86% (42 ratings)
Tata Memorial Hospital, J. S. S. University, Mysore, Karnataka, India
Oncologist, Mumbai
Breast Cancer - Signs That Can Spot It!

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.

2827 people found this helpful

Breast Cancer - Knowing The Signs & Symptoms Of It!

Dr. Harsh Garg 92% (14 ratings)
MBBS, Ms - General Surgery, DNB - General Surgery
General Surgeon, Panchkula
Breast Cancer - Knowing The Signs & Symptoms Of It!

Breast cancer is characterized by an abnormal multiplication of cells in the tissues of the breast. The disease is the second most common cancer in women, and mostly affects women in the age group 55-65. However, the disease may occur in men as well.

Causes-

The exact cause of breast cancer is not known as of now. Some of the factors that influence multiplication of cells are your genes and the environment. Other factors such as late menopause, being subjected to hormone therapy post-menopause and dense breast tissues can be other triggers for this disease.

Symptoms-

The symptoms of breast cancer are:

  1. Discharge from your nipples
  2. A swelling in the breast
  3. You may have a lump in your armpits
  4. The skin around the breast may become flaky
  5. The skin around the breast may be irritated

Treatments-

The treatment depends on the size, grade and stage of the breast cancer. The sensitivity of the cancerous cells to the hormones in the body is also considered in this regard. The various treatment methods are:

  1. Surgery: There are multiple types of surgeries which may be used to treat breast cancer. In some cases, only a small area of the breast may be removed if the size of the tumor is small. Sometimes, mastectomy is performed where the entire breast tissue has to be removed.
  2. Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is a type of treatment in which the cancerous cells are targeted by using certain drugs which are injected in to the body. However, chemotherapy has its own share of side effects such as hair loss, sudden and drastic weight loss and persistent fatigue.
  3. Radiation Therapy: This procedure involves using radiations such as x-rays to destroy cancer cells in the body. This procedure is carried out with the help of a machine that focuses radiation on the affected areas of the body.
1967 people found this helpful

Good Cosmesis In Breast Cancer Surgery!

Dr. Chaitanyanand B. Koppiker 90% (58 ratings)
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MS - General Surgery
Oncologist, Pune
Good Cosmesis In Breast Cancer Surgery!

Cosmesis refers to the preservation, restoration of a body part in it’s original form. Breast cosmesis is an important aspect and an endpoint of breast conserving therapy. The surgeons who carry out surgeries related to breast removal or upliftment, need to be precise in getting the other breast in exact shape to maintain symmetry. Their next priority is to make everything look good in the process.
Cosmesis plays a critical role in a woman’s physical and emotional recovery. Being fully treated and getting themselves out of danger is always the first priority but once women are out of danger, they would obviously be concerned about their looks, hence good cosmesis is a necessity.

Factors Affecting Good Cosmetic Outcome
Cosmetic outcome which follows the breast-conserving surgery is dependent on various factors like:

  • Location of the lump or tumor
  • Weight of the specimen excised upon,
  • Number of surgical procedures followed,
  • Volume of breast operated upon,
  • Length of scar
  • Adjuvant treatment in the form of chemo or radiotherapy followed after the surgery

Though the best method to assess good cosmesis in breast cancer surgery is still not clear but there are certain objective and subjective methods in combination, known to give a fairly good assessment of cosmesis.

Methods and materials involved to determine good cosmetic outcome
The general methods followed to ensure good cosmesis are Breast Retraction Assessment (BRA) and percentage Breast Retraction Assessment (pBRA). These are the objective measurements of the amount of breast retraction, determined primarily by comparing positions of nipple in relation to the sterna notch between the treated breast and contralateral breast.

The pBRA technique has been proved to have low intra and interobserver variability. Lower values of percentage Breast Retraction Assessment have been shown to correlate with improved cosmetic outcomes, hence making percentage Breast Retraction Assessment a reliable and an objective measure of cosmesis.

How is cosmetic assessment generally done?
In a particular case, evaluation of cosmesis was done before treatment, around 6-8 weeks post-treatment, 3-4 months post treatment, 6-8 months post-treatment, then every 6 months period for next 4-5 years and finally the assessment was down to yearly basis. The qualitative evaluation of cosmesis involved comparing treated breast with the untreated breast using the rating system.

The global cosmetic result, appearance of the scar made due to surgery, breast size, breast shape, colour of the skin, location of the areola and nipple and shape of the nipple and areola. All these were scored on a 4-point scale,

  • Excellent result with no difference
  • Good result with slight difference
  • Fair result with moderate difference
  • Poor result with huge difference


Physical measurements to calculate Breast Retraction Assessment and percentage

Breast Retraction Assessment were taken in a live example, while patients were in a seated position with both arms at the side of the body. Both the assessments were determined prior to the treatment as well as at the follow-up. As Percentage Breast Retraction reports retraction in terms of percentage, so it was used for analysis. On each occasion both the patients and physician reported the perceived cause of cosmesis as mainly because of radiation, surgery, unknown or no significant change.

3274 people found this helpful

6 Ways You Can Prevent Breast Cancer!

Dr. Mohan Kumar V 89% (10 ratings)
MBBS, DGO, FCPS - Mid & Gynae
Gynaecologist, Navi Mumbai
6 Ways You Can Prevent Breast Cancer!

Breast cancer begins when the cells that are present in the breast start to go out of control. These cells generally form a tumor which can be seen on mammogram or one can feel it as a lump. The tumor is threatening if the cells can grow into the tissues that surround it or spread to other areas of the body. Breast cancer happens mostly in ladies. Here are a few methods with which you can prevent breast cancer-

  1. Keep your weight in check: Maintaining a healthy weight is important for everyone although, it is easy to tune it out since it is said so often. Being overweight can expand the danger of a wide range of cancers, including breast cancer, particularly after menopause.
  2. Be physically active: Women who are physically active for almost or at least 30 minutes a day have a lower danger of breast cancer. Normal activity is additionally one of the ideal approaches to keep weight under control.
  3. Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables and Avoid Too Much Alcohol: A balanced and healthy diet can bring down the danger of breast cancer. Attempt to eat a considerable measure of fruits and vegetables and keep liquor at moderate levels or lower. While moderate drinking can be useful for the heart in most grown-ups, even low levels of intake can build the danger of breast cancer. If you do not drink, don't feel you have to begin. In case you drink modestly, there is less risk.
  4. Try not to Smoke: Smokers and non-smokers alike know how undesirable smoking is. It brings down a person’s quality of life and expands the danger of heart and lung diseases, stroke, and no less than 15 types of cancer, including breast cancer. It additionally causes bad breath, awful teeth, and wrinkles.
  5. Breastfeed, If Possible: Breastfeeding for almost one year or more brings down the danger of breast cancer. It additionally has extraordinary medical advantages for the baby as well, especially in terms of immunity.
  6. Keep away from Birth Control Pills: Contraceptive pills have both dangers and advantages. In many cases, the more young a lady is, the lower the danger is. While ladies are taking birth control pills, they have more chances of falling prey to breast cancer as per various medical studies. This danger leaves rapidly in the wake of stopping the pill. The danger of stroke and heart attack is increased while on the pill, especially if the woman smokes. Long term use can likewise have essential advantages, such as bringing down the danger of ovarian cancer, colon tumor and uterine cancer and undesirable pregnancy. In case you are exceptionally worried about breast cancer, staying away from birth control pills is also an alternative to lower the risk.
1 person found this helpful

Breast Cancer - Signs To Spot It Early!

Dr. Amit Patil 85% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Gen Surgery
Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon, Mumbai
Breast Cancer - Signs To Spot It Early!

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 ExaminationGet 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 reconstructionchemotherapyradiation 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.

2882 people found this helpful

Robotic Cancer Surgery - How Does It Help You?

Dr. Naga Kishore Maddula 91% (116 ratings)
MS - General Surgery, M.Ch - Oncology
Oncologist, Guntur
Robotic Cancer Surgery - How Does It Help You?

With the dawn of modern technology, the sight of robots performing a surgeryunder the control of an expert surgeon is fast turning into a reality. Robotic surgery is one of the latest and greatest advancements in surgical cancer care. It is, mostly, sought for its unmatched levels of precision and control.

The da Vinci Robot, which is the only medically approved robotic surgical system, employs the use of 3D vision for the surgeon, and extremely precise agile robotic tools. This surgical method is one of the greatest inventions in modern surgery that aims to provide greater control to the surgeon at all times. For patients, this means quicker recovery times, minimal scarring, lower complications and higher satisfaction.

Robotic cancer surgery can be performed for most of the cancer surgeries. However, the maximum benefit is for the following conditions:

  1. Prostate cancer
  2. Bladder cancer
  3. Gynaecologic cancer
  4. Thyroid tumors
  5. Lung cancer
  6. Gastrointestinal cancer

Benefits of robotic cancer surgery:

  1. Less scarring: The minimally invasive approach of robotic surgery contributes to minimal scarring. Instead of having a deeper incision of up to 5 or 6” on the skin, patients can have a series of small incisions or one relatively smaller incision, based on the nature of the surgery.
  2. Shorter hospitalization: With minimal incisions, postoperative care is speeded and pain is lessened. This surgery will not require the patients to stay for a prolonged period of time in the hospital. At the most, they tend to spend up to two nights in the hospital, if the situation demands so. As a result of this, within no time, you can get back to your normal life.
  3. Limited drugs: With traditional surgery, typically a patient is administered a lot of painkillers to alleviate pain. However, with robotic surgeries, thanks to decreased postoperative pain after surgery, the patient will not need excessive painkillers to help them deal with pain.
  4. No blood loss: During traditional open surgery, patients tend to typically lose between 600cc to 1000cc of blood, depending on the area of treatment. As a result, postoperative transfusion of blood becomes a necessity. However, during robotic surgery, blood loss is usually 200cc or less and so there is no need for transfusions.
  5. Accuracy and precision: The 3D vision and other advanced tools employed by robotic surgery allow for better surgical accuracy, which is greatly needed in cancer surgeries. Especially in the case of prostate cancer, if tumour is in a critical location, then a robotic surgery is handy to carry out the procedure, without damaging the important nerves.
3479 people found this helpful

Breast Cancer - What Are The Risk Factors?

Ck Birla Hospital For Women 92% (2527 ratings)
Gynaecologist, Gurgaon
Breast Cancer - What Are The Risk Factors?

Breast cancer is a very common form of cancer that develops in the cells of your breast. The cancer typically forms in either the ducts of your breast (the pathway through which milk reaches the nipples from the glands) or the lobules (the glands which produce milk).

Breast cancer can affect both males and females. However, it is more commonly observed in women aged between 45-55 years.

Look out for these symptoms!
Signs and symptoms of breast cancer include the following-

  1. Discharge of blood from the nipples
  2. A lump near the breast or the armpit
  3. Scaling or peeling of skin around the breasts
  4. Sore nipple
  5. Breast pain
  6. Swelling of lymph nodes in the armpit or on the neck
  7. Change in the shape and size of the nipple or the breast
  8. An inverted nipple

What are the risk factors?

  1. Age- Breast cancer usually strikes at an older age. Women aged over 55 years are most often diagnosed with invasive breast cancer.
  2. Family history- If you have someone in your family who’ve had a history of breast cancer, then you too may develop this disease later in life.
  3. Inherited genes- Mutation of certain genes- BRCA1 and BRCA2- can put you at a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
  4. Obesity- People with Body Mass Index (BMI) higher than or equal to 30 are at risk of developing breast cancer.
  5. Alcohol consumption- Aggressive or frequent alcohol consumption can make you prone to breast cancer.
  6. Early menstruation- Those who’ve had their first menstrual cycle before the age of 12, are more likely to get affected by breast cancer in the later stage.
  7. Postmenopausal therapy- Women undergoing hormonal therapy or medications combining progesterone and estrogen to treat menopause have greater risk of having breast cancer.

What is the treatment for breast cancer?
After a thorough evaluation of your overall health condition, your doctor will determine the options to treat your breast cancer depending on the type, size and stage of the cancer. The usual methods of curing breast cancer are-

  1. Lumpectomy- This is a minimally invasive surgical procedure whereby smaller tumors are removed from the lumps of your breast. Your doctor will only remove a portion of the cancerous lump, leaving the remaining portion of the breast intact. This allows for better symmetry of your breast. However, you may need to undergo chemotherapy or radiation therapy following a lumpectomy to make sure that all the cancer cells are destroyed.
  2. Mastectomy- This surgical procedure is performed to remove all of the breast tissues including the ducts, lobules, nipples and areola.
  3. Sentinel Node Biopsy- In order to determine whether or not the cancer has metastasized to other body parts including the lymph nodes, your doctor will first discuss with you the importance of removing the lymph nodes which are likely to be in the receipt of the lymph drainage from the tumor.
  4. Breast removal- In certain cases where people have a greater risk of developing breast cancer due to family history or a genetic susceptibility, removal of both the breasts are prescribed by doctors.

The rate of survival for breast cancer has increased in recent times owing to modern treatment techniques. Nearly 90% of breast cancer patients survive for at least 5 years after the treatment is done.

4277 people found this helpful

Lump In The Breast!

Dr. Radhika A (Md) 92% (13 ratings)
MD - Acupuncture, Diploma In Accupuncture, Advanced Diploma In Accupuncture
Acupuncturist, Delhi
Lump In The Breast!

Lump In The Breast 
Lumps in the breast are bulges or swellings. There can be various reasons for a breast lump including infection and injuries. Most of the breast lumps are non-cancerous. Generally, people do not experience pain in breast cancer. The common symptoms of breast cancer are lumps in the breast that are painless, discharge from the nipple, and inflammation of the breast skin. You should reach out to a doctor as soon as you experience the symptoms of breast lumps. It is important to see a doctor as early as possible as it can affect your health in the long run. Your doctor provides the treatment on the basis of the cause of lumps. A biopsy or a tissue sampling is done in order to know if a lump is cancerous or not. A biopsy can be done in many ways. Lumps in the breast can appear in females as well as males, but females are more prone to breast lumps. Breast lumps can appear at any age. Sometimes, they appear and then disappear on their own.

Lump In The Breast Symptoms
Generally, breast lumps are painless. Check out various possible symptoms or signs of breast lumps that you may find:

-  You may notice a lump in the breast that is painless.

-  There can be a discharge from the nipple. The discharge can be there even without touching.

-  You may have inflammation or swelling in the breast skin.

-  You may experience changes in the breast skin including warmth and redness. There is a possibility that it is a symptom of breast cancer.

Lump In The Breast Causes
There are different types of tissue in the female breast. Milk glands and milk ducts are the two main types of tissue. There can be a variation in the composition of the breast tissue. Breasts change when a woman breastfeeds. The breast also has fatty tissue, fibrous connective tissue, nerves, lymph nodes, and blood vessels. The breast part can react in various ways to body chemistry changes. These changes can lead to the development of lumps in the breast. Check out various potential causes of a lump in the breast:

-  An injury to the breast can lead to the development of breast lumps.

-  Fibrocystic breasts can cause lumps in the breast. In this condition, breasts feel lumpy which can be accompanied by a pain.

-  One of the common symptoms of fibroadenoma is a lump in the breast.

-  Intraductal papilloma can lead to the formation of a lump in the breast. Intraductal papilloma is a small, benign tumour in a milk duct in the breast.

-  A lipoma can cause a lump in the breast. It is a non-cancerous tumour made of fat tissue.

-  An infection of the breast or mastitis can be a cause of breast lumps.

-  Due to breast cancer, you experience lumps in the breast.

-  Hamartoma, milk cysts, and breast cysts are some of the other potential causes of breast lumps.

 

How is it diagnosed?
You should visit the best doctor as soon as you experience the symptoms of breast lumps. Your doctor will ask you various questions regarding the lump including when you find out the lump, and what symptoms are you experiencing. Your doctor will conduct a physical examination of your breast in order to diagnose. If it becomes hard for your doctor to know the exact cause of breast lumps then he or she may ask you to go for some additional tests including:

-  Mammogram: It is an X-ray of the breast done to know the abnormalities in the breast. Mammogram also helps to find out if a person has breast cancer, though sometimes it fails to provide the correct result which is rare. Calcium deposits pattern can appear on the mammogram which makes your doctor suspicious about cancer. In such a condition, it is generally recommended that a biopsy should be done.

-  Ultrasound: It is a painless test done with the help of sound waves. It is done to evaluate lumps in the breast. It is done to know if a cyst is a solid lump (which can be cancerous or not) or fluid-filled. If even after the ultrasound it is not clear that the breast lump is cystic in nature then your doctor may ask you to go for further evaluation.

-  Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): It is widely used for evaluating lumps in the breast as this test can even help to find out the abnormalities that are small in the breast. With the help of radio waves, a computer, and magnetism, the images of internal body structure are produced. The images that are obtained from the MRI can help to find out if any specific area is cancerous.

-  Fine-Needle Aspiration: Fine-needle aspiration is a diagnostic procedure done to investigate lumps. In this procedure, fluid is removed from the breast lump with the help of a needle. Your doctor may conduct an ultrasound to guide the needle. Some cysts which are non-cancerous go away after removing the fluid. If your doctor finds that the fluid is cloudy or bloody then he or she may send it to a laboratory for analyzing cancer cells.

-  Biopsy: Biopsy can be done in many ways. In this procedure, a tissue sample is taken in order to analyze under a microscope. Stereotactic biopsy, vacuum-assisted biopsy, fine-needle aspiration biopsy, core needle biopsy, a surgical biopsy (incisional biopsy), and surgical biopsy (excisional biopsy).

Prevention
Generally, it is not possible to prevent breast lumps as they can occur due to hormonal changes and you have no control over them. You can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer if you:

-  Have a healthy and balanced diet.

-  Do not smoke and avoid secondhand smoke.

-  Maintain a weight that is healthy.

-  Do physical exercises regularly.

-  Reduce or avoid the consumption of alcohol.

-  Get your breasts examined regularly.

Treatment
The doctor finds out the exact cause before giving the treatment to the patient. All breast lumps do not require treatment.  Your doctor will decide whether there is a requirement for further testing or treatment depending on your case. Check out the various treatment options for breast lumps:

-  Your doctor may recommend you antibiotics if you have an infection in the breast.

-  If you have a cyst then your doctor may drain the cyst. Generally, cysts leave you when they are drained. In some circumstances, there is no need to treat cysts as they may go away on their own.

-  If your doctor finds out that your lump is a breast cancer then treatment can include lumpectomy in which a lump is removed, mastectomy in which the breast tissue is removed, chemotherapy in which drugs are used to destroy or fight the cancer, and radiation in which radioactive materials or rays are used to fight the cancer. The treatment that is provided by the doctor depends on the type of the breast cancer patient has, the location and size of a tumour, and the extent of cancer.

-  If your doctor finds out that the reason for your breast lump is an injury then your doctor might ask you to give some time to heal.

-  There are some types of breast lumps including fibroadenoma which need not be treated or removed.

Complications
There are various complications associated with breast lumps. Some breast lumps are cancerous in nature. Various stages of breast cancer are treated with the help of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy can lead to many complications including constipation, diarrhoea, infertility, early menopause, constant exhaustion, nausea, vomiting and more.

 

Myths
Check out various myths or misconceptions about breast lumps:

Myth #1: A breast lump is probably cancer.

As per various studies, lumps that most women experience in the breast are not cancerous. They are generally a fibroadenoma or a cyst. There are some lumps that come and go away naturally during a menstrual cycle of a woman. It is important to do the self-examination of the breast regularly. As soon as you experience the symptoms of breast lumps, you should reach out to the best doctor for a diagnosis.

 

Myth #2: If you have a lump but your mammogram is normal, you are done.

There is a possibility that you have a lump but your mammogram does not show this. As per research, 10% mammography shows the wrong result. That is why your doctor may ask you to go for additional tests including a follow-up mammogram, ultrasound, and MRI in order to look at the lump again. Your doctor may also ask you to get the biopsy done to have the sample of your lump for testing.

 

Myth #3: Breast lumps which are cancerous are always painless.

It is not necessary that if you have lumps in your breast that are cancerous then you will have no pain. Generally, most of the breast cancers are not painful. If you have pain in the breast then it does not indicate that you have breast cancer. You may experience a pain due to a lump in inflammatory breast cancer. The early symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer are warmth, redness, tenderness, and swelling.

Conclusion
Breast lumps are swellings or bulges. Infection and injuries are some of the causes of breast lumps. It is not necessary that lumps are always painless. The common symptoms of breast lumps are painless lumps in the breast, discharge from the nipple, and inflammation or swelling in the breast skin. You should visit a doctor as soon as you experience the symptoms or signs of breast lumps. Your doctor can easily understand your problem after knowing your symptoms.

Your doctor may ask you to get some diagnostic tests done in order to be sure about the diagnosis. Mammogram, ultrasound, biopsy, magnetic resonance imaging and fine-needle aspiration are some of the diagnostic tests that are conducted by the doctor in order to diagnose lumps in the breast. The treatment is provided depending on the cause of breast lumps, the extent of breast lumps, and location and size of breast lumps. Your doctor suggests the best treatment option as per your situation. There are some cases of breast lumps that can be treated without any medicine. Antibiotics are recommended if there is an infection in the breast. If there is a cyst then it can be drained. There are some cysts that go away on their own.

You should get your breasts examined on a regular basis. Self-examination plays a very important role. You should maintain a healthy weight in order to get prevention from breast lumps. Chemotherapy can lead to many complications including nausea, constipation, vomiting, diarrhoea, and infertility. People have a lot of myths or misconceptions about breast lumps. Breast lumps which are cancerous are always painless is one of the common myths.

 

 

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