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Overview

What is Breast Cancer?

Surgery is a common procedure when it comes to treating breast cancer, as the main objective is to remove the cancer cells as much as possible. There are different types of surgery for breast cancer, depending on your medical history and the type and stage of cancer that you are suffering from. The two main types of surgeries are:

  • Lumpectomy, which is also known as partial or segmental mastectomy. This surgery involves removing only that part of the breast where cancer has been detected, along with some normal tissues surrounding it. The portion of breast that is removed depends on factors such as the size and location of the cancerous tumor.
  • Mastectomy, which involves the removal of the entire breast, including all breast tissues and at times even the nearby tissues. In some cases, patients may also undergo double mastectomy, where both the breasts are removed.

Indication

A breast cancer patient may require a surgery in the following conditions:

  • If one is in a locally advanced stage of breast cancer
  • Suffering from Paget’s disease (cancer cells form in/around the nipple)
  • Multiple tumors in different areas of the breast
  • Recurring of the cancer in the breast even after radiation
  • A connective tissue disease such as lupus or scleroderma, where the side effects of radiation cannot be tolerated by the skin
  • The patient is pregnant and radiation may affect the unborn baby

Pre Procedure

Indication

P> A breast cancer patient may require a surgery in the following conditions:

  • If one is in a locally advanced stage of breast cancer
  • Suffering from Paget’s disease (cancer cells form in/around the nipple)
  • Multiple tumors in different areas of the breast
  • Recurring of the cancer in the breast even after radiation
  • A connective tissue disease such as lupus or scleroderma, where the side effects of radiation cannot be tolerated by the skin
  • The patient is pregnant and radiation may affect the unborn baby

Pre Procedure

The following preparations need to be taken before undergoing a surgery for breast cancer:

  • Have a detailed discussion with your surgeon as well as your anaesthetist regarding the complete procedure of the surgery. You can ask questions to your doctor and clear your doubts, if you have any.
  • If you wish to have a breast reconstruction at the same time, you will also have to meet and discuss the same with your plastic surgeon before the surgery
  • Inform your doctor regarding the medicines, supplements and the vitamins that you are taking
  • Discontinue taking medicines that may increase the risk of bleeding in the course of the surgery, like blood thinners and aspirin
  • You have to stop eating or drinking anything 8-12 hours prior to the surgery. Your doctor will instruct you in this matter.

During Procedure

The surgery is normally performed by administering general anaesthesia. An incision is made around the affected breast. The tumor and the surrounding tissues are then removed. There are different procedures by which the surgery can be performed:

  • Axillary node dissection where several lymph nodes are removed from the armpit on the side where the tumor was located
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy where only one or two lymph nodes are removed and then tested if they have cancerous cells in them
  • Total mastectomy which involves removing of the entire breast
  • Skin-sparing mastectomy where all the breast tissue, nipple and areola are removed but not the breast skin
  • Subcutaneous mastectomy, which is removal of the breast tissue only, and not the skin, nipple and areola

Once the surgery is completed, the incision is stitched back that gets dissolved or has to be removed later. There may be plastic tubes placed in the surgical area for draining any fluid that may accumulate post surgery. The tubes will be sewn in place, with the other ends being attached to a small-sized drainage bag.

Post Procedure

After the completion of the surgery, you will be shifted to the bed and your pulse, breathing and blood pressure will be monitored by your doctors. There will be a dressing over your surgery site. You may feel numb, pain or a pinching sensation in your underarm area. You will be prescribed pain medications for it.

Before you are discharged from the hospital, you will be provided proper instructions regarding care at home, how to take care of your incision and drainage, recognising and informing your doctor if you see any sign of infection. There may also be some restrictions in your daily activities initially. You can also consult your doctors to have a clear knowledge when you can resume wearing a bra or breast prosthesis.

Risk & Complication

A breast cancer surgery can have the following risk or complications:

  • Bleeding from the incision site
  • Infection in the area of surgery
  • Temporary swelling
  • Pain and stiffness of the shoulder
  • Hard scar tissue formation at the surgical site
  • Hematoma, where there is a build-up of blood in the site of the surgery
  • A feeling of numbness, especially under the arm, if the lymph nodes have been removed
  • Change in the appearance and shape of the breast, especially if a large portion has been removed.

More Info

You will have to go for follow-up appointments so that the doctors can monitor your progress of recovery after the surgery. You may have to go for radiation therapy if the tumor was a large one, there were several lymph nodes that were cancerous, if the cancer had spread in the nipple or skin, or there are any cancer cells remaining even after the surgery. In case your cancer is found to be sensitive to chemotherapy, you can discuss other modes of treatment like hormone therapy with your oncologist. Apart from that, involving yourself with a counsellor or support group can help you recover fast emotionally. A healthy lifestyle with good food habits, along with cutting off tobacco and alcohol, will ensure a faster recovery and a healthy life ahead.

The cost of a breast cancer surgery may be approximately Rs. 3, 23,350 – Rs. 4,52,700.

Popular Health Tips

Myths And Malpractices Related To Breast Cancer

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MS - General Surgery
Oncologist, Pune
Myths And Malpractices Related To Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer:

These two words are enough to instil anxiety and assumptions in the minds of many. Replete with prejudices, myths and malpractices, this disease is more feared than managed or treated. For example, how often have women wondered if wearing a bra can cause breast cancer? How often have your spouse or a loved one talked themselves out of a diagnosis, because they were shy of the procedure, and also because they thought that there was no way they could have the disease? How often have they concluded that they need to get their breasts removed knowing a close blood relative had the disease or undergo an extremely painful chemotherapy regime if they were diagnosed with breast cancer?

Wondering and presuming these things isn’t their fault- it’s because of the general lack of awareness and hence, several myths the disease brings in its wake. In this section, we answer some of the most common myths surrounding breast cancer, in detail. It is of utmost importance to make women aware of these myths since this often leads to bad practices such as avoiding proper check-ups, which ultimately culminates into the delay in diagnosis treatment breast cancer, which can prove to be fatal.

Myth: Breast cancer risk is very low.

Fact: This misconception is one of the leading causes of a late diagnosis in India. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Indian women, and according to the National Cancer Registry Program of India, it accounts for 27% of all cancer in women, as of 2012. About 1.5 lakh new cases are diagnosed every year of which, 0.75 lakh cases succumb to the disease within the 1st five years. India has the dubious distinction of having the highest incidence-to-mortality conversion in the world attributed to lack of awareness about symptoms, late-stage detection and poor treatment outcomes. In our country, this disease occurs at a much younger, premenopausal age, that is, the average age of around 45 in India as compared to 65 in the West. Approximately 1 in 22  Indian women carries a lifetime risk of developing the disease. Also, approximately 1 in 3 breast cancers will be identified as a triple negative breast cancer which is a aggressive breast cancer and is most prevalent in Indian women, compared to the 10-15% risk in other ethnicities.

Owing to the assumption that the risk is low and that cancer occurs at a much later age group, middle-aged women at a higher risk of breast cancer shy away from diagnosis and do not get annual mammograms done. In fact, according to a study carried out in Oldham, England in 2010, only 35% of Asian women were likely to attend the routine check-up done by National Health Service of England, as opposed to 70% of non-Asian women. The reasons behind shying away from getting an annual check-up done after 40 years of age could be ignorance, financial reasons, discomfort with the check-up procedure or anxiety of the reports. Regardless, this inertia in undergoing routine medically advised check-up of the breasts can result in missing an early diagnosis which then decreases the chances of effective treatment of the disease. At our clinic, we have seen cases where breast cancer has been diagnosed at a very early stage because the women underwent annual mammograms, and thus could be easily managed and cured. It is our humble request to all the women to break their inhibitions and get an annual breast check-up done under the supervision of a breast cancer expert after the age of 40.

Myth: If a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, her breasts will be removed (mastectomized).

Fact: If breast cancer occurs, then there is 80% chance that the breasts will not be removed. Most women will have a single cancerous lump in their breast and the breast can always be saved by a well-planned, cosmetic surgery. Breast reconstruction is done in the same procedure with the same anaesthesia, resulting in better-looking breasts and cosmetics as they can be lifted and shaped according to the patient’s desire. A questionnaire conducted by our centre reported no depression and out of 147 patients surveyed, most were very satisfied with the reconstruction outcomes (94%). Mastectomy, or breast removal surgery, is performed in few percentages of patients- may be 20%, where there are multiple tumours. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that a woman does not fear the outcome of a diagnosis and delay getting examined altogether. Such bad practice can result in an advanced-stage breast cancer, which could have been diagnosed at an early stage and treated, now being treated by mastectomy, owing to the consequent delay in treatment.   

Myth: General health check-ups are excellent for every diagnosis, including breast cancer.

Fact: This is one of the biggest and most dangerous myths. General health check-ups cannot diagnose any cancer, let alone breast cancer. Therefore it is pivotal for a woman to get a mammogram and clinical breast examination done at a specialized breast health centre, under the care of specialists and professionals. National expert panels do not recommend general health check-ups. The Canadian Task Force on the Periodic Health Examination as well as the United States Preventative Service Task Force, recommended focused health checks, as opposed to general ones, in 1979 and 1989, respectively. One review published in the Cochrane Library by Krogsbøllet al. in 2012 reported that “general health checks did not reduce morbidity or mortality, neither overall nor for cardiovascular or cancer causes”, based on the trials that they conducted. According to an article published in 2015, in which a joint analysis was undertaken by medical liability insurers (Doctors Co. and CRICO, USA), amongst the 562 malpractice claims between 2009 to 2014, 39% related to the alleged negligent treatment of patients, including misinterpretation of diagnostic studies in general health check-up schemes.

In general, it is believed that about 48% of the delayed-diagnosis cases involved radiology, with primary care physicians or other clinicians have misread or misinterpreted the radiology report. General health check-ups is also a scheme by hospitals to pick up patients for treatment, with surgeons performing open breast biopsies (i.e, a surgical procedure where a cut is made through the skin to expose and remove tissues), which is an obsolete diagnostic modality for breast cancer. In fact, in America, according to sources, a doctor doing an open breast biopsy is liable to lose his registration. The biopsies should be done after careful radiological investigation and are only minimally invasive needle biopsies. Due to such myths and malpractices, women are afraid to present themselves for diagnosis, because they fear that every lump will be removed with a surgery. The fact is that out of 100 women presented with lumps, maybe 1 or 2 actually need a surgery. 

Myth: Chemotherapy and radiation therapy should be avoided as they are extremely painful.

Fact: Both these types of therapies have been exaggerated to be ‘worse than death itself’. This is absolutely not true. Chemotherapy has improved leaps and bounds with drugs that are much easier to tolerate as they are targeted, which means that they predominantly affect the cancer cells and not the normal ones. Earlier, the known side effects of chemotherapy were nausea, vomiting, reduction of blood counts, and infections. Today with current improvements in the drugs with chemotherapy as well as antidotes against complications, chemotherapy has become extremely safe and the side effects have substantially reduced. In fact, some determined women take chemo and go to work. The only major, common side effect of chemotherapy as of today is the hair loss which is a temporary and reversible phenomenon A daycare facility is extremely proficient with the treatment, with most of the regimens needing just 5 hours or less. Many hospitals admit patients for chemotherapy, more for financial gains than an actual need for inpatient admission procedures. At our facility, chemotherapy is a procedure requiring maximum 5 hours, with loungers and personalized TVs, a counsellor and a nutritionist for free, private consultation in a spa-like ambience.

There are fewer side-effects of radiotherapy as well if done by adept radiotherapists and physicists with extremely sophisticated and state-of-the-art equipment. Both these procedures are extremely safe, with the woman not even needing hospitalization.

Myth: Wearing a bra, antiperspirants and deodorants can cause breast cancer.

Fact: It is due to the existence of these myths that the focus has been shifted from the actual risk factors to such obsolete ones. None of the aforementioned items has been shown to cause breast cancer. The real risk factors leading to breast cancer are of two types: the modifiable and the non-modifiable. The modifiable risk factors include alcohol, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, not breastfeeding and not having children or having them late. The non-modifiable ones include genetics, having a family history of breast cancer, older age, exposure to radiation, race and ethnicity, early menarche and late menopause. Most of the modifiable risk factors can be avoided if one took care of their health, diet and got sufficient exercise.

Myth: If a woman has a family history of breast cancer, she is likely to develop breast cancer as well.

Fact: While it is true that women who have a family history of breast cancer are at a higher risk of getting the disease, it is also true that most women who have breast cancer have no family history of the disease. Statistically, only 10% of the women diagnosed with breast cancer have a family history.
So what should you do if you have a family history of this disease?

That depends on your relation to that particular family member.
If you have a first-degree relative with breast cancer, that is, if your mother, sister or daughter developed breast cancer under the age of 50, you should consider some form of regular diagnostic breast imaging as well as genetic testing.

When should you consider it?

Starting ten years before the age of your relative’s diagnosis.

Having a first-degree male relative with breast cancer- however rare, but a clinically observed phenomenon also raises a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer.
If you have a second-degree relative with breast cancer, such as a grandmother or an aunt, your risk increases moderately, however, definitely not as much if you had a first-degree relative with breast cancer.
If you have multiple generations diagnosed with breast cancer on the same side of the family, or if there are several individuals who are first-degree relatives to one another or several family members diagnosed at the age of 50, you should be careful, as you have an increased probability of having a defective breast cancer-causing gene, given your breast cancer-prone family history.

In such scenarios, you should consult with a breast cancer specialist and undergo appropriate genetic testing only after prior genetic counselling of the family.

Why Should You Visit To Gynecologist?

MBBS, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Delhi
Why Should You Visit To Gynecologist?

A gynecologist is a doctor who deals with the health and well-being of the female reproductive system as a whole. These doctors usually deal with problems relating to all the organs of the reproductive system and issues faced while having a baby.

The most common reasons to visit a gynecologist are enlisted below.

  • Menstrual irregularities - The menstrual health of any person is directly related to the overall health of that person. Ideally speaking, your menstrual cycle should have a regular and constant pattern. The common signs of having menstrual irregularities are periods lasting for more than 7 days, abrupt delay in the occurrence of periods, having extremely heavy or light bleeding during periods, missing a period, and such other issues.
  • Breast problems - The breast problems which you might face at any point of time in your life may also be connected to having abnormal menstrual conditions. The common abnormalities seen by women in their breasts include breast discomfort during periods, abnormal breast changes, breast discharges, lump formations in breasts, and such others.
  • Lower abdominal pain - Lower abdominal pain refers to any sensations of irritation and discomfort in the area above the pelvic region. The most common examples of this type of pain are menstrual cramps in the abdomen, lumps in the abdomen and abdominal pain during sexual intercourse. So if you see visible signs of discomfort and pain, then you should go to a gynecologist at the earliest opportunity.
  • Pre-pregnancy counseling - A gynecologist is the most appropriate person you need to visit before you plan to have a baby. The doctor mostly recommends a complete health checkup so that you have a smooth pregnancy without any complications.
  • General well-being - Gynecologists also take care of your overall vaginal health. It is very essential to have a healthy vagina for women, to ensure that it may not cause further health complications. Additionally, you may also visit gynecologists if you have breast cancer, ovarian cancer, cervical cancer or if you are experiencing symptoms of menopause.

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

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Signs and Symptoms You Might Be Suffering From Breast Cancer

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MS - General Surgery
General Surgeon, Hyderabad
Signs and Symptoms You Might Be Suffering From Breast Cancer

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. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
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Breast Cancer - Surgical Procedure For Treating It!

FIAGES, FMAS, MS - General Surgery
General Surgeon, Pune
Breast Cancer - Surgical Procedure For Treating 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.

Nutrients Women Need the Most

Master in Food Science and Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Pune
Nutrients Women Need the Most

Nutrients women need the most:

Vit B6 - Regulates mood, appetite and sleep - chicken, fish, meat, pistachios, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, banana, avocado, spinach, chickpeas.

Vit B12 - Fights fatigue+improves alertness- eggs, milk, cheese, milk products, fish, meat, chicken, shitake mushrooms, some soy products, cereals fortified with b12

Folic acid - Prevents brain and spinal defects in first week of pregnancy+lowers risk of colon and breast cancer- green leafy vegetables, broccoli, asparagus, lentils, peas, sprouts, dried beans and nuts.

Vit D3 - Strengthens bones, teeth, muscles. Protects against auto -immune diseases, breast and ovarian cancer- sunlight, cod liver oil, fish.

Calcium - Keeps bones strong, reduces pms symptoms, maintains blood pressure- soybeans, oatmeal, oranges, almonds, figs, beans and lentils, poppy seeds, milk, moringa leaves.

Iron - Proper brain function, prevents anaemia and boosts energy level - flax seeds, pumpkin, sesame seeds, tofu, drumsticks, banana, dates, cashew nuts, leafy vegetables.

Happy women's day!

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Popular Questions & Answers

What are the symptoms for breast cancers? And how to resolve it? 2.is our heart can swell? If it's swell means what should I do?

MBBS, M.S. General Surgery, M.R.C.S. England, M.Ch. Surgical Oncology, DNB Surgical Oncology, FEBS Surgical Oncology, DNB General Surgery, MNAMS, FMAS, FIAGES, FAIS, FICS, FEBS Breast Surgery, FACS, Fellowship IFHNOS & MSKCC USA, Fellowship in breast and oncplastic Surgery
Oncologist, Mumbai
The various symptoms of breast cancer are 1) lump in the breast 2) nipple discharge, especially blood stained 3) Nipple inversion, retraction or ulceration 4) skin dimpling, edema or redness 5) Axillary lump (nodes) 6) rarely it may present with pain 7 sometimes metastasis may be the first sign of the cancer If you have any of those symptoms, better to see abreast surgeon or a surgical oncologist, who would examine you and if need be ask for a mammogram or an ultrasound to rule out cancer. Screening with 2-3 yearly mammogram is recommended from the age of 45-75 in all females. Also being aware about your breasts helps to detect these signs. About the heart, it can swell due to dilated or hypertrophic myopathy. Cardiologist would answer the same If you want to discuss this further, feel free to contact me directly.
1 person found this helpful

I am having doubt in breast. Right side of alveolar is big n breast are not similar to the left is it the sign of cancer or not.

MBBS, M.S. General Surgery, M.R.C.S. England, M.Ch. Surgical Oncology, DNB Surgical Oncology, FEBS Surgical Oncology, DNB General Surgery, MNAMS, FMAS, FIAGES, FAIS, FICS, FEBS Breast Surgery, FACS, Fellowship IFHNOS & MSKCC USA, Fellowship in breast and oncplastic Surgery
Oncologist, Mumbai
If there is a recent change in size of the breast or the areola, then it is better to see a breast surgeon or a surgical oncologist, who would examine you and if need be ask for an ultrasound. There are always minor differences in the size and shape of both the breasts, which are considered normal, but any recent change, then it is better to see the surgeon. If you want to discuss this further, feel free to contact me directly.
1 person found this helpful

My mother have a breast cancer I am very worry about it tell me abnouy the cancer and its treatment.

MBBS, M.S. General Surgery, M.R.C.S. England, M.Ch. Surgical Oncology, DNB Surgical Oncology, FEBS Surgical Oncology, DNB General Surgery, MNAMS, FMAS, FIAGES, FAIS, FICS, FEBS Breast Surgery, FACS, Fellowship IFHNOS & MSKCC USA, Fellowship in breast and oncplastic Surgery
Oncologist, Mumbai
Breast cancer is a very broad topic. The treatment depends on the stage of the cancer. And the receptor status of the tumor. The clinical examination will be followed by imaging with mammogram, ultrasound and rarely MRI and a core biopsy. If locally advanced then a pet scan or a ct scan with bone scan may be advised to rule out spread of cancer. If early stage breast cancer, the patient undergoes surgery for the breast (mastectomy or lumpectomy with or without reconstruction by implant, oncoplasty or autologous tissue transfer) and armpit (sentinel lymph node Biopsy, or sampling or Axillary lymph node clearance). Depending on the pathology report, the further treatment may consist of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and hormonal therapy (if ER/PR +ve). Radiation therapy is essential after a lumpectomy. After mastectomy, it depends upon the pathology report. If locally advanced then chemotherapy may be given first followed by surgery. If you want to share reports and discuss in detail the treatment for your mother, feel free to contact me directly.
1 person found this helpful

Hi, What are the food to be take by breast cancer patient who is undergoing chemotherapy? Please answer my question.

MBBS, M.S. General Surgery, M.R.C.S. England, M.Ch. Surgical Oncology, DNB Surgical Oncology, FEBS Surgical Oncology, DNB General Surgery, MNAMS, FMAS, FIAGES, FAIS, FICS, FEBS Breast Surgery, FACS, Fellowship IFHNOS & MSKCC USA, Fellowship in breast and oncplastic Surgery
Oncologist, Mumbai
Eat small frequent meals and plenty of water. Taking frequent sips is better than taking large quantities at a time. This would help you to remain hydrated and maintain nutrition despite the nausea of chemotherapy. While you are having chemotherapy your taste can change. Some food may taste different, for example more salty, bitter or metallic. You may no longer enjoy some foods you used to enjoy. You may want to experiment to find tastes and textures you find most appealing at this time. Your taste should return to normal once your treatment has finished, although for some people taste changes can last after treatment. You may be able to eat normally throughout chemotherapy or your eating habits may change because of the side effects of your treatment. Some people lose weight during treatment, while others gain weight. There are different types of foods we should include in a balanced diet during chemotherapy plenty of fruit and vegetables plenty of chapatis, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods choose wholegrain bread varieties whenever you can some milk and dairy foods some lean meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein. If vegetarian, eat pulses and dals. In addition to this, you should: avoid sugary food and drinks too often avoid eating fatty foods too often not drink too much alcohol. Eat five to six small meals or snacks each day instead of three big meals. Drink milkshakes, smoothies, juice or soup if you don't feel like eating solid food. Doing something active, if you feel able to, can help increase your appetite. For instance, you might have more of an appetite if you take a short walk before lunch. Be careful not to reduce your appetite by drinking too much liquid before or during meals. You may find you eat more because some of the drugs given during treatment stimulate your appetite. If you are worried about gaining weight: choose low-fat foods and drinks eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables watch out for the sugar content of some diet foods avoid sugary drinks. Chemotherapy can make your mouth sore or dry, making it uncomfortable to eat. You might find the following tips helpful if you have a sore mouth. Clean your teeth or dentures with a soft brush after eating, and gently floss. Choose soft or liquid foods such as soups, stews, smoothies and desserts. Soothe your mouth and gums with ice cubes and sugar-free lollies. Drink sugar-free fizzy drinks to freshen your mouth. Use a straw to drink. Avoid crunchy, salty, very spicy, acidic or hot food Eating and drinking less than usual, being less active and taking some medications can all lead to constipation. Consuming high-fibre foods can help if you’re constipated. These include: wholemeal bread high-fibre breakfast cereal beans and lentils fresh and dried fruit. You should also drink plenty of fluid and do some regular, gentle exercise such as walking. If you’re still having problems with constipation, ask your specialist or GP (local doctor) for a laxative. Occasionally, some chemotherapy drugs can cause diarrhoea. If this is a problem, you can try: reducing the amount of fibre you eat eating only small amounts of fruit and vegetables drinking plenty of fluid. Your GP or specialist can prescribe medication for diarrhoea if necessary. I hope I was able to answer your query. Feel free to contact me directly if you want to discuss this further.
1 person found this helpful

My breast cancer position was stage 2 before 1 month ago is there any solution for protect cancer?

MBBS, M.S. General Surgery, M.R.C.S. England, M.Ch. Surgical Oncology, DNB Surgical Oncology, FEBS Surgical Oncology, DNB General Surgery, MNAMS, FMAS, FIAGES, FAIS, FICS, FEBS Breast Surgery, FACS, Fellowship IFHNOS & MSKCC USA, Fellowship in breast and oncplastic Surgery
Oncologist, Mumbai
Have you been operated for the breast cancer or on neoadjuvant chemotherapy for the same. If not, please show to a Breast Surgeon or a Surgical oncologist. They will examine you and ask for a mammogram and ultrasound with core biopsy. The core Biopsy gives the type of cancer, the grade of cancer and the IHC i.e. ER/ PR/Her 2 status. If large tumor or locally advanced cancer, they may ask for metastatic work up like PET CT scan or CECT Scan. Depending upon the tumour to Breast ratio, upfront surgery or neoadjuvant chemotherapy may be advised if considering breast conservation (neoadjuvant is usually advised for locally advanced breast cancer ). The surgery may be a mastectomy or breast conservation depending on focality, location, tumor to Breast ratio and response to chemotherapy and your choice. Oncoplasty is a norm after conservation now a days to improve cosmesis. Whole breast reconstruction with autologous tissue or implants is also offered to all patients after mastectomy. For the axilla, they may advise for sentinel node Biopsy if Clinically and sonographically negative or Axillary clearance if positive. Post op depending upon the report you may need chemotherapy with or without Herceptin, followed by radiation (radiation is mandatory after breast conservation. After mastectomy it depends on the pathology report) Hormonal therapy would also be advised for 5-10 years if tumor is ER/PR positive (which drug to start depends upon your menopausal status) Adjuvant Bisphosphonate May be advised depending on the report and menopausal status. The hormonal therapy has been shown to protect from hormone sensitive breast cancer. The two main risk factors for breast cancer are increasing Age and Female sex, which are non modifiable. Also about 10% of the Breast cancers are familial due to BRCA 1/2 gene mutation, who are also at risk of ovarian cancer and a few other cancers especially at a younger age and may be offered surveillance, prophylactic mastectomy with reconstruction or bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. The other risk factors are: Early menarche, late menopause, no children or late children, no breast feeding, OC PILLS, HRT, alcohol, smoking and obesity, history of mantle cell radiation for lymphoma in past to chest wall. So lead a healthy lifestyle, breast feed your babies, but the main risk factors are non modifiable. Screening is a modality recommended for early detection of breast cancer. The earlier the cancer is detected, it has a better chance of cure and more over requires lesser treatment for the same (e.g may avoid mastectomy and chemotherapy) the minor disadvantage being that it may detect cancers that may not progress in lifetime of the patient but currently there are no means to identify which ones are those. Recommendations are Breast self examination (not proven to improve survival, but countries where women follow it have had increased awareness and improved survival in breast cancer) very 2-3 months. Examination by clinician every year beginning at age 20 years. Mammography every 2-3 years from age 45-75 years. I hope I was able to solve your query. Do not hesitate to contact me if you want to share your detailed reports and want advice on further treatment.