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Treatment of Breast Cancer Tips

Breast reconstruction after breast cancer treatment

Dr. Sri Nagesh Vadrevu 87% (1377 ratings)
MCh - Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, MS - General Surgery, MBBS
Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon, Hyderabad
Breast reconstruction after breast cancer treatment

Breast cancer is devastating for any woman more so if she is in the prime age.

The usual process suspicion followed by an examination, investigation, confirmation and then treatment depending on the stage of the disease and follow-up.

On confirmation of breast cancer, either the lady undergoes partial mastectomy, nipple sparing mastectomy, total mastectomy or radical mastectomy. This is followed up by Chemotherapy, radiation therapy or both for a period of time which is thought to be the end of treatment.

This leaves the patient traumatized with the loss of an important part of her body with the ill effects of radiation which also leads to severe burning sensation and pain in the area of radiation.


Breast Reconstruction plays an important role in completing the treatment and making the woman a woman again physically and psychologically.

There are various methods of reconstruction by way of transferring tissue from different parts of the body in stages and at the same time resizing the opposite breast to achieve symmetry.

Fat transfer technique is an advanced method of treatment which not only helps rebuild the lost structure but also improves the blood circulation to the affected part, reverses the ill effects of radiation and it also improves the surgical scar while not adding to more scars in the body. This is accompanied with improving body contour from where the excess unwanted body fat is removed which is transferred to the creation of the new breast.

Know More About Breast Cancer!

Dr. Ketan Dang 90% (111 ratings)
DNB - Medical Oncology, MD - Medicine, MBBS
Oncologist, Chandigarh
Know More About Breast Cancer!

Being diagnosed with cancer is a scary thought but with medical intervention, most breast cancer cases can be treated. The most common forms of treatment are radiation and chemotherapy. Along with this, there are many forms of alternative and complementary treatment that may be followed. This can help reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation and boost the immune system. Here are some things you can do as an alternative and complementary form of treatment.

  1. Have a special dietHaving a healthy, well-balanced diet is necessary for everyone. This becomes more important when a person is recovering from cancer. Foods that have a high level of saturated fats and salt should be avoided. Intake of smoked, highly processed and pickled foods should also be reduced. On the other hand, you should increase your intake of vegetables, fruits and other foods derived directly from plants.
  2. Get your antioxidants: Antioxidants can protect a person from the damage caused by free radicals. This aids in the treatment of breast cancer and speeds up the healing process. Some of the antioxidants that can be beneficial in treating breast cancer are vitamins A, C and E, Lycopene and Beta Carotene. This can be found in wild blueberries, pecans, dark chocolate, kidney beans and goji berries. You can also increase your antioxidant consumption with dietary supplements. However, consult your doctor before taking any antioxidant supplements as it can interact with other drugs.
  3. Massage therapy: Massages can help relax the mind. They also have a number of other benefits. They are known as immunity boosters and can ease fatigue and pain. Thus a massage can also reduce the need for pain medication. It also helps increase the concentration of white blood cells in cases where women are being treated for stage I and stage II breast cancer.
  4. Acupuncture: Acupuncture is an alternative form of treatment that is considered part of traditional Chinese medicine. This involves the placement of sterile, needles that are very thin into specific points on the skin. These are then gently moved to stimulate the nervous system. In some cases, herbal supplements may also be incorporated into the treatment. Acupuncture is believed to help relieve fatigue, control vomiting and hot flashes and reduce pain.

It is important to note that these forms of treatment should not replace medical treatment but should be carried out along with it. You must also ensure that your doctor is aware of any supplements of alternative forms of treatment that you may be taking along with the medical treatment.

3227 people found this helpful

All About Breast Cancer

Dr. Surekha Jain 93% (865 ratings)
MS, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Delhi
All About Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a type of cancer, which occurs due to the development of cancerous cells in breasts. Women are usually affected by breast cancer and breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer after skin cancer. Usually fatal if not diagnosed in its early stage, breast cancer is a very serious medical ailment. Read on more to find all about the different symptoms, causes, preventive measures and treatment of breast cancer.

Symptoms: Breast cancer has few distinct characteristics and if you have a few or all the following symptoms you could be more likely to suffer from breast cancer. 

  • The formation of a lump in your breast, which is different from the surrounding tissue and usually more thickened.
  • The discharge of bloody fluid  material from the nipples.
  • Sudden change of the size, shape and appearance of the breast.
  • Certain distinct changes to the skin over the breast for example an indentation in the skin similar to that of a dimple.
  • Appearance of an extra nipple which is inverted.
  • If the darkened area around the nipples known as the areola is flaking or peeling off. 

Causes: Studies and researches remain inconclusive on what causes breast cancer. Breast cancer occurs due to abnormal division of the cells located in the breast, which over time accumulate and form lumps. They

might spread to other parts of the body. Breast cancer is caused mainly due to a complex interaction of personal genetics, environment and lifestyle choices. Breast cancer can also be caused due to genetics as about 5% to 10% of cases are due to gene mutations which pass onto generations.

Risk factors: There are certain factors, which increase the probability of contracting breast cancer. Increasing age, personal and family history of breast cancer, obesity, radiation exposure, pregnancy at an older age, postmenopausal hormone therapy are some of the factors that increase the chances of breast cancer.

Treatment: Several forms of surgical methods exist to treat breast cancer. Depending on the condition and spread of the disease a suitable surgery is performed. These include mastectomy, lumpectomy, axillary lymph node dissection and removal of both breasts. Other forms of treatment include chemotherapy or the use of high doses of drugs to destroy cancerous cells. Radiation therapy where X-rays are used to destroy the cancer cells is also effective.

3363 people found this helpful

Breast Cancer - Causes And Treatment!

Dr. C.S. Ramachandran 90% (589 ratings)
FICS, FCCP (USA), DNB (General Surgery), MS - General Surgery, MBBS
General Surgeon, Delhi
Breast Cancer - Causes And Treatment!

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!

2928 people found this helpful

Breast Cancer - Know Its Symptoms And Treatments!

Dr. Akhila Sangeetha Bhat 86% (92 ratings)
MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Chennai
Breast Cancer - Know Its Symptoms And Treatments!

Breast cancer is a type of cancer which occurs due to the development of cancerous cells in a person's breasts. Women are usually affected by breast cancer and breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer after skin cancer. Usually fatal if not diagnosed in its early stage, breast cancer is a very serious medical ailment. Read on more to find all about the different symptoms, causes, preventive measures and treatment of breast cancer.

Symptoms-

Breast cancer has a few distinct characteristics and if you have a few or all the following symptoms you could be more likely to suffer from breast cancer. 

  1. The formation of a lump in your breast which is different from the surrounding tissue and usually more thickened.
  2. The discharge of bloody fluid  material from the nipples.
  3. Sudden change of the size, shape and appearance of the breast.
  4. Certain distinct changes to the skin over the breast for example an indentation in the skin similar to that of a dimple.
  5. Appearance of an extra nipple which is inverted.
  6. If the darkened area around the nipples known as the areola is flaking or peeling off.

Causes-

Studies and researches remain inconclusive on what causes breast cancer. Breast cancer occurs due to abnormal division of the cells located in the breast which over time accumulate and form lumps. They
might spread to other parts of the body. Breast cancer is caused mainly due to a complex interaction of personal genetics, environment and lifestyle choices. Breast cancer can also be caused due to genetics as about 5% to 10% of cases are due to gene mutations which pass onto generations.

Risk factors-

There are certain factors which increase the probability of contracting breast cancer. Increasing age, personal and family history of breast cancer, obesity, radiation exposure, pregnancy at an older age, post-menopausal hormone therapy are some of the factors that increase the chances of breast cancer.

Treatment-

Several forms of surgical methods exist to treat breast cancer. Depending on the condition and spread of the disease a suitable surgery is performed. These include mastectomy, lumpectomy, axillary lymph node dissection and removal of both breasts. Other forms of treatment include chemotherapy or the use of high doses of drugs to destroy cancerous cells. Radiation therapy where X-rays are used to destroy the cancer cells is also effective. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Gynaecologist.

4483 people found this helpful

Fertility Treatment may up Breast Cancer Risk

Dr. P Nagaraj 89% (3801 ratings)
FRHS, Ph.D Neuro , MPT - Neurology Physiotherapy, D.Sp.Med, DPHM (Health Management ), BPTh/BPT
Physiotherapist, Chennai
Fertility Treatment may up Breast Cancer Risk

Infertility and hormonal treatments may influence the amount of dense tissue in the breast and increase the risk of developing breast cancer study from Karolinska institute in Sweden found that woman with a history of infertility had denser breasts than other women to was more pronounced in women who had undergone controlled ovarian stimulation.(cos), the hormone treatment required for in vitro fertilisation.

Is Breast Lump Signal To Breast Cancer?

Dr. Swarup Kumar Ghosh 88% (82 ratings)
MD - Bio-Chemistry, MF Homeo (London), DHMS (Diploma in Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery), BHMS
Homeopath, Kolkata
Is Breast Lump Signal To Breast Cancer?

Homoeopathic remedies for  Breast lump. 

Most lumps are not cancer,  A breast lump is a growth of tissue that develops within your breast. Different types of breast lumps can vary in the way they look and feel. You may perceive a lump as a mass, growth, swelling, thickness or fullness.

You might notice:

  • a distinct lump with definite borders
  • a firm, hard area within your breast
  • a thickened, slightly more prominent area in your breast that's different from surrounding breast tissue
  • other breast changes, such as redness, dimpling or pitting of the skin
  •  one breast that's noticeably larger than the other
  •  nipple changes, such as a nipple that's pulled inward or spontaneous fluid discharge from your nipple
  •  persistent breast pain or tenderness, which might increase during your menstrual period

Sometimes, a breast lump is a sign of breast cancer. That's why you should seek prompt medical evaluation. Fortunately, however, most breast lumps result from
Noncancerous (benign) conditions.

Causes-

Breast lumps can be caused by:

  • · breast cancer.
  • · breast cysts — fluid-filled sacs in your breast that are usually benign
  • · fibroadenoma— a solid, benign mass most common in young women
  • · fibrocystic breast.
  • · injury or trauma to the breast
  • · intraductal papilloma — a benign, wartlike growth in a milk duct
  • · lipoma— a slow-growing, doughy mass that's usually harmless
  • · mastitis-— an infection in breast tissue that most commonly affects women who are breast-feeding
  • · milk cyst (galactocele) — a milk-filled cyst that's usually harmless

Homoeopathic remedies

Well selected homoeopathic remedies are effective for breast lump and cure the condition without further complications

Bryonia alba 1m - Bryonia alba is indicated when breast lump with stitching pain is present. The breast is hard and painful. Pain in breast at menstrual period. The breast pain aggravates during movement.

Calcarea carb 30- An excellent remedy for breast lump. Breasts are hot and swollen. Chronic cystic mastitis. Blunt duct adenosis; best remedy for fibroadenoma. Lump in breast is hard, nodular and tender to touch in the beginning. Then the pains are reduced and the lump turns to be hard due to calcification. Calcarea acts best when the tumours are calcified. These breasts are swollen and tender before menses. Deficient lactation. The breasts are distended in lymphatic women. Patient complains of profuse sweating around the genitalia with dirty smell. Inflammatory condition of the breast. With breast condition patient has the mental symptoms due to sufferings. Patient is anxious, tired and weak, both mentally and physically.

Calcarea flour 30 - Calcareaflour. Is another top remedy for lump in breast. Lump in the breast which is hard, movable with clear margins which are sharp in nature, or their edges are sharply defined. Most commonly they are solitary, very rarely multiple. Occurs in young patients usually unmarried. Nodules are in upper right quadrants. The patient is sad and depressed due to financial condition. Confused due to melancholic condition of mind. Patient is chilly, and she is very sensitive to cold air, cold wind and cold atmosphere in general. Genitals are sore. Urine is copious and offensive. Pain at the tip of the urethra while urinating and after the act. Pain in back extending to sacrum.

Conium maculatum 30 -  Conium maculatum is one of the top remedies for breast lump. Here the mammary glands are hard and sore. A typical carcinoma of the breast, that is, scirrhous adenocarcinoma, which begins in the ducts and ends in the parenchyma. As the stage advances the cooper's ligament shortens and thus it produces the notch. Sometimes the condition is associated with the inflammation of the breast tissue. The region is hard and nodular, tender to touch. Burning and stinging pains in the breast. The skin over the tumour is adherent. Occasionally there is discharge of pus from the nipple. The lesion is hard, almost cartilaginous. The edges are distinct, serrated and irregular; associated with productive fibrosis.

Baryta carb 30 - Baryta carb is very effective for breast lump. Inflammation, induration and enlargement are the fundamental pathogeneses of this drug. The mammary gland is enlarged and there is a lump, which is hard. There is very sensitive to touch. The glands which are enlarged are tender with infiltration. The women of late twenties are affected. These patients present with hard but not serrated mass with firm rubbery consistency. Their edges are sharply defined. Most commonly the tumours solitary. Or occasionally are multiple. They are differentiated from cancer by smooth rather than irregular lobulations. A bloody discharge from nipple is indication of this drug. All the glands of the body are very sensitive to cold and they are worse by taking cold. The skin over the gland becomes ulcerated. It is seen that this remedy works better in paget's disease of nipple which is supposed to be primary carcinoma of the mammary gland.

Bellis perennis 30 - Bellis perennis is prescribed when the lump is caused by a trauma that causes injury to deeper tissues of the breast. The main indication is sore, bruised feeling in breast. Breasts engorged. 

Chimaphilia umbellata 30 - Chimaphilia is indicated for painful tumor of mammae in women of large breasts. There is sharp pain through breast.

Hydrastis canadensis 30 - Hydrastis is prescribed to those patients who have the tendency to indurated glands. Swelling of the mammary glands. Fat necrosis and glandular cell myoblastoma are common in this remedy. Fat necrosis tumour is probably post-traumatic. Patient complains of pain and tenderness. The lesion is fixed to the breast tissue, which sometimes causes dimpling of the overlying skin. Engorged nipples, cracks and discharges of watery fluid or there is serosanguinous discharge. The patient is weak and emaciated, fainting due to improper assimilation or defective assimilation. All-gone sensation or empty feeling in the stomach, not relieved by eating. Chronic catarrhal condition of the membrane of the stomach. Patient is thirstless. Obstinate constipation, colicky and crampy pain in the abdomen. Liver is enlarged and tender.

Iodum 30 - This remedy predominantly acts on the enlargement of the mammary glands which may be either neo-plastic or malignant. The mucous membranes of the glands and the breast tissue are inflamed. The breast tissues are hypertrophied, enlarged, hard and nodular. Emaciation of the patient due to malabsorption. The tumours are well differentiated. They have a discrete capsule. Small lesions present leaf-like intracanalicular protrusions and large lesions have cystic space. Inflammation of the lesions, ulceration occasionally, excoriating and acrid discharge from the nipple or from the lesion. Oedematous swelling of the affected breast.

Lapis albus 30 - The main action of this remedy is on the glands of mammary region. These glands have the tendency to turn malignant. Remarkable results are observed in scrofulous condition of the glands. Fibroid tumours, intense burning pains in the parts. The tumours have pliability and a kind of softness rather than hardness. The margins are clear. The glands are elasticity, exactly the reverse of calc. Fluorica.

Phytolacca dec. 30 - Phytolacca is another remedy effective for lump in breast. Mammae hard an very sensitive. Tumors of the breast with enlargement of axillary glands. When child nurses pain goes from the nipple all over the body. Irritable breast before and during menses.

Plumbum iodide 30 - Plumbum iodide is another effective remedy for breast lump. There are indurations of breast, especially when a tendency to become inflamed, appears sore and painful. Indurations of great hardness and associated with a very dry skin.

Scrophularia nodosa q - Scrophularia has specific affinity for the breast. It is very useful in the dissipation of breast tumours.

Thyroidinum 1m - An intercurrent remedy


Breast cancer is cancer that forms in the cells of the breasts.

After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in the united states. Breast cancer can occur in both men and women, but it's far more common in women.

Substantial support for breast cancer awareness and research funding has helped create advances in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Breast cancer survival rates have increased, and the number of deaths associated with this disease is steadily declining, largely due to factors such as earlier detection, a new personalized approach to treatment and a better understanding of the disease.

Symptoms

  • Nipple changes 
  • Nipple changes

Signs and symptoms of breast cancer may include:

  • A breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue
  • Change in the size, shape or appearance of a breast
  • Changes to the skin over the breast, such as dimpling
  • A newly inverted nipple
  • Peeling, scaling, crusting or flaking of the pigmented area of skin surrounding the nipple (areola) or breast skin
  • Redness or pitting of the skin over your breast, like the skin of an orange

Causes

  • Doctors know that breast cancer occurs when some breast cells begin to grow abnormally. These cells divide more rapidly than healthy cells do and continue to accumulate, forming a lump or mass. Cells may spread (metastasize) through your breast to your lymph nodes or to other parts of your body.
  • Breast cancer most often begins with cells in the milk-producing ducts (invasive ductal carcinoma). Breast cancer may also begin in the glandular tissue called lobules (invasive lobular carcinoma) or in other cells or tissue within the breast.
  • Researchers have identified hormonal, lifestyle and environmental factors that may increase your risk of breast cancer. But it's not clear why some people who have no risk factors develop cancer, yet other people with risk factors never do. It's likely that breast cancer is caused by a complex interaction of your genetic makeup and your environment.

Inherited breast cancer

  • Doctors estimate that about 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers are linked to gene mutations passed through generations of a family.
  • A number of inherited mutated genes that can increase the likelihood of breast cancer have been identified. The most well-known are breast cancer gene 1 (brca1) and breast cancer gene 2 (brca2), both of which significantly increase the risk of both breast and ovarian cancer.
  • If you have a strong family history of breast cancer or other cancers, your doctor may recommend a blood test to help identify specific mutations in brca or other genes that are being passed through your family.
  • Consider asking your doctor for a referral to a genetic counselor, who can review your family health history. A genetic counselor can also discuss the benefits, risks and limitations of genetic testing to assist you with shared decision-making.

Risk factors
A breast cancer risk factor is anything that makes it more likely you'll get breast cancer. But having one or even several breast cancer risk factors doesn't necessarily mean you'll develop breast cancer. Many women who develop breast cancer have no known risk factors other than simply being women.

Factors that are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer include:

  • Being female. Women are much more likely than men are to develop breast cancer.
  • Increasing age. Your risk of breast cancer increases as you age.
  • A personal history of breast conditions. If you've had a breast biopsy that found lobular carcinoma in situ (lcis) or atypical hyperplasia of the breast, you have an increased risk of breast cancer.
  • A personal history of breast cancer. If you've had breast cancer in one breast, you have an increased risk of developing cancer in the other breast.
  • A family history of breast cancer. If your mother, sister or daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer, particularly at a young age, your risk of breast cancer is increased. Still, the majority of people diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of the disease.

Inherited genes that increase cancer risk. Certain gene mutations that increase the risk of breast cancer can be passed from parents to children. The most well-known gene mutations are referred to as brca1 and brca2. These genes can greatly increase your risk of breast cancer and other cancers, but they don't make cancer inevitable.
Radiation exposure. If you received radiation treatments to your chest as a child or young adult, your risk of breast cancer is increased.

Obesity.

  • Being obese increases your risk of breast cancer.
  • Beginning your period at a younger age. Beginning your period before age 12 increases your risk of breast cancer.
  • Beginning menopause at an older age. If you began menopause at an older age, you're more likely to develop breast cancer.
  • Having your first child at an older age. Women who give birth to their first child after age 30 may have an increased risk of breast cancer.

Having never been pregnant

  • . Women who have never been pregnant have a greater risk of breast cancer than do women who have had one or more pregnancies.
  • Postmenopausal hormone therapy. Women who take hormone therapy breast lump. 

 

1 person found this helpful

Breast Cancer - How Surgery Can Be Of Help?

Dr. Prafull Arya 87% (463 ratings)
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MS - General Surgery
General Surgeon, Ludhiana
Breast Cancer - How Surgery Can Be Of Help?

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 

  1. Self Breast Examination: Done every month after menstrual periods are over 
  2. Clinical Breast Examination: If you have a doubt on self breast examination, you should go to a surgeon for further checkup. 
  3. 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: 

  1. To remove the cancerous tissues from the breast 
  2. To check whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes below the arm 
  3. To reconstruct the breast once the cancer is removed 
  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. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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!

1859 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

Breast Cancer- How To Diagnose And Treat It?

Dr. Sirisha R 90% (16 ratings)
MBBS, MS - General Surgery
General Surgeon, Hyderabad
Breast Cancer- How To Diagnose And Treat 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. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
2824 people found this helpful
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