First step is to make you feel better...
When diagnosed with cancer inital thoughts
The first question that come to the mind on diagnosi - is my cancer curable?
The next question : How far the situation is urgent?
Preparing to meet the Oncologist(s) and the consultation(s)
Simultaneously, tests need to be done to have complete data on cancer status and general health
Screening and Diagnosis
Regular Breast self-examination for any painless lump, monthly before each menstrual cycle, is easy to follow the method in early diagnosis of breast cancer. Doing annual x-ray examination of also called as mammogram after the age of 40 (after the age of thirty when family history is present) is also recommended.
Looking for the best hospital for breast cancer treatment in Bangalore, then contact Cancer Therapy India and talk to the best breast cancer doctors in Bangalore.
Improvement in breast cancer treatment and outcomes over the years:
Modern-day breast cancer treatment is exceptional compared to what it was before the year 2000. The first significant difference is in the preservation of the breast. Experience showed that removing the lump with a margin and adding radiotherapy to the affected breast gives the same survival as the removal of the entire breast. Breast preservation approach had an extraordinary impact on the psychological dimension, making people come forward for treatment in the early stages.
The second significant improvement is the arrival of newer chemotherapy drugs. Addition of a targeted therapy like Herceptin, in a group of people who had a receptor called HER2+ve, also added dramatic improvement in the cure rate. Also, chemotherapy became exceptionally tolerable with newer supportive drugs.
In some situations, when lumpectomy (surgery) is difficult or not possible, chemotherapy is given (neo-adjuvant chemotherapy) is administered first. This approach shrinks the tumour and makes many patients suitable for surgery.
The third significant difference is in the field of surgery. As mentioned earlier, not only breast preservation surgery is now standard for the majority of patients, but also the number of lymph glands removed in the armpit has decreased. Armpit surgery has improved further by the recent development of removing only selected nodes in the path of spread (sentinel nodes) for eligible patients. These developments reduced the possibility of moderate to a severe swelling complication of the arm dramatically. Also, improvement in the physiotherapy intervention early has almost eliminated the situation of "visible arm swelling", facilitating better social interactions (avoiding explanation for arm swelling).
Only psychologically distressing part during present-day management is the loss of hair during chemotherapy. The good news is that invariably the hairs grow back, sometimes better than before.
Fundamentally, surgery is always the best form of treatment for the lump that is felt in the breast (lumpectomy). With this approach, the operated breast becomes almost similar to the other breast. Sometimes, there is a need for plastic surgery techniques to attain this either in the same sitting (oncoplastic procedure) or later. Surgical scar would also be as invisible as possible. Simultaneously, lymph nodes near to the chest in the armpit are removed (axillary dissection).
Chemotherapy /Immunotherapy /Targeted therapy
The use of modern diagnostic techniques like immunohistochemistry (IHC) and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) have led to the identification of the genetic pathways which lead to breast cancer. All breast cancer patients need testing for ER / PR/ HER2/ Ki67, and based on the detection of these main drivers of cancer formation, a combination of chemotherapy, targeted therapy, hormone therapy and immunotherapy has led to improved outcomes. To delivery of chemotherapy safely & effectively, newer venous access devices like PICC line and chemo-port are being used. Advances in supportive care like use of powerful anti-vomiting medications and use of growth factor support have minimized the side effect profile making chemotherapy well tolerable in the majority of patients.
Hormones like oestrogen and progesterone increase the growth of certain types of breast cancer cells. These types of breast cancers are identified by a test called Immuno-histochemistry (IHC). Upon identification of the specific types of cells having hormone receptors (ER/PR positive), oral medications are administered, which block the receptors driving the action of these hormones. Hormonal therapy is generally recommended for five years after completion of treatment for breast cancer. In certain early-stage cancers, the use of the latest genetic mutations profiling techniques has led to the identification of specific subtypes of breast cancers which have a lower risk of recurrence. In these cancers with a good prognosis, chemotherapy can be safely avoided, and only hormonal therapy is necessary to achieve long term control.
A historic development happened in breast cancer treatment when studies showed that radiotherapy when given after removing the lump; the cure rate and control are similar to the removal of the entire breast. Therefore, now it is a standard treatment in most of the situations.
When to start radiotherapy?
Usually, radiotherapy started within six months after surgery. This period also coincides with the completion of chemotherapy cycles. The overall strategy is to remove the lump (with or without chemotherapy first), give chemotherapy to remove cells in all parts of the body and consolidate with radiation to the operated area.
When chemotherapy is not required, radiotherapy is started three weeks after surgery.
Therefore, it is always advised to visit the best breast cancer hospital in India in case you feel anything different or abnormal in your breast. Breast cancer specialist in Bangalore are specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of a number of diseases and disorders influencing the breast.
What are the types of radiotherapy, and what are their differences?
Radiotherapy has improved by leaps and bounds over decades and is now sophisticated technology helped by robotics and artificial intelligence AI. Improvement started as 3 Dimensional Conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT), developing into Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT) and later Image-Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT).
Difference between 3DCRT and IMRT are significant, but there is a lessor difference between IMRT and IGRT. IMRT treatment delivery is with two x-rays are taken (with the treatment machine itself), perpendicular to each other for checking for preciseness before switching on the radiation beam. In IGRT, the treatment machine takes a CT scan for accuracy, which can be marginally better than IMRT.
In the treatment of breast cancer, there is one more technique now commonly practised called Forward IMRT. It is an improved 3DCRTprocess in the principles of IMRT, and this technique applicable to right-sided breast cancer radiotherapy.
In the left-sided breast cancer therapy, since the heart is nearer to the treatment area, another sophisticated method - Forward IMRT with Deep Inspiratory Breath Hold Technique (DIBH) - is used. DIBH shifts the heart away (heart becomes more vertical during the deep breath position and moves away from the chest wall) from the treatment beam. It requires about 3 to 5 deep breath positions to treat, and it takes less than 10 minutes to complete this automated technique, in our centre, with the availability of True beam technology. DIBH is a straightforward technique and requires minimal practice.
The other small increasing advantage of the "True Beam STx" machine is the automatic (robotic) positional correction in 6 directions of the table on which the patient lies, both for "Forward IMRT" and DIBH.
Radiosurgery / Stereotactic Body RadioTherapy (SBRT) / Stereotactic Ablative Body Radiotherapy (SABR) / Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) – all these are different names for the same procedure:
When there are a limited number of breast cancer growths in other parts of the body, highly focussed radiation, radiosurgery, is considered. Radiosurgery can be along with chemotherapy/ immunotherapy or hormone therapy called radiosurgery. It is a highly sophisticated technology, and the treatment gets over in 3 to 5 sessions.
Is breast cancer curable?
In Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS), the cancer cells can only be found in the milk ducts. If these cancer cells have not spread into the nearby breast tissue then nearly all women with DCIS can be cured. The majority of patients with early-stage breast cancers are cured with proper treatment.
What are the symptoms of stage 1 breast cancer?
Where is most breast cancer located?
According to several studies, the upper outer quadrant part of the breast is the most common location for breast cancer.
How can a woman tell if she has breast cancer?
What happens if you ignore breast cancer?
And if left untreated, It universally becomes a fatal disease. It can happen over long periods of time, but if you don't have surgery and other treatments, it doesn't cure on its own. That's why we suggest people to get appropriate medical treatment. Cancer Therapy India has the best oncologist in Bangalore to deal with all types of breast cancers.
What is breast cancer pain like?
A cancerous lump may feel soft, tender, and round in shape. It can happen anywhere in the breast. The cancerous lump can be painful in some cases. Some females also have fibrous and dense breast tissue. Feeling lumps or changes in your nipples or breasts may be more difficult in these conditions.
How did your breast cancer start?
Breast cancer starts developing when some cells in the breast begin to grow abnormally. These cells divide more quickly than normal cells and continue to accumulate and form a lump or mass. These abnormal cells may spread through your breast to your lymph nodes and to the other organs or areas of your body.
What tests are done before breast cancer surgery?
A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast and is mostly used for screening breast cancer. If any abnormality is detected on a screening mammogram, your physician may advise a diagnostic mammogram to further assess that abnormality. Other tests might include doing a biopsy, Ultrasound scan, CT scan or PET scan.
How common is breast cancer in men?
Breast cancer is most commonly found in women, but men can develop it as well. About 1 in 100 breast cancers diagnosed in India are found in a man.
Where do male breast cancer lumps appear?
The most common symptom of male breast cancer is a lump-like swelling in the breast that may or may not be painful. A thickening or lump close to the breast area or in the underarm. One side of the chest may seem bulkier than the other side.
Looking for a breast cancer hospital in Bangalore, then contact Cancer Therapy India and talk to the best breast cancer surgeon in Bangalore
Senior Consultant – Medical Oncology, Hematology & Bone Marrow Transplant
Senior Consultant – Medical Oncology, Hematology & Bone Marrow Transplant