Breast cancer begins when cells in the breast start dividing indefinitely and form a tumor. It is the second most common cancer, and the most commonly occurring cancer in women but can also occur in men. The cancer usually starts in the milk ducts or sometimes in the glands that produce milk.
There are a few factors that either put you at a higher risk for breast cancer:
Following may be the symptoms of breast cancer:
Breast cancer can be diagnosed using the following methods:
There are two main types of surgeries:
The type of mastectomy you will undergo depends on the severity of your cancer and how wide it has spread. Lastly, not every woman with breast cancer needs to undergo a mastectomy but may be the only surgical option for some. Again, this varies based on your cancer stage, treatment history and related factors.
Radiation therapy works by aiming high energy waves at the cancerous cells. This causes the cancer cells to die and though the healthy cells sustain some damage, they can repair themselves. The treatment takes place over the course of a few weeks, in short sessions of 5 days per week. The size of your tumor, whether or not it has spread to the surrounding tissue will play a role in deciding the kind of radiation therapy you will have.
Brachytherapy is a different way of administering radiation therapy. It is also known as internal radiation. In brachytherapy, a radiation source is placed directly inside the breast area for a specific amount of time. It can be used in tandem with external radiation therapy and depending on your individual case, may or may not be recommended for you.
Radiation is often used after breast conserving surgery, and is not needed after a mastectomy unless you have a late stage of the illness or have been specifically asked by your oncologist to undergo it.
Uses anti-cancer drugs to kill or shrink the cancer causing cells and to prevent the spread of cancer to other areas of the body. Chemotherapy can be used before, after surgeries and is also sometimes the central treatment for advanced stages.
Estrogen and Progesterone are hormones in our body that are involved in a variety of functions but may also aid cancerous cells in their growth. If you have cancer cells that are hormone receptor positive, i.e, use estrogen or progesterone to stimulate their growth, then hormone therapy drugs that functional as receptor blockers or inhibitors may be a recommended part of your treatment plan.
Targeted therapy drugs, are as the name suggested more specific, i.e, they harm cancer cells and do not have any adverse effects on surrounding or other cells of our body. As of now, targeted therapy drugs are used in tandem with chemotherapy drugs.
Please bear in mind, that your medical history, your environment which includes family and friends, your lifestyle habits, genetics, the type and intensity of cancer you have, all play a role in deciding the course of your treatment. Many times a combination of treatments is recommended, and this may change through the duration of your illness. This is done so the doctor can ensure that you are getting the best possible treatment for your individual case.
We understand that before going through a major treatment like surgery or radiotherapy, you may be feeling unsure and want a second opinion, or you would like to look for the top oncologist specializing in breast cancer, or for a clinical trial doing cutting edge research. For support with any of these queries and question, Qunomedical is here for you 24/7.