What is Breast Cancer ?
Breast cancer is a group of cancer cells (malignant tumor) that starts in the cells of the breast and invade surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to other areas of the body.
Types of Breast Cancer
- Ductal Carcinoma in Citu (DCIS) -It is a non-invasive cancer where abnormal cells have been found in the lining of the breast milk duct. The atypical cells have not spread outside of the ducts into the surrounding breast tissue. Ductal carcinoma in situ is very early cancer that is highly treatable, but if it’s left untreated or undetected, it can spread into the surrounding breast tissue.
- Infiltrative Ductal Carcinoma –The abnormal cancer cells that began forming in the milk ducts have spread beyond the ducts into other parts of the breast tissue. Invasive cancer cells can also spread to other parts of the body. It is also sometimes called infiltrative ductal carcinoma.
- Triple Negative Breast Cancer -A new, large-scale study of triple-negative breast cancer shows that small molecules called microRNA can be used to define four subtypes of this aggressive malignancy.
- Inflammatory breast cancer -It is an aggressive and fast growing breast cancer in which cancer cells infiltrate the skin and lymph vessels of the breast. It often produces no distinct tumor or lump that can be felt and isolated within the breast. But when the lymph vessels become blocked by the breast cancer cells, symptoms begin to appear.
- Metastatic breast cancer-It is also classified as Stage 4 breast cancer. The cancer has spread to other parts of the body. This usually includes the lungs, liver, bones or brain.
- Medullary carcinoma-It accounts for 3-5% of all breast cancer types. The tumor usually shows up on a mammogram, but does not always feel like a lump. At times, it feels like a spongy change of breast tissue.
- Tubular Carcinoma-Making up about 2% of all breast cancer diagnosis, tubular carcinoma cells have a distinctive tubular structure when viewed under a microscope. It is usually found through a mammogram and is a collection of cells that can feel like a spongy area of breast tissue rather than a lump. Typically this type of breast cancer is found in women aged 50 and above and usually responds well to hormone therapy.
- Mucinous carcinoma -It represents approximately 1% to 2% of all breast cancers. The main differentiating features are mucus production and cells that are poorly defined. It also has a favorable prognosis in most cases.
- Mammary Paget Disease-This condition is a rare type of cancer affecting the skin of the nipple and often the areola, which is the darker circle of skin around the nipple. Most people with Paget disease evident on the nipple also have one or more tumors inside the same breast; generally either ductal carcinoma in situ or invasive breast cancer (1–3). Paget disease is frequently misdiagnosed at first because the first noticeable symptoms can easily be confused with more common skin conditions affecting the nipple. Like all breast cancers, the prognosis for Paget disease depends on a variety of factors, including the presence or absence of invasive cancer and whether or not it has spread to nearby lymph nodes.
Treatments for breast Cancer in India :
Breast Cancer Surgery in India-Surgery involves the physical removal of the tumour, typically along with some of the surrounding tissue and frequently sentinels lymph node biopsy. Standard surgeries include:
- Mastectomy Surgery for Breast Cancer in India: Removal of the whole breast – Segmental mastecotomy (Removal of the cancer as well as some of the breast tissue):This procedure includes the removal of the cancer along with some of the breast tissue that’s surrounds the tumour and the lining over the chest muscles below the tumour. During this particular treatment doctor also removes the lymph nodes under the arm that is also called partial mastectomy.
- Quadrantectomy Surgery for Breast Cancer in India: Removal of one quarter of the breast – Quadrantectomy (removal of one quarter or quadrant of the breast):This form of surgery is referred as a segmental or partial mastectomy. In this surgery quarter of a breast tissue is removed along with the muscles of the chest wall that lies within a 2-3 centimeter radius of a tumour This procedure is an alternate to a radical also called simple mastectomy, which includes the complete removal of the breast. Researches show that the patients who have been treated with this procedure, 9% of the people who had this surgery experienced a relapse in their cancer
- Lumpectomy Surgery for Breast Cancer in India: Removal of a small part of the breast – Lumpectomy (Removal of the lump): This treatment is often done under the general anesthesia. The surgeon makes a cut in the breast and removes the tumor along with a small rim of normal tissue that surrounds the tumor. After treating the tumor the surgeon then closes the incision with stitches, making the breast look like before surgery. It has been seen that in some cases more than one surgery is required to get cleaner margins.
Breast Conserving Surgery for breast caner in India – In this surgery we surgically remove the cancer in the breast without removing the complete Breast. This is a form of surgery that is done to remove the cancer in the breast but not the complete breast.
If the patient desires, then breast reconstruction surgery, a type of cosmetic surgery, may be performed to create an aesthetic appearance.
- Radiotherapy For breast Cancer Treatment in India
Radiotherapy uses controlled doses of radiation to kill cancer cells. It is generally given after surgery and chemotherapy to kill any remaining cancer cells. If you need radiotherapy, your treatment will begin about a month after your surgery or chemotherapy to give your body a chance to recover. You will probably have radiotherapy sessions three to five days a week, for three to six weeks. Each session will only last a few minutes.
- Chemotherapy For Breast Cancer Treatment in India
Chemotherapy involves using anti-cancer (cytotoxic) drugs to kill the cancer cells. Chemotherapy is usually used after surgery to destroy any cancer cells that have not been removed. This is called adjuvant chemotherapy. In some cases, you may have chemotherapy before surgery, which is generally used to shrink a large tumor. This is called neo-adjuvant chemotherapy.
- Hormone Treatment For Breast Cancer in India
Some Breast Cancers are stimulated to grow by the hormones oestrogen or progesterone, which are found naturally in your body. These types of cancer are known as hormone-receptor-positive cancers. Hormone therapy works by lowering the levels of hormones in your body or by stopping their effects.The type of hormone therapy you have will depend on the stage and grade of your cancer, which hormone it is sensitive to, your age, whether you have been through the menopause and what other type of treatment you are having. You will probably have hormone therapy after surgery and chemotherapy, but it is sometimes given before surgery to shrink tumors, making it easier to removes.