Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers. Around one in nine women develop breast cancer at some stage in their life. Most develop in women over the age of 50 but younger women are sometimes affected. Breast cancer can also develop in men, although this is rare. Breast cancer develops from a cancerous cell which develops in the lining of a duct or lobule in one of the breasts.
But With advancement in technology, breast cancer is no longer an incurable disease. With the latest technology available at top cancer hospitals in India, breast cancer can now be detected at very early stages and can be completely treated. The approach used for cancer treatment in India is multidisciplinary, which involves Surgical Oncology, Radiation Oncology, Medical Oncology and rehabilitation after cancer surgery. The top cancer specialists in India use the latest international protocols for the treatment of cancer which includes the following depending upon the patient’s condition and requirements:
Novalis Tx Radiosurgery ,Cyberknife ,Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) ,Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) , Stereotactic Radio surgery and Radiation ,Therapy(SRS,SRT) , Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT)
- Ductal carcinoma starts in the tubes (ducts) that move milk from the breast to the nipple. Most breast cancers are of this type.
- Lobular carcinoma starts in parts of the breast, called lobules, that produce milk. In rare cases, breast cancer can start in other areas of the breast. Many breast cancers are sensitive to the hormone estrogen.
Breast cancer symptoms may vary from lumps to swelling to skin changes and many breast cancers have no obvious symptoms at all. Symptoms that are similar to those of breast cancer may be the result of non-cancerous conditions like infection or a cyst, a lump or thickening in the breast or armpit, discharge from the nipple or a change in the color or texture of the skin of the breast.
Although symptoms may suggest that cancer is present, the use of diagnostic imaging can help confirm whether the cancer really exists. The following are imaging tests that may be conducted in diagnosing breast cancer:
• Diagnostic mammograms are x-rays of the breast where several images are taken of the area in question. Advanced diagnostic centers offer digital mammograms where the images are recorded, viewed and stored on a computer. Also, the use of digital mammography can allow for images to be sent electronically to other physicians or hospitals.
• MRI scans of the breast use radio waves and a strong magnet in reproducing detailed images of the body. MRIs can be used in combination with mammograms in detecting cancer for high risk individuals or can be used to better assess an abnormal area.
• Breast ultrasound is a test that uses sound waves to create an image of organs and tissue within the body. Ultrasounds are typically used to differentiate between benign and cancerous tumors. Breast ultrasounds should be used in combination with mammograms.
• Ductogram is a test that examines the ducts where nipple discharge occurs. This is done by injecting contrast medium into the affected duct. An image is produced of the duct structure displaying any abnormalities.
All breast cancer are not the same. More tests will be done to find out the specific pattern and the extent of the disease or stages. This important step is called staging. After an accurate diagnosis and proper staging a suitable Treatment Plan is made. There are several modalities of the treatment-these include Surgery, Chemotherapy, Radiation Therapy and Hormonal Therapy. These are usually used in a combination.
Stage I, Stage II, Stage IIIA, and Operable Stage IIIC Breast Cancer :-
Treatment of stage I, stage II, stage IIIA, and operable stage IIIC breast cancer may include the following:
• Breast - conserving surgery to remove only the cancer and some surrounding breast tissue, followed by lymph node dissection and radiation therapy.
• Modified radical mastectomy with or without breast reconstruction surgery.
• Sentinel lymph node biopsy followed by surgery. Adjuvant therapy (treatment given after surgery to increase the chances of a cure) may include the following:
• Radiation therapy to the lymph nodes near the breast and to the chest wall after a modified radical mastectomy.
• Systemic chemotherapy with or without hormone therapy.
• Hormone therapy.
• A clinical trial of trastuzumab (Herceptin) combined with systemic chemotherapy.
Stage IIIB and inoperable stage IIIC Breast Cancer:-
Treatment of stage IIIB and inoperable stage IIIC breast cancer may include the following:
• Systemic chemotherapy.
• Systemic chemotherapy followed by surgery (breast-conserving surgery or total mastectomy), with lymph node dissection followed by radiation therapy. Additional systemic therapy (chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or both) may be given.
• Clinical trials testing new anticancer drugs, new drug combinations, and new ways of giving treatment.
Stage IV and metastatic Breast Cancer :-
Treatment of stage IV or metastatic breast cancer may include the following:
• Hormone therapy and/or systemic chemotherapy with or without trastuzumab (Herceptin).
• Tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy with lapatinib combined with capecitabine.
• Radiation therapy and/or surgery for relief of pain and other symptoms.
• Bisphosphonate drugs to reduce bone disease and pain when cancer has spread to the bone.
• Clinical trials testing new systemic chemotherapy and/or hormone therapy.
Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. Most women receive radiation therapy after breast-sparing surgery. Some women receive radiation therapy after a mastectomy. Treatment depends on the size of the tumor and other factors. The radiation destroys breast cancer cells that may remain in the area. Some women have radiation therapy before surgery to destroy cancer cells and shrink the tumor. Doctors use this approach when the tumor is large or may be hard to remove. Some women also have chemotherapy or hormone therapy before surgery.
Doctors use two types of radiation therapy to treat breast cancer. Some women receive both types:
- External radiation: The radiation comes from a large machine outside the body. Most women go to a hospital or clinic for treatment. Treatments are usually 5 days a week for several weeks.
- Internal radiation (implant radiation): Thin plastic tubes (implants) that hold a radioactive substance are put directly in the breast. The implants stay in place for several days. A woman stays in the hospital while she has implants. Doctors remove the implants before she goes home.
Chemotherapy uses anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy for breast cancer is usually a combination of drugs. The drugs may be given as a pill or by injection into a vein (IV). Either way, the drugs enter the bloodstream and travel throughout the body.
India has been recognized as a new medical destination for Breast Cancer Treatment and Surgery. Thousands of global patients from all across the world fly to India for various medical treatments and surgeries of high quality delivered as practiced in the developed nations like the US, UK and that too within their budget costs.
The Indian Oncologists performing different procedures of Breast Cancer Treatment and Surgery in India are highly qualified, skilled with many years of experience and are affiliated with many renowned medical organizations. India provides the services through most leading doctors and cancer surgeons.The Cancer Hospitals in India are well equipped with the most advanced medical treatment and methodologies. They have the most extensive diagnostic and imaging facilities including Asia’s most advanced MRI and CT technology.
You may want to ask some questions before your treatment begins: