Breast Cancer Symptoms And Diagnosis
Breast Cancer: Symptoms, Kinds, Diagnosis, and Treatment
Breast cancer is considered one of the most prevalent malignancies among women, worldwide. In the 1990s, it ranked number four on the list of most common cancers in India. However, it tops the list now.
If we were to look at statistics, then an alarming 1,78,000 new cases of breast cancer are being diagnosed every year in India. Being one of the most common types of cancer, it now accounts for 14% of cancer in Indian women.
Every abnormality related to your breast may not be equivalent to cancer, however you should be well-aware of the symptoms and signs of breast cancer.
Early detection is always better than treatment and hence it's important to detect signs at an early stage.
Given that breast cancer is so common, it’s important to know about basic screening that you can do at home yourself. However, screening at home is just the first step, if in doubt you must consult an oncologist, to get yourself checked thoroughly.
In this blog, we will cover all the important information that you need to know about breast cancer, right from detecting the symptoms to coming up with treatment options.
What is Breast Cancer?
Breast Cancer is a disease where the cells the in breast grow of out of proportion.
Your breast is made up of three main parts, these are lobules, ducts and connective tissues. Lobules are glands responsible for producing milk. The ducts are tubes that carry milk to the nipple. And the connective tissues surround the entire breast and hold everything together. Most often, breast cancers begin either in the ducts or lobules.
While breast cancer is primarily in the breast area, it can spread outside as well through blood and lymph vessels. The term ‘metastasized’ is used when the breast cancer spreads to areas outside of the breast.
What are the different kinds of Breast Cancer?
There are different kinds of Breast Cancer as given below-
Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
In this kind of cancer, the cancer cells begin in the ducts but spread out further into other parts of the breast tissue or to other parts of the body. 80% of breast cancers fall under this category.
1. Invasive Lobular Carcinoma
In this kind of cancer, the cancer cells begin in the lobules and spread to other parts of the breast tissues. Even these invasive cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body. 10-15% of breast cancers detected, fall under this category.
2. Ductal Carcinoma in Situ
This is generally referred to as the precancerous stage because the cells are limited to milk ducts only. Hence, this kind of cancer is treatable, if detected at an early stage.
3. Lobular Carcinoma in Situ
Here, abnormal cells are formed in the breast lobules, and are also likely to spread to other parts of the body if not diagnosed at an early stage at a cancer specialist hospital in Delhi NCR.
4. Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
Triple-negative breast cancer, commonly referred to as TNBC, is one of the toughest cancers to treat. This is because it grows at fast pace and spreads extensively by the time it is detected.
5. Inflammatory Breast Cancer
Considered to be one of the rarest types of breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer may seem like an infection during initial detection. The presence of obstructive cancer cells results in redness and, swelling that harm the entire body.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer symptoms vary from one person to another, and this is the primary reason why most cases of breast cancer go unnoticed in the initial stage. One of the most common symptoms of breast cancer is the presence of a lump or mass on your breast that is newly developed.
However, this may not be the only symptom, your body may show other signs as well when you age or your body goes through multiple changes. Symptoms may also drastically differ based on the stage of cancer.
A crucial point to note here is that not every lump on your breast may be cancerous, so it is recommended that you consult a doctor before determining the outcome. If you experience any changes in your breast, or near your breast, you can consult the best oncologist in Delhi NCR for checks and treatment if needed.
Given below are some other uncommon signs and symptoms of breast cancer:
1. Swelling of breast or part of it
If you notice any kind of swelling either in the entire breast or a part of it, it could be a vital sign of breast cancer. The swelling may be accompanied by the thickening of skin and redness around your breast. Inflammatory breast cancer is a type of cancer, where redness and swelling is a common symptom. The swelling is typically caused when cancer cells block lymphatic vessels that cover the skin over the breast.
2. Skin Dimpling
If the tumour cells block the lymphatic channels that are present across your breast skin, it could result in a symptom of skin dimpling. Skin dimpling is when your skin takes the appearance of an orange. It is generally considered easy to identify and calls for an immediate oncologist’s opinion for a faster diagnosis.
3. Breast or Nipple Pain
This is an even more uncommon sign since generally none of the symptoms associated with breast cancer involves any pain. However, it is common for women to experience some amount of breast pain before, during or after their menstrual cycle, hence this symptom is often neglected. If you are experiencing similar pain, it is essential to consult an expert and not ignore it to avoid further repercussions.
4. Nipple Discharge
Another symptom of breast cancer could be some amount of discharge from the nipple area. This discharge could be white, pink or bloody. This discharge is typically associated with a unilateral lump but is experienced by less than 5% of women with breast cancer. This is considered to be one of the rarest symptoms of breast cancer.
What does Breast Cancer Diagnosis Comprise?
While signs and symptoms can prove to be the first points of early detection of breast cancer, there are multiple stages of diagnosis that a doctor has to take into account, as given below:
1. Breast Examination
Here the doctor checks both your breasts and lymph nodes under your armpit, to determine any abnormalities or lumps
Getting a mammogram is similar to getting an X-ray of your breast. This is a common detection tool used to screen for breast cancer. A mammogram is also taken up in two stages, if any abnormalities are evident in the screening mammogram, a diagnostic mammogram may be suggested for further evaluation.
A breast ultrasound uses sound waves to showcase images of bodily structures deep within. An ultrasound can help determine the difference between a breast lump mass and a fluid-filled cyst.
From among multiple detection/diagnosis options, only a biopsy can provide you with definitive results. In this method, the core of tissue is extracted from a suspicious area and a metal market marker is then left at the site for future imaging tests. These test results are further analysed at a laboratory. The test results can reveal information about the aggressiveness of cancer, hormone receptors and other details to better determine the treatment options.
5. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
An MRI is used to create pictures of the interior of your breast. Unlike other imaging test options, MRI doesn’t use radiation to form images of your breast structure.
For diagnosis or detection of breast cancer, it is strongly recommended that you consult the best Oncologist in Greater Noida and the best oncologist in Delhi NCR
What are the different types of breast cancer treatments?
Breast cancer can be treated in multiple ways; however, it depends on the kind of breast cancer and the extent to which it has spread in the body. A doctor may recommend a combination of treatments from the ones given below:
Here, surgeon removes the tumor or the affected lymph nodes, depending on the spread of cancer.
Chemotherapy makes use of special medicines to either shrink or kill cancerous cells. It could be a combination of oral medication or medication inserted in your body through veins.
3. Hormonal Therapy
This therapy blocks the hormones and is used to treat breast cancers that are sensitive to hormones.
4. Biological therapy
This therapy works with the immune system of your body to help fight cancer cells and control the side effects of cancer treatment.
5. Radiation therapy
This therapy makes use of high-energy rays to kill cancer cells.
Cancer has always been considered as one of the deadliest and most life-threatening diseases. However, there is a common misconception that cancer cannot be treated. If detected at an early stage and through extensive treatment options, one can fight cancer. The changing lifestyle, food habits, unhealthy practices, and so on, are some of the risk factors for cancer.
If you notice any signs or symptoms of breast cancer, you can consult the experienced doctors at Yatharth Hospital. Early detection and diagnosis will help with the proper treatment based on your condition. So, if you are looking for the best oncologist in Noida you can consult at Yatharth Hospital.