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Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is caused by uncontrolled growth of the cells of the breast.  Breast cancer is usually known to begin either in the milk producing glands (lobules) or in the ducts that carry milk from lobules to the nipple. This cancer may spread to the adjacent healthy breast tissue and also to the underarm lymph nodes. Once the lymph nodes are affected, the cancer cells are carried to different parts of the body through the lymphatic fluid; this results in development of multiple tumors. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer observed in women. However, a few breast cancer cases have been reported in men too.

Signs and Symptoms of breast cancer

The signs and symptoms that help in detecting breast cancer are as follows:

  1. Presence of a lump or thickening on the breast or underarms
  2. Tenderness of the nipples
  3. Change in the texture of the breast skin, nipple or areola- red, dry, scaly or swollen with ridges or pitting (orange peel appearance)
  4. Nipple is turned inward or inverted
  5. Unusual discharge of fluid from the nipples
  6. Dimpling in the skin of the breast
  7. Asymmetry of the breasts
  8. Unexplained swelling or shrinkage of a breast

Diagnosis

Self-examination is the best way to detect cancer early. You need to follow the following steps to examine your breasts-

  1. Stand undressed in the front of a mirror and look at your breasts with arms on your hips. Check for the following:
    1. Changes in shape, size and position of the breasts,
    2. Presence of sores, dimpling or discoloration over the skin of the breasts,
    3. Peeling, or changes in the position of the nipple.
  2. Raise your arm and look for the same changes. Also check for any abnormal discharge from the nipples.
  3. Lie down and feel your breasts. Use right hand to examine the left breast and vice versa. Use your finger pads to make soft, small circular movements to examine each quarter of your breasts. Examine the entire breast from below the collarbone to top of the abdomen and from the armpits to your cleavage. Check for the presence of any thickening or lump
  4. Finally, feel your breasts in standing position. Follow the same steps as performed in lying.

If you notice any changes in the breasts, it is time to consult the doctor for screening

The diagnostic tests for breast cancer include

  • Biopsy: It is a procedure wherein a small sample of the breast tissue is excised from the area of concern and is studied under the microscope. The test would indicate whether cancer cells are present or not. Moreover, if cancer is confirmed, biopsy can also help in determining the characteristics of the cancer based on which the treatment can be planned.
  • Mammogram: It is an X -ray of the breast which helps to detect the presence of lumps in breast even before they are felt by touch. A positive mammogram should be followed by other diagnostic procedures to confirm breast cancer.

  • Breast ultrasound: Ultrasound scanning uses sound waves to give a detailed image of the breast. Once the presence of tumor is confirmed on a mammogram, an ultrasound can help to determine if the tumor is a solid mass or a fluid filled cyst. However, it is not helpful to determine if the tumor is cancerous.
  • MRI scan: A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan is performed that uses magnetic and radio-waves for detailed imaging of the breast and surrounding structures. The test helps to locate the tumor, determine the size and the extent of spread of tumor.

Staging of breast cancer                                                                                           

Breast cancer can be divided into various stages based on the size of the tumor and extent of spread.  Staging of breast cancer is important to determine which treatment is the best for the patient and whether the treatment is successful or not. The following tests help to determine the stage of cancer:

  • Mammogram
  • Breast MRI/ CT/ PET scan
  • Bone scan
  • Complete blood cell (CBC) count
  • Chromosomal mutations (assessed by genetic tests)

Treatment of breast cancer

Depending on the location and the stage of cancer, breast cancer can be treated by the following methods:

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapeutic drugs are used to kill and prevent the growth of cancer cells.

Radiation therapy

High-intensity radiations are used to kill the cancer cells either in a single part or the entire body. This therapy is usually recommended in combination with chemotherapy for better treatment.

Surgery

Surgery is performed to remove either a cancerous lump on the breast (lumpectomy) or the complete removal of the breast (mastectomy). The surgery for breast cancer may also include removal of the affected lymph nodes.

Hormone therapy: It is also called as hormone-blocking therapy that inhibits the release of certain hormones that can aggravate the growth and spread of breast cancer. This therapy is also used in combination with other treatment procedures such as surgery to prevent the recurrence of cancer.

Self-management

  1. Early detection: Regular self-examination of the breast and annual screening for cancer (especially after the age of 40) helps in early detection and thus better treatment of breast cancer
  2. Lifestyle measures: Healthy diet, good sleep, and decreased stress helps boost the immunity and prevents the risk of developing breast cancer.

Why choose Apollo Diagnostics?

We have the expertise of 34 + years in healthcare. Our labs are equipped with EQUAS (External Quality Assurance System) and loaded with full automated machines to ensure error free reports, with a quick turnaround time, and at an affordable price. For your convenience, we offer free home collection of samples.

 For appointments, please call 4444 2424.

Reference

  1. Breast cancer. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/breast-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20352470. Accessed on 21/10/2017
  2. Do you know the 12 Signs of Breast Cancer? https://www.worldwidebreastcancer.org/. Accessed on 21/10/2017
  3. Breast cancer. https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/conditions/breast/. Accessed on 21/10/2017
  4. http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/testing/types/ultrasound. Accessed on 21/10/2017
  5. Stages of breast cancer. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/understanding-a-breast-cancer-diagnosis/stages-of-breast-cancer.html. Accessed on 21/10/2017

Patient Testimonials

“Finding the best place for a diagnostic test is as important as consulting the best doctor. The Apollo name was what guided me to Apollo Diagnostics and I am indeed glad that I came here. From attending us on time to sample collection, everything flowed so smoothly. I was particularly impressed by the hygiene. It was definitely a value for money experience. Thanks a lot Apollo Diagnostics…keep up the good work!”

Mrs. Ferha Jabeen, Old Bowenpally, Secunderabad

“I Have heard a lot of good things about Apollo Diagnostics from our family physician as well as from relatives and friends. So then next time I needed a diagnostic centre, I visited Apollo Diagnostics and I was really glad I did. For one, I didn’t have to wait. The technician was extremely good, and the place was really clean. It was certainly a value for money experience. Great job Apollo Diagnostics!”

Ms. T. Jaya, Nakkalagutta, Hanmakonda

“I must say Apollo Diagnostics places a great value on time and patient comfort! I am a fan of their home collection service which is not only on time and technically sound, but the hygiene and cordiality of the visiting technician is also commendable. Hats off! I’ll continue to recommend Apollo Diagnostics to my family and friends.”

Mr. B. Pochaiah, Mallikarjuna Nagar Colony, Old Bowenpally, Secunderabad

“I have always had a great experience with Apollo Diagnostics. The calls are unfailingly answered. The scheduled appointment is kept to the minute. The phlebotomist is well-trained in both technique and putting the patient at ease. Apollo Diagnostics undoubtedly delivers value for money. They will always be my top option for all the diagnostic needs of my family.”

Mr. Prasanta Kumar Jena, JP Nagar, Bengaluru

“I came to know about Apollo Diagnostics from my relatives and friends. So, when I required a check up to be done, I thought about trying their service once. From sticking to the appointed time to accuracy of technique, it was really a great experience overall. Hygiene of the technician and the centre as well, was also quite admirable. I certainly felt it delivers value for money service. From now on, I’ll always visit Apollo Diagnostics for all my checkups.”

Mr. Venkateshwar Rao, Hanmakonda

“I was looking for a good diagnostic centre to get some checkups done. I was confused as there are so many of them all over the city. Some of my friends recommended Apollo Diagnostics as the best one. I’ll always remain thankful to them. The technician at Apollo Diagnostics was not only punctual but his competency was certainly praiseworthy. I never felt any discomfort as he was so confident and compassionate. Great job Apollo Diagnostics!”

Mr. T Radhakishan Rao, Hanmakonda

“My experience with Apollo Diagnostics has been consistently good. Securing the appointment was very easy and the schedule was maintained to the dot. The behaviour of the technician was pleasant and he was well–versed with his job. The place was noticeably clean and I did not face any discomfort during the process. The reports were delivered as promised and surprisingly, the service was pretty affordable. I would recommend Apollo Diagnostics to my circle without any hesitation!”

Mr. Arif Ameer, JP Nagar, Bengaluru

“Apollo Diagnostics came highly recommended by my friends. I was particularly impressed by their cordiality, time management and process competence. Another must mention is the hygiene factor that is impeccable. Given the quality delivered, this is certainly a value for money experience. Thanks a lot Apollo Diagnostics…keep up the great work!”

Ms. A.Madhavi, Warangal

“Our family physician strictly instructed me to get the checkup done at Apollo Diagnostics. I am glad I respected his opinion. I was attended to as soon as I went in. The technician was a true expert at his job and made it a painless experience for me. I also observed that the centre was spotless and all the staff members were particular about maintaining hygiene. Apollo Diagnostics certainly delivers value for money. I’ll always recommend Apollo Diagnostics to my family and friends.”

Ms. Vimala, Hanmakonda

“My Apollo Diagnostics experience has thus far been truly amazing. Besides unfailingly maintaining the schedule – be it sample taking or report delivery, their sense of cleanliness is also tops. The technicians are well-trained and do their job with diligence and in a friendly manner that puts patients at ease at once. Apollo Diagnostics is setting a very high standard indeed! Now that’s what I call a fine job!”

Ms. G. Jyothi, Warangal