This is a type of cancer that directly affects the breast tissue. In most cases, the cancer originates within the milk ducts or lobules that supply the ducts with milk.
- Age – Over 80% of all female breast cancers occur among women aged 50+ years
- Genetics – women who have a close relative who has/had breast or ovarian cancer are more likely to develop breast cancer..Women who carry the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have a considerably higher risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer. These genes can be inherited. TP53, another gene, is also linked to greater breast cancer risk.
- History of breast lumps – women who have had some types of benign (non-cancerous) breast lumps are more likely to develop cancer later on.
- Dense breast tissue – women with more dense breast tissue have a greater chance of developing breast cancer.
- Estrogen exposure – women who started having periods earlier or entered menopause later than usual have a higher risk of developing breast cancer. This is because their bodies have been exposed to estrogen for longer.
- Height – taller-than-average women have a slightly greater likelihood of developing breast cancer than shorter-than-average women.
- Alcohol consumption
- Radiation exposure – undergoing X-rays and CT scans may raise a woman's risk of developing breast cancer slightly..
- HRT (hormone replacement therapy)
Test & Diagnosis
Women are usually diagnosed with breast cancer after a routine breast cancer screening, or after detecting certain signs and symptoms and seeing their doctor about them.Given below is the list of diagnostic tests and procedures for detecting breast cancer:
- Breast Exam – the physician will check both the patient's breasts, looking out for lumps and other possible abnormalities, such as inverted nipples, nipple discharge, or change in breast shape.
- X-Ray (Mammogram) – commonly used for breast cancer screening. If anything unusual is found, the doctor may order a diagnostic mammogram.
- Breast Ultrasound – this type of scan may help doctors decide whether a lump or abnormality is a solid mass or a fluid-filled cyst.
- Biopsy – a sample of tissue from an apparent abnormality, such as a lump, is surgically removed and sent to the lab for analysis. It the cells are found to be cancerous, the lab will also determine what type of breast cancer it is, and the grade of cancer it is at.
- Breast MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan – a dye is injected into the patient. This type of scan helps the doctor determine the extent of the cancer.
Management of Breast Cancer
A multidisciplinary team will be involved in a breast cancer patient's treatment. The team may consists of an oncologist, radiologist, specialist cancer surgeon, specialist nurse, pathologist, radiologist, radiographer, and reconstructive surgeon. Sometimes the team may also include an occupational therapist, psychologist, dietitian, and physical therapist.
The main breast cancer treatment options may include:
- Radiation therapy (radiotherapy)
- Breast Surgery
- Biological therapy (targeted drug therapy)
- Hormone therapy
Surgical Treatment of Breast Cancer includes:
- Lumpectomy – surgically removing the tumor and a small margin of healthy tissue around it.
- Mastectomy – surgically removing the breast. Simple mastectomy involves removing the lobules, ducts, fatty tissue, nipple, areola, and some skin. Radical mastectomy means also removing muscle of the chest wall and the lymph nodes in the armpit.
- Sentinel node biopsy – one lymph node is surgically removed. If the breast cancer has reached a lymph node it can spread further through the lymphatic system into other parts of the body.
- Axillary lymph node dissection – if the sentinel node was found to have cancer cells, the surgeon may recommend removing several nymph nodes in the armpit.
- Breast reconstruction surgery – a series of surgical procedures aimed at recreating a breast so that it looks as much as possible like the other breast. This procedure may be carried out at the same time as a mastectomy. The surgeon may use a breast implant, or tissue from another part of the patient's body.
Radiation therapy (radiotherapy)
Controlled doses of radiation are targeted at the tumor to destroy the cancer cells. Usually, radiotherapy is used after surgery, as well as chemotherapy to kill off any cancer cells that may still be around. Typically, radiation therapy occurs about one month after surgery or chemotherapy. Each session lasts a few minutes; the patient may require three to five sessions per week for three to six weeks.
The type of breast cancer the woman has will decide what type of radiation therapy she may have to undergo. In some cases, radiotherapy is not needed.
Medications are used to kill the cancer cells – these are called cytotoxic drugs. The oncologist may recommend chemotherapy if there is a high risk of cancer recurrence, or the cancer spreading elsewhere in the body. This is called adjuvant chemotherapy. If the tumors are large, chemotherapy may be administered before surgery. The aim is to shrink the tumor, making its removal easier. This is called neo-adjuvant chemotherapy. Chemotherapy may also be administered if the cancer has metastasized – spread to other parts of the body. Chemotherapy is also useful in reducing some of the symptoms caused by cancer. Chemotherapy may help stop estrogen production. Estrogen can encourage the growth of some breast cancers.
Cost of Breast Cancer Treatment in India:
Cost of the Breast Cancer Management varies person to person and depends on the health condition of the patient and also choice of the healthcare facility and Hospital Room, however average minimum price of the Medical Procedure is around USD 4000- USD 4500, Per cycle of Chemotherapy cost around USD 1000-1500 and cost of Per Cycle Radiotherapy is around USD 1500-2000 this is an all inclusive cost.
Doctors and Surgeons present in NewLife Health Tour's network hospitals are well trained in the management of Breast Cancer Surgery and in other related Medical specialties. Doctors will work with you to determine the most appropriate treatment plan, based on your symptoms and the resources. Our associate Board certified surgeons are highly experienced and have performed more than hundreds of such kinds of surgery at our state of the art JCI accredited hospitals where diagnostic and therapeutic services are seamlessly integrated under the same roof. Our World-renowned team of surgeons and highly trained nurses provide comprehensive care of the highest quality, ensuring that patients receive the most advanced treatments known to medicine.