Breast Cancer Overview
Breast cancer is formed in the breast cells of the milk-producing glands also known as the lobules. The fibrous and fatty tissue of the breasts is an easy target for cancer to develop. It is the most common type of cancers found in women. Although it can even appear in men it is more commonly seen in the women patients.
Several breast cancer awareness programs are developed these days for early diagnosis and treatment of it. Over the span of time, with several inputs in research and medical field survival rates of this cancer has increased.
However, before starting with the breast cancer treatment it is always important to bridge the gap of all knowledge facts by providing brief understanding to the patient about cause and how the treatment will proceed further. All these things are new ways opted by all hospitals in India to serve the patients with better healing methods.
Hospitals are even offering several personalized approach treatment options for international patients for their comfort. Like by arranging online appointments and post-procedure follow-up sessions. The treatment includes surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or a combination of two or more treatment modalities.
What are the common types of breast cancer?
- Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC): This one is the most readily found form which accounts for nearly 80% of the cases. It is also known as infiltrating ductal carcinoma because of its nature of invasion crossing ducts and reaching other tissues of the body. It also has several sub-types depending upon its characteristics.
- Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS): This is a stage 0 type of cancer or pre-cancer which is treatable with ease and is non-invasive by origin.
- Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC): This cancer begins in milk glands and spreads to tissues surrounding the breast and further metastasize other body parts. Such cases account nearly 10% of the invasive cancer cases.
- Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC): This aggressive cancer involves swelling and redness of breast making it warm, tender, and heavy. Afro American women are predominantly at greater risk for developing this particular form of cancer in comparison to other women. This inflammatory cancer of the breast usually appears five years earlier than other breast cancers. A doctor can easily assess symptoms and diagnose via mammogram.
- Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS): LCIS, has another name of lobular neoplasia which begins in the milk-producing ducts or lobules. It is mainly a sort of abnormal cell collection which transforms into cancer over the span of time.
- Paget breast or nipple disease: This kind of cancer affects the nipple skin or the areola. Patients with Paget disease might experience itchy, scaly, and red nipples accompanied by a bloody or yellow discharge. This condition usually comes up with one or more tumors or invasive cancer in the same breast.
- Angiosarcoma of the breast: This cancer usually appears due to previously treated cancer complication. It grows quickly and spreads very fast in comparison to other cancers.
- Metaplastic breast cancer: It is a rare type of cancer involving mixed cells which are different from breast cells and makes the diagnosis difficult as well.
- Male breast cancer: This type of cancer can also develop in males but there are very few cases and males with breast tissue are prone to develop such cancers, not others.
Breast Cancer Treatments
- Partial mastectomy or lumpectomy or segmental mastectomy
- Complete breast removal-known as mastectomy where the affected breast is removed with surgery is one of the most common breast cancer treatment.
- Chemotherapy-Various chemotherapy drugs are used depending upon the stage and other risk factors.
- Radiation therapy-Radiation therapy causes damage to the cells and destroys them.
- Proton therapy-Proton therapy has an advantage that it deposits much less energy in the tissues that do not require therapy.
- Hormone therapy-It is mostly used after the surgery and is effective only in women with cancers which are hormone receptor positive. The drug blocks estrogen to act on cancer cells and inhibits growth. It is an effective way to reduce the chances of remission as 60% of women will be hormone receptor positive
- Cryo-ablation is yet to establish large scale evidence to use it as the first line of treatment. Cryo-ablation technique is highly useful in localized tumours.