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breast cancer

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Breast cancer is caused due to the uncontrolled growth of cells in the mammary glands also commonly known as breasts. Breast cancer can occur in both men and women; however, it is more common in women. Early detection and tailored treatment approach with a better understanding of the disease has played a major role in increasing the survival rate for breast cancer patients. Breast cancer takes a toll on the patient both physically and emotionally, and therefore it is quintessential to be supportive and provide the best treatment possible.

Breast cancer

Breast cancer treatment In India

Breast cancer is the consequence of several variables that include changes in the environment and lifestyle. In most instances, it is due to anomalies resulting from the ageing process, while it is genetically inherited in 5-10 percent of cases. As many as 100,000 women in a year are detected with breast cancer in India. Breast cancer treatment in India is both safe and cost-efficient owing to the superior standard of quality treatment and the expertise of the team of doctors and surgeons.

  • Cost for breast cancer treatment in India depends on the stage of cancer and the procedure chosen
  • 90% of invasive breast cancer patients survive for over 5 years
  • India has a pool of experienced oncologists and a team of cancer specialists
  • All top hospitals in India are equipped with the latest equipment and medical technologies
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Treatment cost

Treatment

Breast cancer treatment cost In India

The cost of undergoing breast cancer treatment in India is relatively much less compared to the US, UK or Thailand. The affordability in cost comes with technological advancement and superior comprehensive surgical care which is at par with the international standards.

A medical evaluation is done to determine the site, size and spread of cancer. The cost of cancer evaluation starts from 500 USD.

Based on the evaluation, the onco-surgeon will be able to comment on the patient’s treatment plan. The cost for breast cancer treatment in India starts from 2200 USD.

The onco-surgeon would suggest either simple, radical or modified radical mastectomy based on the spread of the cancer cells. For a complete cure, the surgeon may also suggest chemotherapy and radiation therapy along with surgery based on the patient’s condition. The cost of chemotherapy ranges from 500 to 1000 USD / cycle.

Breast cancer treatment procedures

Breast cancer treatment in India is advised based on some key factors including tumour size and site, the extent to which it is spread, cancer staging, research results, age, and the patient’s overall health.

The most commonly advised breast cancer treatments are:

Hormone therapy or hormone blocking therapy is used to treat cancers that are linked to hormones. These are referred by doctors as oestrogen receptor positive (ER positive) and progesterone receptor positive (PR positive) cancers. This method is used before or after surgery and at times to shrink and control the spread of cancer cells.

Targeted drug treatments address specific cancer cell abnormalities like cancer generated proteins. Testing of cancers cells will suggest if the patient can benefit from this method of treatment.

This method is suggested if the patient has triple-negative breast cancer, meaning the absence of estrogen, progesterone or HER2 receptors in the cancer cells. Immunotherapy makes use of the patients own immune system to fight cancer by aiding the body’s mechanism to identify between cancer cells and healthy cells.

Chemotherapy utilizes drugs to kill cancer cells that are rapidly growing. This treatment is recommended to shrink and constrict the fast-growing cancer cells in patients who have larger breast tumours or where cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

In this method, high power beams of energy like x-rays and protons are used to destroy the cancer cells. Radiation therapy typically uses large machines to aim energy beams at the body, or it can also be done by placing a radioactive beam inside the body.

The goal of the surgery is to sustain as much of the breast tissue as possible by only removing the cancer infected tissues. Chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy is suggested post-surgery to ensure absolute cure. The oncologist may suggest either partial mastectomy or lumpectomy as a method of breast conserving surgery.

In this procedure, the entire breast is removed followed by a reconstruction surgery by an oncoplastic surgeon. However, breast reconstruction surgery after complete removal of the breast is subjective to the patient. The types of breast removal surgery procedures are as mentioned below:

  • Simple Mastectomy – Simple mastectomy is done by removing the entire breast without affecting the underlying tissues and axillary lymph nodes.
  • Radical Mastectomy – Radical mastectomy is an extensive procedure where the entire breast along with axillary lymph nodes and muscles under the chest lining is removed. Newer surgical methods like skin-sparing mastectomy and nipple-sparing mastectomy are also increasingly prevalent operations for breast cancer.
  • Modified Radical Mastectomy – In modified radical mastectomy the breast tissue and the lymph nodes both are removed. This method helps the onco-surgeon to analysis with the aid of extracted lymph nodes whether cancer has spread beyond the breasts.

Breast reconstruction after surgery

Before undergoing mastectomy, the patient is giving the choice for breast reconstruction surgery. In this surgical method, a new breast outline or mound is created. Breast reconstruction surgery can be opted for during mastectomy or a few months after undergoing breast removal surgery. In cases of a double mastectomy, both breasts are recreated in proportion to the shape of the body. There are various options for breast reconstruction, and the surgeon will suggest which is best suited for the patient.

An implant or portion of the body, generally the back or lower lip (belly) is used to create the new breast. Generally reconstructed breasts don’t have a nipple, but with the help of surgery and tattooing, it can be created. It is also possible to use prothesis stick-on nipples. This surgery aims to make the breast as natural as possible and to naturally resemble the other breast. Also, undergoing a breast reconstruction does not increase the chances of breast cancer reoccurring.

breast-reconstruction-surgery

Frequently Asked Questions and patient concerns:

1. Does a breast cancer family history place someone at a greater danger?

Although there is a greater risk group of females with a family history of breast cancer, most females with breast cancer have no family history. Statistically only 5-10 percent of people diagnosed with breast cancer have this disease’s family history.

2. How often is it recommended to do breast self-examination?

A monthly self-exam is suggested. Doctors suggest that a woman should know how he breasts look and feel, and should consult a doctor if they notice any abnormalities.

3. How does history of menstruation and reproduction affect the risk of breast cancer?

Women who started their menstrual cycles before age 12 are at greater danger of having no biological kids or having their first kid at age 30 or older, or having started menopause after age 55. This means research has shown that a woman’s number of menstrual cycles has influenced risk over time.

4. How often should I go for a check-up to my physician?

Every year you should have a physical that should include a breast examination and a pelvic examination. If there are any abnormal symptoms or modifications in your breasts prior to your planned visit, do not hesitate to see the doctor right away.

5. What sort of effect does breast cancer stress have?

Some study studies have shown in 2012 that variables such as traumatic occurrences and losses can change the functions of the immune system, and when immune functions are changed cancer cells can have a chance to establish themselves within one’s body. What has been shown is that it is not the reality that there has been a significant life crisis, but rather how the person has responded to this case and coped (or failed to cope). It is therefore wise to identify methods to control your stress level.

6. What are the breast cancer symptoms?

A new lump or mass is the most prevalent symptom of breast cancer. A mass that is painless, hard, and has irregular edges is more likely to be cancerous, but can be tender, soft, or rounded in breast cancer. It is essential that a health care provider checks any fresh mass, lump, or change in your breast.

Possible signs of breast cancer to be checked by a physician include:

  • Swelling of the whole or portion of the breast (even if no lump is felt)
  • Irritation or dimpling of the breast skin
  • Breast or nipple pain
  • Nipple retraction (when the nipple curves inward)
  • Redness, scaliness or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk

Sometimes breast cancer can spread to underarm lymph nodes and cause a lump or swelling there before a tumour in the breast tissue is sufficiently large to be felt. Any swelling in your lymph nodes should be told to your health care provider.

7. How can I reduce my breast cancer risks?

Research is being performed on ways to avoid breast cancer. Although there is no known way to avoid breast cancer entirely, there are ways to reduce your danger. They include:

  • Drinking less alcohol
  • Regular exercise
  • Staying at a healthy weight
  • Breastfeeding (exclusively breastfeeding during the first 6 months of your baby and continuing for 12 months or longer)
  • Talk to your health care provider about hormone replacement therapy if you are taking it.

Regular check-ups and screening tests can lead to previous breast cancer when therapy works best. The most significant intervention females can take is routine screening for breast cancer.

8. Is the risk of breast cancer inherited?

Woman with a family history of breast cancer are at a higher risk of acquiring the disease. If there is a first relative like mother, sister or daughter who has the disease, the possibility of developing breast cancer doubles, however, if two of those first relative is diagnosed with the disease, the chances are increased five times.

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