Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer

Today, Breast Cancer has surpassed Cervix cancer & become no. 1 cancer in females especially in Metros. Every year 1.5 L new breast cancer cases are diagnosed in various stages, most of them are in advanced stages. But with the understanding of early detection, the number of patients is increasing at an early stage. We can prevent Breast cancer by changing our lifestyle.

Symptoms of Breast Cancer may resemble breast inflammation and may include itching, pain, swelling, nipple inversion etc. Nowadays it is considered as a lifestyle disease. Major risk factors are Obesity, Late marriage, No breast- feeding, lack of exercise etc. In order to diagnose at an early stage screening procedure like Breast Self-Examination, clinical examination & mammography after 40 yrs of age is desirable.

Early Breast cancer can be cured in 80-90% of women and expect to lead normal life. Even-though in advanced Breast Cancer, advancement of treatment modalities & newer targeted therapies are very helpful to extend life & improve quality of life in all types of patients so they can move in public, go to once, look after their children & household work in a meaningful fashion. When you are diagnosed with breast cancer, it can be a daunting task to navigate the fears and complexities and to understand and effectively deal with this life-changing event.

Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Inflammatory breast cancer is a particular type of breast cancer which can pose a substantial diagnostic challenge. Symptoms of Breast Cancer may resemble a breast inflammation and may include

  • Itching
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • nipple inversion,
  • Warmth and redness throughout the breast, as well as an orange-peel texture to the skin.

Another reported symptom complex of breast cancer is Paget’s disease of the breast. This syndrome presents as skin changes resembling eczema, such as redness, discoloration, or mild flaking of the nipple skin. As Paget’s disease of the breast advances, symptoms of breast cancer may include tingling, itching, increased sensitivity, burning, and pain. There may also be discharge from the nipple. Approximately half of women diagnosed with Paget’s disease of the breast also have a lump in the breast.

Various stages of Breast Cancer

There are five stages , starting at zero and going up to four. (They are represented by the Roman numerals I, II, III, and IV.) There are several variables within some stages. Which may be indicated by the symptoms of blood cancer as mentioned above.

Tumors are measured in millimeters and centimeters (ten millimeters equals one centimeter). For consistency here, we measure tumors in millimeters

This is the very beginning of the scale. It describes noninvasive breast cancers or precancers. This includes the most common form of noninvasive cancer, called ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). Within stage 0, there is no evidence that cancer cells or other abnormal cells have invaded neighboring normal tissue.

Stage I of Breast Cancer

Stage I describes a very early stage of invasive cancer. At this point, tumor cells have spread to normal surrounding breast tissue but are still contained in a small area.

Stage I is divided into two subcategories:

In stage IA, a tumor measures up to 20 millimeters (about the size of a grape), and there’s no cancer in the lymph nodes.
Stage IB can be described as either:

a small tumor in the breast that is less than 20 millimeters plus small clusters of cancer cells in the lymph nodes; or

no tumor in the breast plus small clusters of cancer cells in the lymph nodes.

Stage II of Breast Cancer

Stage II describes cancer that is in a limited region of the breast but has grown larger. It reflects how many lymph nodes may contain cancer cells.

This stage is divided into two subcategories.

Stage IIA is based on one of the following:

Either there is no tumor in the breast or there is a breast tumor up to 20 millimeters (about the size of a grape), plus cancer has spread to the lymph nodes under the arm.

A tumor of 20 to 50 millimeters is present in the breast, but cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes.

Stage IIB is based on one of these criteria:

A tumor of 20 to 50 millimeters is present in the breast, along with cancer that has spread to between one and three nearby lymph nodes.

A tumor in the breast is larger than 50 millimeters, but cancer has not spread to any lymph nodes.

Stage III of Breast Cancer

In stage III, the cancer has spread further into the breast or the tumor is a larger size than earlier stages.

Stage III of breast cancer is divided into three subcategories.

Stage IIIA is based on one of the following:

With or without a tumor in the breast, cancer is found in four to nine nearby lymph nodes.

A breast tumor is larger than 50 millimeters, and the cancer has spread to between one and three nearby lymph nodes.

In stage IIIB,

a tumor has spread to the chest wall behind the breast. In addition, these factors contribute to assigning this stage:

Cancer may also have spread to the skin, causing swelling or inflammation.

It may have broken through the skin, causing an ulcerated area or wound.

It may have spread to as many as nine underarm (axillary) lymph nodes or to nodes near the breastbone.

In stage IIIC,

there may be a tumor of any size in the breast, or no tumor present at all. But either way, the cancer has spread to one of the following places:

Ten or more underarm (axillary) lymph nodes

lymph nodes near the collarbone

some underarm lymph nodes and lymph nodes near the breastbone

the skin

Stage IV of Breast Cancer

Stage IV is the most advanced stage of Breast Cancer. It has spread to nearby lymph nodes and to distant parts of the body beyond the breast. This means it possibly involves your organs — such as the lungs, liver, or brain — or your bones.

Breast cancer may be stage IV when it is first diagnosed, or it can be a recurrence of a previous one that has spread.

Treatment Of Breast Cancer:-

  • Surgery
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormone therapy 
  • Targeted
  • Immunotherapy
  • Supportive (palliative) care

About Dr. Sajjan Rajpurohit

Dr. Sajjan Rajpurohit has been a practicing physician for the past 22 years. He is a qualified MBBS with MD in Medicine and DNB in Medical Oncology and currently he is Director of Medical Oncology at BLK Super Speciality Hospital.