Best Breast Cancer Treatment In India
Breast cancer is a type of cancer that starts from breast cells. It is one of the most common types of cancer affecting women. Although predominantly seen in women, it also affects men but rarely. It usually starts in the form of a small tumor in the breast, but soon spreads to other organs via blood and lymph.Get Quote
Breast cancer may not have any symptoms in early stages. Sometimes symptoms such as green, yellow or bloody discharge form the nipple, lump in the armpit or breast, tenderness, breast pain, or change in the size of the nipple or breast may be seen. Advanced breast cancer may additionally show symptoms such as weight loss, bone pain, swelling in the armpit, skin ulcers etc. Breast cancer that spreads outside the lining of lobules or ducts into the nearby tissue of the breast is called ‘Invasive breast cancer’. It can be categorized into the following types –
Triple Negative breast cancer: This type of cancer does not show receptors for HER2 protein, estrogen or progesterone.
Inflammatory breast cancer: In this type, cancer cells block lymph vessels of the breast skin, due to which the breast may become swollen or inflamed
Invasive ductal breast cancer: When cancer cells that line the duct spread into nearby breast tissue, then it results in invasive ductal breast cancer.
Paget’s disease of the breast: In this type of breast cancer, a scaly or red rash appears on the skin of the nipple . Women suffering from this cancer may also have invasive breast cancer or DCIS.
Invasive lobular breast cancer: This type of cancer develops from the cells lining the breast lobes and is hard to diagnose on a mammogram.
Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS): In this earliest form of breast cancer, cancer cells in the breast ducts have not spread to nearby breast tissue.
HER2 positive breast cancer: In this type, breast cancer cells have a protein known as HER2. HER2-positive breast cancers tend to grow and spread faster, and are also more likely to recur after treatment. But nowadays medicines like Herceptin can be used to treat HER2-positive breast cancers.
Based on the size of the tumor, its invasive/non-invasive nature and whether or not it has spread to lymph nodes and other organs, breast cancer is staged as follows –
Stage 0: Non-invasive breast cancers including DCIS.
Stage I: This invasive type of cancer may have spread to nearby breast tissue, but not to the axillary (underarm) lymph nodes. The tumor is 2 cm or less in diameter.
Stage II A: This invasive type of cancer includes a tumor between 2cm and 5cm that does not spread to the axillary lymph nodes, or a tumor smaller than 2 cm, that has spread to the axillary lymph nodes, or no tumor but presence of cancer cells 1-3 lymph nodes in the axilla or surrounding the breast bone.
Stage II B: This invasive type of cancer includes a tumor more than 5cms that has not spread to the axillary lymph nodes, or a tumor between 2cm and 5cm with presence of breast cancer cells between 0.2 millimeter to 2 millimeters in the lymph nodes, or a tumor between 2cm and 5cm cancer has spread to 1-3 lymph nodes surrounding the breast bone.
Stage III A: This invasive type of cancer includes a tumor more than 5cms with spread of cancer to 1-3 lymph nodes surrounding the breast bone, or a tumor of any size with spread of cancer to 4-9 lymph nodes surrounding the breast bone, or a tumor more than 5cms where breast cancer small groups can be seen in the lymph nodes
Stage III B: This invasive type of cancer includes a tumor of any size that has spread to the breast skin or chest wall resulting in an ulcer or swelling or presence of cancer cells in around 9 axillary lymph nodes.
Stage III C: This invasive type of cancer includes cancer that has spread to lymph nodes or axillary lymph nodes surrounding the breast bone, a tumor of any size that has spread to the breast skin or chest wall, or cancer that has spread below or above the collarbone or to lymph nodes or cancer that has spread to many axillary nodes.
Stage IV: This invasive type of cancer includes breast cancer has spread to surrounding lymph nodes and organs such as bones, brain, lungs, skin or distant lymph nodes and beyond the breast.
In order to diagnose breast cancer a physician conducts a physical examination of a patient that include armpits, chest area, breasts and neck area. The physician may also ask the patient to undergo tests such as sentinel lymph node biopsy, breast ultrasound, mammography, CT scan, and PET scan.
There are a number of treatment options are available for treating breast cancer that include –
Surgery: This may be in the form of mastectomy (removal of all breast tissue) or radical mastectomy (in which the chest wall muscle and the axillary lymph nodes are removed along with the breast).
Radiation Therapy: High energy rays (external beam radiation or brachytherapy) are used for destroying cancer cells.
Chemotherapy: In this therapy, drugs (injected into a muscle or vein or given by mouth) are used to destroy cancer cells.
Hormone Therapy: In this therapy, hormones such as estrogen, progesterone etc. that promote the growth of breast cancer are blocked to prevent the cancer from coming back.