Breast Cancer Treatment in India
Breast cancer starts in the breast tissue, most commonly on the cells that line the milk ducts of the breast. It is the most commonly occurring cancer in women and the second most common cancer overall. There were an estimated 2 million new cases of breast cancer reported globally in 2018 and breast cancer treatment in India depends upon stage at which patients were diagnosed.
Common symptoms of breast cancer include a lump in the breast, changes to the skin on the breast, discharge from nipples, change of appearance of the nipple and a lump in the armpit. Factors which can increase the chances of getting breast cancer include family history, inherited muted genes, age, exposure to radiation and obesity. Patient also benefit from reading about community networks and breast cancer blogs.
Stage 1 Breast Cancer Treatment in India:
Stage 1 breast cancer treatment usually involves surgery to remove cancer. There are different types of surgery. You might have just the cancerous area removed with a border of normal breast tissue. This is called a wide local excision or lumpectomy. After this you usually have several weeks of radiotherapy to the rest of the breast Or you might have the whole breast removed (mastectomy). You can choose to have a new breast made (a breast reconstruction). You don’t usually need radiotherapy after this kind of surgery but some women do need it.Your doctor will also check the lymph nodes close to the breast to see if they contain cancer cells. You either have a test called a sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) or surgery to remove some of the lymph nodes under the arm. It is extremely important for patient and family to understand right treatment advise.
Stage 2 Breast Cancer Treatment in India:
Stage 2 breast cancer means that the cancer is either in the breast or in the nearby lymph nodes or both. It is an early stage breast cancer. The usual treatment is surgery to remove the cancer. Your doctor will also check the lymph nodes close to the breast to see if they contain cancer cells. You either have a test called a sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) or surgery to remove some of the lymph nodes under the arm. Your surgeon might remove just the cancerous area with a border of normal breast tissue. This is called a wide local excision or lumpectomy. After this you usually have several weeks of radiotherapy to the rest of the breast. Or you might have the whole breast removed. This is called a mastectomy. You can choose to have a new breast made (breast reconstruction). You don’t usually need radiotherapy to the breast after this kind of surgery. But you might have radiotherapy to the lymph nodes under your arm if they contain cancer cells. Or you might have surgery to remove the lymph nodes.
Stage 3 Breast Cancer Treatment in India
Stage 3 means that the cancer has spread from the breast to lymph nodes close to the breast or to the skin of the breast or to the chest wall. It is also called locally advanced breast cancer.
You might have drug treatments such as chemotherapy or a targeted cancer drug as a first treatment. This is followed by surgery and then more drug treatments.
Or you might have surgery as a first treatment followed by chemotherapy or other drug treatments.
If your cancer cells have particular proteins called HER2 receptors you might also have a targeted cancer drug called trastuzumab (Herceptin).
Stage 4 Breast Cancer Treatment in India
Secondary breast cancer may respond to several types of treatment. Doctors try to start with treatment that has as few side effects as possible. Remember that treatment can often keep secondary breast cancer under control for many months or years.Hormone therapy is a common treatment for secondary breast cancer. It can often shrink and control the cancer wherever it is in the body. It works well if the cancer cells have particular proteins called hormone receptors.Your specialist might suggest chemotherapy if your cancer doesn’t have hormone receptors or has spread to the liver or lungs. You might have treatment with a targeted cancer drug such as the monoclonal antibody trastuzumab (Herceptin). Herceptin targets and blocks a protein that stimulates breast cancer cells to grow and multiply. It only works if your breast cancer cells make too much of a protein called HER2.
You might have radiotherapy if the cancer has spread to the bones, the brain, the skin near the breast or on the mastectomy scar.
Breast cancer can be detected through regular screening which included a physical exam, mammogram, breast ultrasound and a breast tissue biopsy. Once breast cancer has been diagnosed, doctors will determine the stage of cancer and whether or not it is metastatic; based on which doctors would be able to devise a treatment plan. For right treatment advise it is also imperative to take a second opinion from breast cancer specialists from top cancer institutes.a Breast cancer treatment varies depending on the stage of cancer and whether or not the cancer has spread. Treatments include surgery, which is usually a lumpectomy or mastectomy, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and hormone therapy.
It is also imperative to look at genetic testing and tumour profiling to provide exact chemotherapy sensitivity for the tumour. It is also important to note that International Second Opinion from U.K and USA can have life changing implications in terms of consultants specialising in Oncoplastic surgery or targeted therapies. Cervical cancer needs to be treated early so that the prognosis is better but patients recover from Stage 3 and 4 if treated at best cancer centres through skilled breast cancer oncologists.