By Dr Jayanti Thumsi
Breast cancer is among one of the most prevalent malignancies and common cause of mortality among the women. Carcinoma of the breast in Indian women is more aggressive and increasingly affects younger population when compared to its western counterparts.
Simultaneously the field of breast cancer management has also seen a significant change in terms of its diagnosis and treatment. It involves a comprehensive understanding of its biology and this in turn has contributed towards better treatment planning which has helped in increasing the chances of survival rate of patients in different stages of the disease.
Genetic studies like BRCA-1 & BRCA-2 help us to determine in advance, increased susceptibility of women to risk of developing carcinoma of breast. Advanced imaging technique like mammogram has revolutionized the diagnosis and treatment by bringing down the death rate by more than 44%.
Surgical treatment of breast carcinoma has evolved over the past 35 years. Conservative surgeries which were earlier viewed with skepticism have replaced radical surgeries. This has not only resulted in favorable oncological outcome but also a more pleasant cosmetic outcome . Breast cancer treatment doesnot necessarily mean Removal of the Breast . Advanced surgeries which are Cosmetically acceptable at the same time Medically safe are available now
. Breast conservation surgery is among the most common surgeries performed now . Indications for breast conservation surgery are only expanding with availability of more potent chemotherapeutic drugs.
Even after performing mastectomy ( Complete removal of the Breast ), many cosmetic enhancement options like Breast Reconstruction are now available for the patients. Breast reconstruction could be either Implant based or Autologous ( Using patients own tissue )
A multidisciplinary approach involving combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and hormonal therapy supporting surgical oncology have resulted in wonderful outcome to the patients..
Breast Cancer treatment is a Multimodality treatment . It involves many specialists in treating a patient with Breast Cancer . Getting the treatment in the right Hospital will also determine the outcome of the disease .