Ms. Shelna expresses her sincere gratitude to Aster CMI and the doctors who treated her mother's breast cancer.

Ms. Shelna's Mother was diagnosed with breast cancer during the lockdown. We came to Aster Hospitals and the doctors are good here. They told us how it must have happened and what are precautions we should have taken and in the future.

I would like to thank all the Dr. N Aditya Murali and team who helped my mother to recover well. Thanks a lot.

Cancer Care Department:

Cancer is not just one disease. It is a group of disease which can start at any place in the body and are likely to spread to various parts of the body. This abnormal growth of cells forms a lump called a tumor.

As cancer tumors grow, they enter the bloodstream or lymphatic system which may carry cancer cells to other parts of the body and interrupt the normal functioning of the body. This results in the development of new tumors. This is known as metastasis.

There are two types of tumors:

A cancerous tumor is malignant, which means it can grow and spread to other parts or organs of the body. The first symptom is a painless lump and as the tumor grows and starts to press against nearby nerves and muscles, pain or soreness is seen.

A non-cancerous tumor is benign, which means it can grow but will not spread. Some of the common symptoms include chills, fatigue, loss of appetite, night sweats, chills, and weight loss.

Cancer may begin in the lungs, breast, colon, or even in the blood. Cancers are sometimes alike, but they differ in the way they grow and spread in our bodies. There is a wide range of cancers that can affect humans and they are often defined by the part or organ of the body they begin with.

Types of Cancer:

  • Carcinoma is a type of cancer that begins in the skin or the tissue that surrounds the surface of internal organs and glands
  • Sarcoma is a type of cancer that begins in the tissues that support and connect the body
  • Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that begins from the pigment-containing cells known as melanocytes
  • Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system
  • Leukemia is a type of cancer of the blood, which begins when healthy blood cells mutate and grow uncontrollably.

General Signs and Symptoms of Cancer:

Cancer is a broad term and describes a group of diseases that can cause almost any sign or symptom. Usually, the signs and symptoms of cancer will depend on how big it is and part of the organs or tissues it has affected. As cancer grows it affects nearby organs, blood vessels, and nerves. Sometimes, cancer cells may cause signs and symptoms, and sometimes it won't until it has grown a tumor.

1. How common is breast cancer?

Ans. Breast cancer is one of the leading malignancies worldwide and in India.

3. What are the common symptoms of breast cancer?

Ans. One or more than one painless lump in the breast and armpits, nipple retraction, asymmetry of breasts and nipple.

4. How is cancer confirmed?

Ans. Clinical examination, appropriate investigations including core biopsy.

5. What are the treatment options available?

Ans. Depending on the stage of the disease, it includes a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, hormone therapy, target therapy.

6. Is complete breast removal required for all patients?

Ans. No, according to the lump breast ratio, mammography findings, breast conservation surgery or mastectomy can be planned after discussion with the patient.

7. What is a sentinel node biopsy?

Ans. In patients who have no clinical evidence of axillary nodes, the morbidity of lymphedema can be reduced using this simple technique by limiting the extent of removal of axillary nodes.

8. Is this always familial?

Ans. No, a majority of breast malignancies are sporadic and a small percentage is hereditary/familial.

9. How can this be prevented?

Ans. Early diagnosis and treatment is the best way of prevention and cure. There needs to be more awareness of the disease, and the fact that it is curable if presented at an early stage, ease of access to medical, helps in prevention. The self-breast examination is a simple method that helps in early detection. Screening with mammography as a secondary preventive measure can be used after 49 years of age in asymptomatic individuals.