With roughly 1 in 8 women developing breast cancer in their lifetime, the odds are high that nearly everyone is affected by this disease in some way. Whether it’s a personal diagnosis or that of a loved one, finding answers to your questions and a supportive community of people who understand the experience can make all the difference. This year, we’re honoring breast cancer blogs that educate, inspire, and empower.
Thirty percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer do not need chemotherapy and during coming times this number is going to increase. Breast cancer is a curable disease if diagnosed and treated in time. Treatment of breast cancer does not depend only on stage but type of breast cancer as well. One size does not fit all. What should one do about this and what should be the approach. First Imaging is very important that gives clue about the type and extent of Breast pathology. Imaging includes bilateral mammography, PET CT. Clinical examination is very important as well, that tells us about the size, involvement of skin and axillary lymph nodes. After imaging, other important thing to do is biopsy and there are different ways of doing it. Trucut, ultrasound guided which usually painless procedure is done under local anesthesia. Once diagnosis of cancer is confirmed we need to look at Immunohostochemistry markers which includes ER,PR, Her2 Neu and Ki 67 index. These makers are very important and they tell us the whole story about the aggressiveness of breast cancer.i.e how aggressive is the breast cancer. These markers also tell us what therapeutic options we have or can use for the particular patient. Once diagnosis and staging is confirmed, we should start treatment. For locally advanced breast cancer which has spread to lymph nodes chemotherapy plus minus targeted therapy should be given first, usually 8 cycles and then proceed for surgery. In early stage, surgery is the preferred option for most of the patient but in some patient who are triple negative or her2neu positive chemotherapy can be given upfront to look for response. Early stage hormone receptor positive breast cancers usually do not require chemotherapy. After completion of chemotherapy and surgery, radiation therapy to breast and axillary lymph nodes is advisable depending on stage of breast cancer. For tumor which is less than 5 cm’s do not require radiation. Once radiation is completed, patient need hormonal therapy in the form of tablet for 5 years if hormonal receptor is positive and if it is negative then hormonal therapy will not work for them. Some patients are Her2 Neu positive and require targeted therapy in the form of trastuzumab for 1 year. Once treatment is completed patient can live normal life
Surgical techniques have changed and for most of the patient’s breast can be preserved and somehow if it is removed it can be reconstructed.
- Patient is also followed with mammography yearly and clinical examination 3 monthly.
- Bone health remains an issue with hormonal therapy, for which patient might need Zolendronic acid to strength her bones.
- Multidisciplinary approach is important
My Breast cancer
Sarita is a young breast cancer survivor and IT professional. When she was diagnosed at just 27, she struggled to find other young women going through the same experience. Her story became a place to share not just her cancer story, but her passion for all things style and beauty. Now, 3 years into remission, she continues to inspire young women through wellness, positivity, style, and self-love.
To empower other patients suffering from cancer is very important like Sarita does. Support groups are important to bring the change. Breast cancer support groups help patients to cope up with disease and get the right treatment. Also cure rates are very high for breast cancer patients. Long term social, psychological issues are addressed in these support groups.
Screening is also important issue. When should females start screening for Breast cancer? At the age of 45 one should consult oncologist and discuss the right time for screening including benefits and hazards.
Stay safe and healthy.