Cancer is feared by one due to its effects on the patient as well as the family members. There are three fears related to cancer-its recurrence, stigma and death.
Breast cancer is extremely common in India among women. It is detected quite easily and it has a high rate of survival.
India offers quality care at low costs. Moreover, the doctors and surgeons in India are highly qualified.
For international patients from countries like Nigeria, Thailand, UK, etc. travelling to India is a very good option due to low costs and advanced treatment options for breast cancer.
The facilities provided in India for breast cancer treatment are accredited nationally and internationally. All of these make it favourable for international patients to get treated in India.
Other factors such as no waiting periods, less number of queues, english speaking staff, and home-like experience play an important role in making India preferable for cancer treatment.
There are many good hospitals in India, which are known for breast cancer treatment like AIIMS, Tata Memorial, Workhardt, Breach Candy, Apollo, etc. are located in Mumbai which is the hub for medical tourism in India. Tata Memorial Hospital among these is considered as one of the best cancer hospital in Mumbai.
Breast cancer treatment in India
There are many options for treatment of breast cancer. It depends on the type and size of the cancer. Treatments such as chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, biologic and radiation therapy are the most common forms of treatment options.
Initially, a thorough physical examination is to be done on the patient by an experienced surgeon. Many times ultrasound and mammography is also done for clear diagnosis.
After a thorough physical examination is done, Mastectomy might be done which is most common treatment. It is process of surgically removing the breast.
Alternately, lumpectomy can also be done in which only infected tissues are removed.
Apart from that there are many other treatment options available as well such as lymph node removal, separate sentinel node removal, breast reconstruction, prophylactic mastectomy, cryotherapy, etc.
Let us try and understand breast cancer now,
Symptoms of breast cancer
It is important to detect breast cancer at an early stage in order to increase chances of treatment. Here are some of the signs of breast cancer:
- Swelling or thickness of some parts of the breast
- Irritation of breast skin
- Nipple inversion
- Pain in the nipple area or any part of the breast
- Change in shape or size of the breast
Types of breast cancer
There are many types of breast cancer, most are carcinomas that start in epithelial cells. Other types of breast cancer are called sarcomas that starts in cells of muscle and fat.
The most common types of breast cancer are given below:
- Ductal carcinoma in situ
- Lobular carcinoma in situ
- Invasive ductal carcinoma
- Invasive lobular carcinoma
- Tubular carcinoma
- Medullary carcinoma
- Papillary carcinoma
- Male breast cancer
Here are some of the FAQS related to breast cancer treatment:
If no one in my family has breast cancer, am I at risk?
Not necessarily. All women are at risk of breast cancer whether or not they have an inherited gene of breast cancer or not.
Does age play a factor in breast cancer?
Breast cancer is found common among women of all ages unlike other types of cancer. Normally, factors like age and gender are the most noteworthy risk factors since older women are more prone to breast cancer. However, women of younger age can also develop breast cancer and is generally more difficult to treat. So, careful self-examinations from the age of 20 is important for early diagnosis.
Can I do a self-examination at any time?
Make sure that the self-examination is done every month during the same time frame and after 3 to 5 days of menstrual period.
Is mammogram harmful?
Many believe that mammogram is harmful due to use of radiation. It is an x-ray of the breast, which helps detect breast cancer before they are felt. The radiation is used in very small amount making it harmless.
Are there any alternatives to mammogram for detecting breast cancer?
Mammogram is not necessarily accurate in detecting breast cancer, you might require a clinical examination from a clinic or doctor. The examination should be done at the age of 20 and after a time gap of every 3 years until the age of 39. After that it should be done on a yearly basis.
What are the preventive measures for breast cancer?
- Maintaining good health
- Eating fruits, vegetables and grains
- Regular exercising
- Reduce alcohol consumption