BREAST CANCER – AN EVIL THAT CAN BE ELIMINATED

Symbol of Cancer Awareness

Breast Cancer is one of the most common type of Cancer found in women. Breast Cancer is leading for causing the deaths. Do you think is it an Evil? How can we eliminate it? The Doctor’s believes that the Breast Cancer – An evil that can be eliminated by proper medication and treatment. .

What is Cancer?

Cancer is a lump of cells that grows indefinitely in our body. Naturally, all the cells have limited life span i.e they are mortal. The cell growth is controlled and regulated by cell cycle checkpoints. If cell escape the controlled cell cycle, it continuously multiply and forms a tumor and called as Cancer.

Should you be afraid of Cancer?

Whenever we hear the word “CANCER” we always associate it with the idea of an
‘INCURABLE DISEASE’ or a definite road to death. But in reality, this disease can
be easily cured and eliminated from the roots by a proper disciplined and timely
treatment schedule. Let’s get to know about this ever increasing evil a bit more so
that we are in a better position to think and comment about it.

Breast Cancer:

Breast cancer aka Carcinoma breast in medical terms is the second most
leading cause of cancer in females in the developing countries – cancer cervix
being the first. But it is the number one cause of cancer and death in females
worldwide. That makes it important for us to know about this omnipresent
disease.

To begin with, let me be very clear that cancer is a “NON-COMMUNICABLE
DISEASE” which means that it doesn’t spread by living, touching or sharing things
with the patient. Breast cancer usually develops in later years of a female’s life
but it can sometimes occur in young age as well. General risk factors for the
occurrence can be – a family history of breast cancer, obesity, late age of first full
term pregnancy, use of external hormonal therapy, etc. The list is long,
nonetheless the good thing is that if diagnosed early it can be completely cured.

Self Test for Breast Cancer:

The easiest way to diagnose this disease is by “SELF BREAST EXAM” which states
that the female should palpate her breasts from time to time to check for any
lump or hardness that she feels in any part of the breast. This is the most
convenient and cheapest way of early diagnosis. One can always go for visits to
doctor and get a breast examination done once every six months if there is a
family history or strong risk factor associated.

Advanced tests for Breast Cancer:

There are various imaging modalities as well namely mammography, ultra-sonography of breast, magnetic resonance imaging, etc to investigate further if any lump is felt on clinical examination. If a lump is palpable, a further investigation is done to know whether it is a simple benign entity or a malignant disease. This test can be FNAC (Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology) or a biopsy. This helps us determine regarding the type of cancer and its variant- which helps us to decide the line of management and prognosis of the cancer.

The cancer is staged considering following factors and availability of medical treatment:

  1. The tumor size
  2. Involvement of lymph nodes
  3. Metastasis to other organs.

Stages of Cancer:

Stage I disease signifies that the disease is small can can be cured
Stage II implies that the disease is significant but still can be managed with proper
treatment
Stage III suggests that the disease burden is high but still has the chance of radical
treatment
Stage IV is the stage where the disease has metastasized to various other parts of
the body making it very difficult to consider for a complete cure.

The cancer treatment has three modalities

  1. Surgery
  2. Chemotherapy
  3. Radiation therapy

All of these are can be applied according to the age of patient and stage of
disease. Carcinoma breast is a highly curable entity if diagnosed early and timely
treatment is initiated and religiously followed.

This evil can surely be eliminated from our society if we spread awareness about
this disease, remove the taboo associated with the word ‘CANCER’ and help
people come out and seek early diagnosis and treatment which is the most
important factor for management and decreasing the burden of this disease on
our society.

Reference:

https://www.bcrf.org/breast-cancer-statistics-and-resources

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-basics/what-is-cancer.html

Dr. Pournima Kale

Dr. Pournima Kale is pursuing her PG in MD Radiation Oncology. She loves reading books and can be found glued to the paperbacks in her spare time.

A brilliant student, Pournima's key motto is spreading awareness about Cancer and it forms the basis for choosing her profession.

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