It is one of the most common cancers..
If diagnosed early ,it is curable in most patients. However, even in advanced stages. It is treatable. Only three to five percent of the breast cancers are genetic and inherited from family .Majority of cancers happen randomly.
Diagnosis and screening
Screening means finding the cancer before it is found by the women themselves or their doctors by examination of the breast.Best method to find cancer early is mammogram (xray of the breast is called mammogram).
For early detection of cancer ,mammogram is usually recommended ,after age 40, in all women on a yearly or every two-year basis.
Majority of the time In our country women feel the lump themselves and come for further testing.
Diagnosis requires a biopsy which means taking a sample of these tumor cells either by an FNA(fine needle aspiration where a syringe is used to suck few cells out of the cancer in breast or armpit) or a core biopsy (where a large thick needle is used to take a piece out of the cancer mass/lump/tumor).
Then the sample is examined by a pathologist who will determine what kind of cancer it is by various tests including finding out if it is;
– hormone positive(estrogen and progesterone receptors on cancer cells) or negative ,
-her-2-neu positive or negative or
-all negative(triple negative)
Breast cancer treatment depends on the type of breast cancer determined by biopsy and pathology.
Every type of cancer has specific treatment protocols which need to be followed for the best outcomes.
Breast cancer also needs to be staged after diagnosis to make sure you know where the cancer is and whether it has spread to any other place including the armpit or it has spread further to other organs like bones,liver,lung,brain etc. This will help guide your Oncologist to know how best to treat and what medicines to use first to treat it more effectively.
Treatment of breast cancer involves surgery ,chemotherapy and Radiation.
These treatments could be given before surgery or after surgery.
However, there may be some women who will not need any other treatment except surgery especially If the tumor is very very small.
Some women will require all the treatments including chemotherapy ,surgery and radiation therapy, hormonal therapies.