Creating Awareness

Creating Awareness

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide with one in eight women being diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. However, there is a good chance of recovery if we detect it in its early stages. In order to support the breast cancer awareness campaign and to encourage early detection, Prime Hospital is offering special mammogram screening throughout October. The Oncology and Surgical departments at Prime Hospital are fully equipped to examine and treat all cases, and offer exclusive services including breast cancer screening, surgical treatment, chemotherapy and hormone therapy, evaluation for hereditary cancers, and supportive care services during breast cancer treatment like physiotherapy and dietician consultation.



Let’s get it off your chest!

Dr. Verushka M. Mansukhani

Specialist General Surgeon

Dr. Verushka talks about how we can fight and overcome breast cancer

The threat of breast cancer has now increased in incidence and has been pushed to a much younger age. The reason mostly is due to many factors like physical inactivity, sedentary life style, over consumption of high-calorie diets, smoking, poor nutritive meals which has led to an increase in obesity.

We have also seen that in this generation - the girls are attaining their menarche much earlier than before and this increases their duration of the reproductive period which is known to be a documented risk factor leading to an increased risk of breast cancer.

In my practice, I have unfortunately, diagnosed breast cancer in patients between the ages of 20 to 45 years. That is why I urge all young ladies to start screening much earlier than the standard guidelines.

The screening tests that are easily available are

-Mammography

-Ultrasound

-MRI

In the UAE over the past six years, there has been an increase of 20 per cent in breast cancer cases. 95 per cent of breast cancer patients are sporadic and only five per cent are familial due to hereditary or genetic mutations.

The earlier the detection stage, the better are chances of survival. Hence, screening techniques are important as they help in detecting breast cancer much earlier and giving a better overall disease-free survival for the patient.

Depending on the stage at the time of presentation, the treatment modalities that are available at present ranges from various types of surgeries - breast conservation, mastectomy with or without reconstruction, radiation, systemic chemotherapy, targeted therapy if one has the Her-2-neu receptors, and hormonal therapy.

Be aware of breast cancer

  

Dr. Arun Karanwal

Specialist Medical Oncologist

Dr. Arun highlights the main causes of breast cancer, the symptoms to watch out for and how to avoid the disease

Dr. Arun Karanwal - specialist oncologist at Prime Hospital, confirmed that several different types of breast cancer could develop in various parts of the breast. These include the following:

Non-invasive breast cancer refers to cancer found in the ducts of the breast that has not developed the ability to spread outside the breast. It is usually found during a mammogram and rarely shows as a breast lump.

Invasive breast cancer usually develops in the cells that line the breast ducts and is the most common type of breast cancer. It can spread outside the breast to other body parts, usually through the bloodstream or the axillary lymph nodes.

Causes of breast cancer

A risk factor is something that may increase the chance of getting a disease. Having a risk factor does not mean that a woman will get breast cancer. Some of the risk factors that might increase the chances of breast cancer are:

Genetic factors-: These are non-avoidable and are specific to those who are elderly, Caucasian race, family history (particularly in first degree relatives), carrier for specific hereditary gene mutations like BRCA, and factors related to menstrual and reproductive history.

Environmental and lifestyle risk factors: These are avoidable factors and include habits such as sedentary lifestyle, unbalanced diet high in saturated fat and lacking fruits and vegetables, being overweight or obese, drinking alcohol and smoking, prolonged exposure of radiation to the chest, and combined hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

What are the symptoms of breast cancer?

Early symptoms of breast cancer include a change in the shape or how the breast or nipple feels - nipple tenderness or a lump or thickening in or near the breast or underarm area, or any clear nipple discharge or bloody discharge.

Symptoms of advanced stage: Pain or enlargement in breast, swellings in axilla or neck, chest pain, cough, back pain, headache, and weight loss.

Treatment options for breast cancer

There are five treatment options, and most treatment plans include a combination of the following: surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapies. Some are local, targeting just the area around the tumor. Others are systemic, targeting your whole body with cancer-fighting agents.

How to prevent breast cancer?

By self-breast examination – women must be aware of their breast and consult the specialist for any new changes.

An annual screening mammogram must be started after the age of 40 yrs.


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