Dr.(Major) R.S RENGAN M.S., D.N.B., Dip Laproscopic Surgery (University of Strasbourg)
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Apollo First Med Hospital,Chennai.
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Breast Surgery Hospital In Chennai
Home of healing is the best surgical centre for breast surgery hospital in chennai which is also the leading surgery centre for Laparoscopy, Gallbladder, Thyroid, Bariatric and Hernia surgery for the past 15 years in Chennai, India.
A breast lump is a localized area which feels different from the surrounding tissue. They can present themselves in different ways in which they look or how they feel. Discovering a lump causes a lot of anxiety and fear among many women because they are often thought of being a cancer. However most breast lumps are usually harmless and simple tests are available which can differentiate them from cancers.
Causes Of Lump Other Than Cancer
Nearly 3/4ths of lumps are not cancer. It can be,
Infections may occur in women who are breastfeeding a baby. When the skin of the nipple (areola) is injured or cracked, which may occur with nursing, bacteria can enter the wound and cause infections.
Infection can also cause lumps in women who are not breast-feeding.
Milk can build up in your affected breast can cause pain. Regularly expressing milk for your breast can often help improve the condition quickly.
Consult a surgeon as soon as you feel that your breast is swollen, red or painful. Surgical drainage of the abscess is often needed.
If a breast is injured by trauma, small blood vessels can break to cause an area of bleeding that can be felt as a lump. Trauma to the breast can damage the fat cells in the breast tissue, a condition called fat necrosis. The injury can also form a lump in the breast. These types of lumps that follow a significant trauma are not cancerous. These lumps usually heal and go away of their own accord
FIBROADENOMAS are non cancerous growths occurring in woman of age group below 30 years of age. It feels smooth and is known to move freely in the breast tissue (known as breast mouse). It usually doesn’t cause pain and most of the smaller sized ones can be left alone but are usually removed because they are difficult to distinguish from cancer until they are removed and evaluated.
BREAST CYST is a lump which contains fluid. They are common in women approaching menopause, although they can occur at any age. They are usually firm upon touch. It is common for them to appear within two weeks prior to your period and then resolve soon after the period.
Treatment of breast cysts involves draining the fluid in them by using a thin needle inserted into your breast by the doctor.
How To Do A Breast Self Examination
A woman self examines her breasts to find out any lumps or other changes. This is an important method for detecting cancer and is the first step in the evaluation of a breast lump. Unfortunately, this examination of the breast is not always perfect.
It is recommended that all women above the age of 20 years must regularly examine their breasts to notice changes. This is done in the following ways,
- First inspect your breasts in the mirror with your arms on your hips followed by raising your arms.
- Breasts are in their usual shape, size and color
- The skin is normal
- The nipple projects outward
- Next in the lying down position, feel your breasts using your hands. Cover the entire breast from top to bottom and from side to side. Follow a pattern to be sure that you cover the whole breast. You can begin at the nipple, moving in larger and larger circles until you reach the outer part of the breast. This circular motion of checking is an easier method.
- Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and so they like to do the examination during a Bath. The same steps described above may be followed.
Although most of the breast lumps are harmless it is very important that cancer must be ruled out.
When To Report To Your Doctor
Consult your doctor immediately when you have the following symptoms,
- The breast lump that is unusual and feels different from surrounding tissue or from tissue in your other breast.
- A thick area in your breast.
- Pain in your breast not related to menstrual cycles.
- The breast lump doesn’t go away.
- There are skin changes on your breast, such as redness, dimples and crust formation.
- The breast lump gets big, firm or defined from surrounding breast tissue.
- Your nipple is turned inside and differently positioned.
- Rash on your nipple.
- You have spontaneous discharge from your nipple which may also be bloody in nature.
An important emphasis to be made here is that cancer can develop in a male breast too. Even though men don’t have breasts like women, they do have a small amount of breast tissue..
The major problem is that breast cancer in men is often diagnosed later than breast cancer in women. Due to their small amount of breast tissue being harder to feel, finding out cancers in men is difficult and by the time it is found out the cancer may have already spread.
What Puts The Woman At Risk For Developing Breast Cancer?
- Just being a Woman.
- Women with close relatives who’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer have a higher risk of developing the disease.
- Risk increases as the woman grows older.
- An overweight woman who doesn’t exercise everyday.
- Women who started having periods younger than age 12 have a higher risk of breast cancer later in life. The same is true for women who attain menopause when they’re older than 55.
- Breastfeeding lowers the risk.
- Women who get pregnant after 30 years of age.
- Women who smoke.
- Women who consume alcohol.
- Women who use hormone treatment after menopause.
Treating The Breast Cancers
Active treatment of breast cancers is done by combined approaches so as to completely destroy the cancer cells and prevent the cancer from occurring again. It includes
Most often a surgery known as Modified Radical Mastectomy is done. It is performed often with very good results. The breast tissue removed is sent for analysis to the pathologist. This is done to ensure that there is no residual cancer tissue and also to ascertain the type of cancer, In some cases, where the cancer has spread too much , it may be unwise to operate.
Medicines are prescribed before or after surgery. There are various medications which are given. As in any cancer, the chemotherapy may have side effects about which the doctor will explain in detail.
Radiation is given to the bulk of breast tissue before or after surgery. The oncologist will decide upon the radiation dose and whether it is needed after analysing the type and spread of cancer.
The hormones in our body namely estrogen and progesterone can stimulate the growth of some breast cancers. Hormone therapy is used to stop or slow the growth of this tumours.Hormone therapy is used to treat both early and advanced breast cancer, and to prevent breast cancer in women who are at high risk of developing the disease.
Reconstruction Of Breast After Their Removal
Breast reconstruction surgery for breast cancer is performed to replace skin, breast tissue, and the nipple removed during a mastectomy(surgical removal of breasts).
After surgery some women may choose to wear external breast forms or they may choose to not alter their appearance at all. Some women have breast reconstruction, using either breast implants or their own tissue.
Improvements in plastic surgery techniques offer better results today than before and make breast reconstruction an option for most women.
Quality Of Life After Treatment For Breast Cancer
After treating breast cancer your doctors will want to watch you closely. It is very important to attend to all of your follow-up appointments. During these visits, your doctors will ask questions about any problems you may have and may do examinations, take x rays and routine scans and lab tests to look for signs of cancer remaining or treatment side effects.
Almost any cancer treatment can have side effects. Some may last for a few weeks to months, but others can last the rest of your life.
Drugs used in chemotherapy can increase the risk of cancer developing in the uterus. So routine pelvic examinations are a must. This risk is highest in women who have gone through menopause. Report your doctor right away about any unusual vaginal bleeding, such as vaginal bleeding or spotting after menopause, bleeding or spotting between periods, or a change in your periods.
If cancer develops in one breast, it can increase the chance of cancer occurring in the other breasts also. Therefore the normal breasts should also be checked regularly.
To sum it all up, not all breast lumps are cancers but still cancer must be ruled out in every patient presenting with breast lump. And also to be mentioned is the importance of breast self examination for early detection of lumps. Cutting down the risks mentioned above to the maximum can ensure a woman to lead on a cancer free, healthy life.