Breast Cancer Treatment in Ahmedabad

What is Breast Cancer?

In simple terms, Breast Cancer is a disease in which the breast cells grow uncontrollably. In medical terms, it happens when malignant (cancerous) cells grow in the breast. Further, when these breast cancer cells fully grow, they metastasize (spread) to other parts of the body. Metastasis originates in the lymphatic system which helps to transport lymph (a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells) and other immune system cells throughout the body, to fight cancer. The undamaged metastasized cancer cells, move through the lymphatic vessels and settle in distant body locations, hence, forms new tumors, and keep the disease process in existence.

Symptoms for breast cancer

Some common symptoms of breast cancer are:
Lump formation in the breast Changes in skin, such as swelling, irritation, or itchiness Change in the shape and size of the breasts Pain and tenderness, even if no lump is felt Changes in the color and temperature of the breast Effects on the nipple, like Retraction (pulls inward) Dimpling or peeling Pain in the nipple area Redness Sore in the nipple Nipple discharge other than breast milk

When to see a doctor

Consult a doctor, if you discover any lumps or other changes in your breast. A mammogram can be useful to detect the early signs of breast cancer.

Breast cancer causes

Abnormal growth of breast cells causes breast cancer. Hence, breast cancer is the result of mutation and unusual changes in genes that modulate healthy cell growth. The most commonly known are breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA 1) and breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA 2), which can increase the risk of breast cancer.

The abnormal cells divide themselves and continue to increase, forming a lump or mass. Cells spread through the breast to the lymph nodes or other parts of your body.

Many times, breast cancer starts with cells in the ducts (invasive ductal carcinoma). It can also begin in the glandular tissue known as lobules (invasive lobular carcinoma), or in other cells or tissue within the breast.

There are hormonal, lifestyle, and environmental factors identified by the researchers that can increase the risk of breast cancer. But, the reason why some people with risk factors develop cancer, yet other people with risk factors never do, is not known. Likely, breast cancer is caused by a complex interconnection between the genotype and the environment.

Breast cancer types

Breast cancer is divided into various types, depending on the cells identified in the breast that are affected.
1) Non-invasive breast cancers –Most breast cancers are carcinomas, which are tumors that begins in the epithelial tissue of the skin, or in the tissue that covers internal organs. The most common breast cancer is adenocarcinoma, which forms in milk-producing glands or milk ducts.

2) Invasive breast cancers –Most breast cancers are invasive (or infiltrating) breast cancer. It can spread in normal, healthy tissues surrounding the breasts. The most common ones are:

Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) – This cancer begins to grow in the milk duct and enters the fibrous or fatty tissue of the breast outside the duct. Being the most common type, it represents about 80% of all breast cancer diagnoses. Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) – This cancer begins in the milk-producing glands (lobules) of the breast. This can spread to the lymph nodes and other areas as well. It represents about 10 to 15% of all invasive breast cancer. There are some less common but serious breast cancers, which are developed in different ways, which affect their treatment procedure.

3) Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) – This cancer is referred to the cancer cells that do not have estrogen or progesterone receptors and accounts for about 10% to 15% of all breast cancers. The cancer cells do not build much of a protein called HER2.

4) Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) – This type of cancer makes the breasts red, tender, and swollen. In this, the cells block lymph vessels in the skin of the breast. It accounts for about 1% to 5% of all breast cancers.

Paget’s disease of the Nipple– Paget’s disease of the nipple is rare breast cancer that causes eczema-like changes to the skin of the nipple and the areola (the dark circle around the nipple). Being rare, it accounts for only about 1-3% of all cases of breast cancer.

Phyllodes tumors– Phyllodes tumors are another rare breast cancer. They are a form of sarcoma as they grow in the connective tissue of the breast, not in the ducts. A second pathologist is required to get the confirmation as this cancer is the rarest.

Angiosarcoma – Sarcomas of the breast are rare accounting for less than 1% of all breast cancers. Angiosarcoma develops in cells that lining of the blood vessels or lymph vessels. It affects the skin and can appear as a bruise-like lesion that grows over time. The chances for it to occur is about 8-10 years after getting radiation treatment of the breast.