We don’t remember days, we remember moments
It’s always a delightful moment to see the smile on a patient’s face, when they conquer breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Indian women now. The most common presentation of this condition is in the form of a painless lump in the breast. Early diagnosis of this dreaded condition can lead to complete cure. So, don’t ignore a lump in the breast as it could be cancer.
A common problem that I face during my practice is that some patients refuse to get biopsies done when they are detected with a breast lump. The reason behind this misconception is that they feel that the cancer will start to spread after the biopsy.
Patients need to be explained that this is a myth and there is no scientific data to support this misconception. Also patients need to understand that it is not possible for doctors to come to a diagnosis of breast cancer, unless a biopsy is performed.
Hair loss during chemotherapy can be a huge psychological and physical blow to a lady. Today, we tried the Paxman scalp cooling device on two of our chemotherapy patients. This device leads to vasoconstriction of the scalp vessels and reduces hair loss during chemo.
Studies done using the device report a 70% reduction in hair loss with Paclitaxel based chemotherapy ( used for breast cancer, ovarian cancer) and a 30% reduction in hair loss with adriamycin (used for breast cancer) based chemotherapy.
Axillary Lymph node (underarm gland) enlargement is a common problem among Indian women.
Patient usually present with complaints of pain in the armpit and/or lumps in the underarm area.
Majority of the times these lumps are reactive in nature, that means they enlarge due to non specific causes like mild hair follicle infection, which can occur after shaving or waxing of hair.
On the other hand, these glands can also become enlarged due to:
An ultrasound can confirm the diagnosis of axillary lymph node enlargement and if these glands do not resolve after a course of antibiotics, they require a FNAC (fine needle aspiration cytology or in simple terms a ‘needle test’).
If FNAC is inconclusive, then an axillary lymph node biopsy is required to confirm the diagnosis. Axillary lymph node biopsy is a minor procedure, which can be performed as a day care surgery.
If you or anyone whom you know has underarm pain or lumps, it is best to get yourself examined by a surgeon.
Information provided by:
Breast Cancer Surgeon
W Pratiksha Hospital