Breast cancer is the most common cancer amongst Indian women. Majority of these cancers arise from the 15-20 ducts present in the breast. These cancers can be of two types, invasive and non invasive. These terms are often mentioned in the pathology report after the breast cancer surgeon does the biopsy. This simple patient information video explains these terms and their practical implications.
If the patient is diagnosed with an invasive cancer, then the patient often requires chemotherapy, whereas, if the patient has non invasive cancer (ductal carcinoma in situ), chemotherapy can be avoided.
To diagnose the type of breast cancer, a breast biopsy is required (tru-cut or core needle biopsy). FNAC (fine needle aspiration cytology) is not useful in distinguishing between the two types of cancers.
This information has been provided by Dr. Rohan Khandelwal, Breast Cancer Surgeon at W Pratiksha Hospital, Gurgaon & Delhi NCR.
Nipple discharge is a common problem with which ladies present to our Breast Clinic. Nipple discharge can be of many types ranging from clear fluid to frank blood.
Greenish nipple discharge is commonly seen in ladies between the ages of 40-55 years. It is common in ladies who smoke and those are suffering from diabetes.
Breast Cancer should be ruled out in all these patients by doing a triple assessment, i.e. clinical examination, imaging & biopsy. Once cancer has been ruled out, patient should be re-assured and if there is any inflammation, antibiotics can be given. In case of persistent discharge and a lump, the implicated ducts can be surgically removed.
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.
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:
- Infections like tuberculosis, which can be associated with weight loss & fever
- Cancers – commonest cancer which gives rise to underarm nodes is breast cancer. Axillary lymph nodes are the first point of spread from breast cancer.
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:
Dr. Rohan Khandelwal
Breast Cancer Surgeon
W Pratiksha Hospital
The relationship between doctors and their patients has received philosophical and spiritual attention since the time of Hippocrates and still remains a keystone of care. But, unfortunately over the years, this special relationship has undergone a drastic transition. The onus for this actually lies on both the parties. On one hand, increasing number of litigations and the irrational use of social media has made the doctor fraternity more cautious while on the other, many patients claim that doctors treat them as consumers and the healing touch and warmth has gone.
Bobby Fischer once said “Nothing is so healing as the human touch”. As a doctor, it’s very important to counsel & interact with patients, so that their fears regarding the disease can be alleviated.
As a cancer surgeon, I feel that a healing touch is as important as a good surgical hand. Every doctor should make a sincere effort to strike a healthy relationship with their patients.
May the force be with you!!
(This was a card I recently received from one of may patient’s, whom I had treated for cancer)