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.
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.
Case 1: 44 year old lady with a rapidly enlarging lump in the right breast of 6 months duration. On examination, she had a 3×3 cm hard lump in the lower half of her right breast. Surprisingly, she had a 5×5 cm hard, fixed axillary lymph node.
Reason of sharing this mammogram: bulky axillary lymphadenopathy with the lymph nodes being larger than the primary.
Case 2: Patient had a lesion in the left breast, which was biopsied. Wanted to point out the steri-strip (artifact) after biopsy.
Information provided by:
Dr. Rohan Khandelwal
Consultant, Breast Oncosurgeon
W Pratiksha Hospital