Importance of Breast Cancer Support Groups

The incidence of breast cancer in India is increasing at an alarming rate and more and more ladies are being detected with this disease in their 30’s and 40’s. 

Breast cancer not only affects the physical appearance of the patient but also has a huge impact on their mental and psychological well being. In addition to the patient, the family also becomes part of the treatment.

Once patients finish their treatment, it is important for them to get back to their daily routine, so that they can keep their mind off the disease. Family, friends and strong support group play a huge role in this aspect of a breast cancer warrior’s journey.

To celebrate these warriors, we recently organised a support group meeting at W Pratiksha Hospital, Gurgaon, which was well attended by many breast cancer patients and their families. 

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Breast Cancer Treatment Completion

We don’t remember days, we remember moments

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It’s always a delightful moment to see the smile on a patient’s face, when they conquer breast cancer.

Don’t ignore a lump in the breast, it could be 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.

 

Breast Cancer Myth Busted – Biopsy doesn’t lead to spread of tumor

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.

 

Scalp cooling device to reduce hair loss during chemotherapy

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.

 

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A salute to the real heroes 

Surviving cancer is not the end of a gruesome story but the beginning of a beautiful one. A big salute to all the cancer Conquerors out there. #cancersurvivorsday #cancerconquerors #breastcancer 

Changes in 8th AJCC Classification of Breast Cancer

Recently, the eighth edition of the TNM classification of AJCC (American Joint Commission of Cancer) was released. This had a few notable changes from the 7th edition, which have been highlighted below:

  • Immunohistochemically detected tumor markers (ER, PR, HER 2 neu) that are known to have great practical treatment importance are now incorporated into the staging system to refine prognosis of breast cancer
  • The eighth edition of the staging system also uses genomic assays (Oncotype Dx, Mammaprint, PAM 50) when available to downstage some estrogen receptor-positive, lymph node-negative tumors.
  • Lobular carcinoma in situ is removed from the staging system because it is not a malignancy but a risk factor. It is no longer considered Tis.
  • The expert panel clarified that the postneoadjuvant therapy pathological T category (ypT) is based on the largest focus of residual tumor, if present. Treatment-related fibrosis adjacent to residual invasive carcinoma is not included in the ypT maximum dimension.

 

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