Breast cancer can be treated especially when discovered early. Mammogram is a very helpful imaging investigation that helps in the diagnosis of breast cancer.
The findings in mammography that are suggestive of malignancy include the presence of clustered micro-calcification and star shaped mass. The following mammogram belongs to a woman diagnosed with breast cancer:
Surgery has a great role in the management of breast cancer. Surgery can be done with or without radiotherapy. Early treatment can lead to cure. Besides, it helps in controlling the local malignancy and preventing the occurrence of metastatic lesions.
What are the surgeries done for treatment or management of breast cancer ?
- Lumpectomy: as its name suggests, the surgeon removes only the malignant lump and a small portion of the surrounding tissues.
- Partial mastectomy: the surgeon removes the malignant portion, the surrounding tissues and a part of the underlying muscle.
- Simple mastectomy: the surgeon removes the entire breast.
- Modified radical mastectomy: the breast and lymph nodes are removed. The chest muscles are kept intact.
- Sentinel node biopsy: it is the standard investigation in patients with clinically negative lymph node affection. A methylene blue dye or a radioactive isotope is injected around the nipple. Then the surgeon will follow up the dye till he/she finds the sentinel lymph node. It is excised and sent for histological analysis.
- Reconstructive surgeries: it can be done at the time of mastectomy or can be done later. Click here to read more details about breast reconstructive surgeries.
What are the early symptoms that may indicate breast cancer ?The presence of a breast lump or a bloody discharge from the nipple or changes in the skin of the breast like dimpling or a skin color change.
Breast cancer update:
Studies proved that the inflammatory process within the breast itself promotes the growth of breast cancer stem cells responsible for tumor development.