Breast Cancer Program
Breast Cancer Screening
Breast Cancer Screening involves the identification of breast cancer at an early stage. One can detect small changes in breast tissue by performing a mammogram.
The presence of any change or lumps that are too small for a woman to feel herself may indicate cancer. If left undetected for too long, a lump is more likely to grow and spread.
A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast which is performed by exposing the breast to a low dose of radiation. During a mammogram, a patient’s breasts are placed on to flat plates and compressed with another plate.
A radiologist examines a mammogram for unusual configurations that look different from normal tissue. Abnormalities include cancerous tumors as well as benign tumors.
Is one mammogram enough?
If the mammogram shows normal results, there is no need for any further screening.
Though all findings may not be breast cancer, when a mammogram shows any abnormalities like a benign breast condition, one may be asked to undergo a breast ultrasound or a breast MRI.
However, it is important to not delay any follow-up tests. In case breast cancer is found, it’s best to begin treatment at the earliest.
Advantages of screening
Not only does timely screening help in fighting cancer, it helps in detecting cancer at the earliest possible stage, making treatment easier and more likely to be successful.
The sooner it cancer is detected, the smaller it is and probably hasn’t spread. In case breast cancer is confirmed, screening allows the breast to be saved through breast conservation surgery.
Also, the risk of dying from breast cancer is reduced drastically.
Disadvantages of screening
While screening has many advantages, there are still some disadvantages that one needs to keep in mind. Sometimes screenings detect cancers that do not develop any further or perhaps grow so slowly that they do not cause any harm to a woman.
But in either case all cancers are treated even though the woman may not actually need treatment. Many times an area of concern requiring treatment may actually turn out to be benign. Such false alarms can lead to over treatment that causes a great deal of anxiety, pain and discomfort to women.
Frequency of Screenings
Women, who have no family history of breast cancer and have never experienced problems related to the breast, should get their first screening done at the age of 40.
We recommend that you make an appointment with your breast specialist every 2 years. You can even get screened from a younger age if you are a higher risk of breast cancer.
The specialist will be able to assess your risk and customize the frequency of your screenings.
Precautions to be taken to reduce the risk of breast cancer:
- Regular screenings
- Learn the correct way of self-examination and examine yourself regularly
- Avoid smoking and limit consumption of alcohol
- Follow a healthy diet/lifestyle and maintain healthy body weight
- Lead an active lifestyle
Fact: Breast cancer has been ranked as the number one cancer among Indian women. One of the most commonly diagnosed types of cancers among women, breast cancer claimed 70,218 lives in 2012 according to the Journal of Business Research.
It is believed that 1 in 22 women are likely to develop breast cancer during her lifetime. Women aged between 43 and 46 years showed the highest level of risk factors in India.
Our Breast Oncology Team includes nationally recognized experts working together in an integrated program, providing collaborative multi-team care for each patient.
Super Diagnostic Capabilities
At BLK Super Specialty Hospital, the Breast Oncology team is equipped to deal with all kinds of breast surgeries. We provide the following services:
- Digital Mammography
- Breast Ultrasound
- 3T Breast MRI
- Image-guided Breast Core Biopsy
- PET / CT Scan
- Sophisticated Interventional Radiology Procedures (Wire Localization)
- Sentinel Node Evaluation (SLNB) using Gamma Probe