BY: Dr Ritu Sethi, Senior Consultant- Gynaecology, Cloud Nine Hospital,
Sector 14 Gurgaon and Apex Clinic, Sector 31, Gurgaon
With the cases of breast cancer rising increasingly in India as compared to the western countries, it’s crucisl we need to take care of our breast similar to the way we look after other organs of the body. According to the World Health Organization, In 2018, it is estimated that 627,000 women died from breast cancer globally – that is approximately 15% of all cancer deaths among women.
Breast lump is no doubt a serious condition and could be the initial symptoms of breast cancer. But, one shouldn’t be worried about it because all the breast lumps are not cancerours. Particularly in younger women, breast lumps are a normal condition. However, one should get it evaluated by a doctor if it’s new and feels different.
How breast tissues normally feel?
Our breasts are comprising of tissues of various shapes, sizes and consistency. Some are fatty, glandular and connective tissue. During a woman’s menstrual cycle, these tissues also change thereby making the breast tender. Breast tissues also undergo modifications with age.
When to see the doctor?
One should visit the doctor when:
- You find a new breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue
- There is a change in the size, shape or appearance of the breast
- Breast pain stays for a longer time
- There is some change in the skin near the breast, such as itchiness, redness, scaling or puckering
- The nipple has become little inverted
Procedures to evaluate breast lump
Your doctor might ask you to get some tests to get the confirmed result of breast lump.
- Breast Ultrasound
- Breast MRI
- Breast Biopsy
Follow-up after breast lump evaluation is essential
If the breast lump isn’t cancerous, your doctor will decide if you need short-term monitoring with clinical breast exams or repeat breast imaging. You may have to see the doctor again in two to three months. The doctor will monitor again if there have been changes in your breast.
If the diagnosis is in question — the clinical breast exam and the mammogram show areas of suspicion, for example, but the biopsy reveals benign tissue — you’ll be referred to a surgeon or other specialist for further consultation.
If the breast lump is cancerous, you’ll work with your doctor to create a treatment plan. The stage and type of breast cancer will decide the further treatment procedure. Generally a surgery is performed if the lump is proven to be cancer. The surgeon before performing the surgery will explain appropriate surgical options and provide you with the information necessary to make this decision.You may have several consultations with other physicians for additional treatment, including radiation therapy and chemotherapy or hormone therapy.