Breast cancer is a leading cause of death among women all around the globe. The scenario is equally frightening in Indian as well. The detection of malignancy in the breasts happens in later stages in India, and that is why breast cancer treatment is not very effective for many women.
Timely screening can confirm whether or not it is a case of cancer and thereby, the suitable treatment can be pursued, if needed.
Gynecologists recommend that every woman above the age of 30 should pay attention to any changes that occur in their breasts. Let’s understand about one such crucial screening, the FNAC, in details.
What is FNAC?
FNAC stands for Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology. It is a diagnostic screening that can detect the malignancy in the breast tumor. It can also be used to aspirate a known cyst, by pricking and collecting fluid. It is done to remove the cyst completely or to relieve discomfort and pain that is quite common for large cysts.
How FNAC is carried out?
FNAC uses a thin needle to penetrate the breast tissue to reach the site of the tumor. The exact position of the cyst or tumor can be detected using ultrasonography and the needles are guided accordingly. It collects some cells or fluid as a sample. The sample collected is then sent to the laboratory to investigate its nature further.
This usually does not require any anesthesia, because even if the procedure requires pricking the breast with needles, the pain is bearable. However, it might require the same, if a solid system is concerned, which required multiple aspirations, in a single screening procedure.
How FNAC helps to detect breast cancer?
Prescribing an FNAC does NOT mean the doctor suspects breast cancer. In fact, mostly it is the opposite. Usually, when they come across any lump during a physical exam and suspect it to be a harmless, benign tumor, the first thing they recommend is the ultrasound and closely followed by FNAC.
The reason for recommending USG as foremost screening is simply to get the exact location of the lump. The FNAC test simply rules out the possibility of cancer. In case, it shows hints of malignancy, a biopsy is then recommended, which confirm the presence and type of malignancy.
So, why does the gynaecologist, does not recommend biopsy in the first go itself? Well, simply because FNAC is less invasive than a biopsy. A biopsy requires proper anesthesia as is a little more severe and sort of unnecessary for benign tumors.
What happens after FNAC confirms the nature of the tumor?
Well, if it shows malignancy, which is quite rare, the gynecologist is likely to refer the patient to an oncologist for advanced breast cancer treatment. In case its benign tumors, it can either be aspired to relived discomfort or left intact in the place (unless it projects any more trouble in the future) or it can be removed by surgery anyway.
For more information, if required it is wise to get in touch with a gynaecologist and discuss the possibilities.
Cancer, in general, is a critical illness, but breast cancer is one very common type that claims many lives all over the world. World Health Organization identifies breast cancer as the most prevalent type of cancer among women and a leading cause of death among them. Gynaecologists advise every adult woman to have some knowledge about breast cancer in brief as it often comes handy to seek timely treatment.
Here we present a few facts about breast cancer
1. Aging is a prime risk factor of breast cancer. Though many younger women are being diagnosed with breast cancer, it is mostly found in women aging more than 55.
2. Though women have an exceptionally high risk of breast cancer, more and more cases of male breast cancer are surfacing in recent years.
3. One in every 8 women is at risk of developing breast cancer, in their lifetime.
4. Women with first family (mother, daughter or sister), with a history of breast cancer, have a higher risk of the same. It is almost twice as compared to women without it.
5. However, surprisingly about 8 out of 10 breast cancer patients have no family history of the same.
6. Having denser breast tissue, with more fibrosis and glandular tissue is more likely to have breast cancer. A routine mammogram can identify it in time and thus annual screening is advised for women above 40 years.
7. Breastfeeding for a year or so reduces the risks of breast cancer and a few other gynaecological issues in the future.
8. Overweight and obese is a major risk factor for breast cancer. Proper adequate exercise can mitigate its risk for good.
9. A proper self-breast exam can also detect an abnormality in time, leading to timely treatment of the same.
10. Many breast cancer tumours onset in the underarm and armpits as well. A timely ultrasound scan can detect them on time.
Eating healthy and quitting smoking and alcohol can promote good health and mitigate the chances of breast cancer.
Every year, the month of October is observed as the breast cancer awareness month. During this festive season, when we bow down to the supreme female deity Durga, let us also acknowledge the empowering women, who work tirelessly for the family’s health and wellbeing. ILS Hospitals encourages every woman to avail Well Women Health Check-Up Package to address critical threats such as breast and uterus cancer along with other prevalent gynaecological discomforts.
Visit https://bit.ly/2y52uo3 to book your package now!
Getting an annual screening of mammogram is recommended by gynecologists to ensure the earliest detection of breast cancer. It is highly advised for women with age more than 40yrs. Several myths surrounding the sensitive subject, which leads to a misconception among women make them avoid regular mammogram.
Let’s have a look at 5 of such myths and extract the truth out of it.
Myth 1 – Mammogram is not required until some symptoms appear
The biggest and most dangerous myth that jeopardizes the lives of many patients each year often leads patient to neglect the need for a mammogram until they experience some discomfort like pain and swelling or other symptoms like a lump or discharge. This reduces their chances of success of curing cancer entirely.
Myth 2 – Mammogram is irrelevant for women with no family/personal history of breast cancer or other breast illnesses.
As the patient keeps wasting precious moments by skipping the screening, malignant cells keep growing and make thing worse. As per statistics, about 8 in every 10 breast cancer patient has no family history of the same.
Myth 3 – Routine screening is nonessentials if nothing suspicious surfaced in the previous report
A very common belief that a previous report with no threat rules out the need to have it regularly in the future as well. However, it should be kept in mind that a mammogram is simply a diagnostic probe and not a preventive measure. Thereby, it is best to keep having those after crossing 40yrs of age.
Myth 4 – A 2D mammogram serves the same purpose as a 3D mammogram
Medical science and technology has advanced and so has the mammogram techniques. The traditional 2D mammogram is effective, but it has certain drawbacks that have overcome by 3D mammogram. The 2D mammogram might not be able to diagnose a cancer growth for patients with denser breast tissues or might misdiagnose or minor cells mimicking as cancer threats. A breast MRI or ultrasound may be additionally suggested to confirm the report.
Myth 5 – A mammogram exposes to harmful radiation to make thing worse.
It is true that a mammogram utilizes the radiation, but it closely follows the medical protocol. Getting a mammogram is absolutely safe if it is being availed at a certified facility.
Thus, it is advised to stay vigilant of the actual facts, rather than getting misguided by myths for a healthier future ahead.
After attaining puberty, a women’s breast develops fat, lobules, connective tissues and glands to produce milk for breastfeeding. After the onset of cancer, the cells keep multiplying uncontrollably and starts spreading after a certain point of time, to its nearby tissues as well. Breast cancer is the most common kind of cancer among women.
Men can be affected by breast cancer as well, though the count is very little as compared to that of women. Several times, the genetics plays an important role towards its prevalence, but many times, the culprit is the sedentary lifestyle. It can be addressed with chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgical approach.
Types of breast cancer
There are mainly two kinds of breast cancer. Invasive and non-invasive breast cancer. In the prior case, the cancer cell breaks out from the inside of ducts and thus the risk of its spread remains significantly high. The latter condition is the opposite and is termed when the cells remain at the origin of the outbreak. If it is left untreated, over a period of time, it develops into invasive cancer anyways.
Symptoms of breast cancer
The primary symptom of a breast cancer is characterized by the developing either a thick tissue or a lump in the breast or armpit. Secondary symptoms comprise of one or more of the following-
- Pain in the breast or in an armpit, which does correlate with the monthly cycle.
- An inverted or sunken nipple.
- Redness of the breast skin
- Discharge blood or other fluid from the nipple
- Rash on the nipple, or around it
- Change of size or shape of breast irrelevant to the monthly cycle
- Scaling or flaking of the nipple or the breast skin
Initiative on this world Breast cancer awareness month
On this breast cancer awareness month, we, at ILS Hospitals encourage every woman to step up and seek breast examination at least once annually, to keep the risks of breast cancer at bay. We also, motivate every adult women to learn and practice self-breast examination every three to six month and keep an eye on any growth on the breast or under the armpit. Women with either a personal medical history or family history of previous lumps or cancer are requested to be-be extremely cautious regarding the same. Going for a mammogram is often recommended by a gynaecologist.
Several of the lumps of the breast are not cancerous. However, in case of any doubt, it is best to get it checked by a physician as soon as possible.