According to WHO, breast cancer is still one of the two most widespread cancer forms worldwide. It ranks as the fifth-leading annual cause of cancer-related mortality.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer globally, not just in India. According to figures from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, breast cancer affects one in every four women worldwide. In India in 2020, 37.2 per cent of women diagnosed with breast cancer succumbed to the disease, which shows how fatal this disease is. India had a mortality rate higher than the average for Asia, which was 34 per cent. The average across the world was 30 per cent in 2020.
Your breast tissue is the starting point of breast cancer. A tissue mass is produced when breast cells mutates (alter) and grow out of control (tumour). Breast cancer can spread to the tissue surrounding your breast, just as other types of cancer. In other body parts, it might disperse and grow new tumours. Metastasis is the medical term for this change in the body.
The fear of cancer is growing along with the growth in breast cancer cases worldwide. However, one cannot prevent breast cancer but one can reduce its impact by being informed and selecting the proper course of treatment at the right time.
Some of the latest and most effective treatments for breast cancer are-
Surgery is the removal of the tumour along with part of the surrounding healthy tissue. Additionally, the neighbouring axillary lymph nodes, located under the arm, are examined during surgery. Typically, a patient has more surgical options when the tumour is smaller. The following are some of the breast cancer surgery options:
Lumpectomy: This entails the excision of the tumour as well as a thin margin of healthy tissue surrounding it that is cancer-free. The breast is still mostly there. Following surgery for invasive cancer, radiation therapy to the residual breast tissue is frequently advised.
Mastectomy: The entire breast has been surgically removed in this case. Mastectomies come in a variety of forms, such as a skin-sparing, nipple-sparing, or total skin-sparing mastectomy.
High-energy x-rays or other particles are used in radiation therapy to kill cancer cells. Radiation oncologists are medical professionals that specialise in administering radiation therapy as a cancer treatment. Radiation therapy comes in a variety of forms, including partial breast radiotherapy, intra-operative radiation therapy, proton therapy, and external-beam radiation therapy.
Chemotherapy is the use of medications to kill cancer cells, typically by preventing the growth, division, and production of new cancer cells. It may be administered before surgery to minimise the size of a large tumour, facilitate surgery, and/or lower the chance of recurrence. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is the name for it when it is administered prior to surgery. Additionally, adjuvant chemotherapy, which is administered after surgery to lower the chance of recurrence, may be used.
Most cancers that test positive for either oestrogen or progesterone receptors respond well to hormonal therapy, often known as endocrine therapy. Hormones are used by this kind of tumour to drive its expansion. When hormonal therapy is administered alone or in conjunction with chemotherapy, blocking the hormones can help reduce breast cancer death and recurrence.
Immunotherapy strengthens your immune system's capacity to attack cancer cells in order to combat the disease. Immune checkpoint inhibitors belong to the class of immunotherapy drugs that are used to treat high-risk, early-stage, triple-negative breast cancer.
Moreover, detecting cancer is crucial before treatment. The two most significant breast cancer screening tests are:
This test includes X-ray of the breasts. Mammograms are the best technique to detect breast cancer at an early stage when it is less difficult to cure and before it becomes large enough to feel or produce symptoms. Mammography is the best method of detecting breast cancer at an early stage.
Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
An MRI of the breast employs radio waves and magnets to produce images of the breast. Mammograms and breast MRIs are both used to screen patients with a high risk of breast cancer.