Know How Breast Cancer Screening Helps in Speedy Recovery


Know How Breast Cancer Screening Helps in Speedy Recovery

In the past few years, breast cancer has become one of the most common cancers not just in India but globally as well. Every year, India reports around 1.78 lakh new breast cancer cases. Statistics report that every four minutes, there is a new breast cancer case, and every eight minutes, this cancer kills a woman, making it an alarming situation in the country.

What’s all the more worrying is that the incidence of breast cancer is rising in women, even at a younger age. Therefore, thinking that breast cancer cannot occur in young people is just a myth. While you may not be able to avoid this deadly disease, regular cancer breast screening can be extremely helpful in getting timely treatment and avoiding life-threatening problems. Continue reading the article to learn more about breast cancer tests and treatment.

What is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is an unusual mutation in the growth of cells. This mutation occurs in the milk-producing glands known as lobules or ducts of the breast. The cells start to divide and multiply uncontrollably on account of mutations. The uncontrolled growth of breast cancer cells often impacts other healthy breast cells. A delay in treatment is a gateway for breast cancer cells to enter lymph nodes under the arms. Afterwards, the other body parts of the cancer patient also get affected. A lump and a change in the size of the breast are often noticed by patients. On-time detection of breast cancer can make its medical treatment easy.

Rising Number of Breast Cancer Cases in Indian women

A recent survey reveals that more than 25 in one lakh women are more likely to succumb to deadly breast cancer. According to a report by WHO, in the year 2020, more than 20 lakh females were diagnosed with breast cancer. About 6.85 lakh deaths were recorded due to breast cancer in the same year. It can be concluded that cases of breast cancer, which is now the most prevalent cancer type in the world, have been rising substantially among Indian women.

Breast Screening Test

Cancer breast screening tests allow timely diagnosis, which can substantially lower the risk of death from breast cancer. These tests can detect the signs of breast cancer at an early stage. Some popular breast screening tests include:

1. Mammogram

A mammogram screening is an X-ray of breast cancer. This is the most effective to detect breast cancer lumps or abnormalities at an early stage. This does not prevent its risk. But it can ensure on-time medical treatment for cancer. Cancer breast screening guidelines include the following things about the mammography age: 

  • Women who are 40 to 49 years old should talk to their doctor to discuss when and how often they should come for breast cancer screening.
  • Women who are 50 to 74 years old are on the verge of breast cancer risk. This is a suitable mammogram age. They should come for it every two years. 

Note: Women should consider the benefits and risk factors of cancer breast screening tests, preferably before the age of 50.

2. Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a breast scan to diagnose breast cancer risk. This is detected with the help of magnets and radio waves. This screening of breast cancer is paired with a mammogram. Breast MRI does not show successful results without a mammogram screening for the patient of average risk. Hence, a mammogram is inevitable with a breast MRI.

3. Clinical Breast Test

When the patient complains about breast pain or breast lump to the doctor, the doctor or nurse does the clinical test. He/she will examine lumps or other breast changes with his/her hands.

4. Self-examination

One of the easiest ways to diagnose breast cancer symptoms is through a self-examination of the breast. This is also a breast cancer test. If you find /feel any lump, pain, discolouration, or any change in the size or texture of the breast, you should report it to your doctor immediately.

Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

One of the biggest reasons for the growing number of breast cancer complications is that in the initial stage of breast cancer, the signs and symptoms are very hard to identify. However, the mammogram is effective in detecting small-size tumours or any other abnormalities in the breast. When the size of the lump starts to grow bigger, the patients start to experience the following signs and symptoms of breast cancer:

  1. Abnormal tissue or lump growth that looks different from surrounding tissues
  2. Have never noticed a lump or tissue on the breast before than this
  3. Breast pain
  4. Red or discoloured breast skin
  5. A sudden change in size, texture, or shape of the breast
  6. Inverted nipple
  7. Nipple discharges any other liquid substance
  8. Nipple discharges blood
  9. Lump or swelling under the arm

How is Breast Cancer Treated?

Several types of breast cancer treatment are available in India. When you visit the doctor, your doctor will diagnose your breast cancer’s stage, size, and severity, along with your medical condition and history. Then, they will be able to determine which kind of treatment should be given to you. Given below are the various breast cancer treatment options that may be suitable for different patients:

1. Surgery

Several types of surgical treatments can work to treat/ control breast cancer. Your doctor will give you the best surgical treatment based on your condition. To protect you from future risk, the doctor may also remove the healthy tissues around your breast cancer tumour. In some cases, microscopic cells remain even after surgery. This means that another surgery will be done to remove them.

2. Radiotherapy

Another treatment that works well to remove breast cancer tumours and their adjacent tissues is radiotherapy. Under this treatment, high-powered radiation is used to kill the tumour of breast cancer. This therapy is generally recommended when the doctors find that the cancer is inoperable.

Radiotherapy is considered effective in only reducing the size of breast cancer tumours. However, it may induce certain side effects in the patient’s body. They may experience excessive pain, blistering, peeling, swelling, redness, and burning in the area where radiations were directed.

3. Chemotherapy 

Chemotherapy is given before the surgical treatment. This resists mutations in the cells that multiply and divide cells uncontrollably. This therapy makes the surgical procedure easy and can prevent breast cancer from recurrence.

Your doctor will schedule clinical chemotherapy based on the type of tumour. They may call you once a week, once every two weeks, or once every three weeks. This therapy is also known as neoadjuvant therapy. But sometimes doctors prescribe it with radiation therapy to shrink the size of the tumour before surgery, which is called adjuvant therapy.

The common side effects of chemotherapy include fatigue, loss of hair, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, numbness, tingling, and the risk of infection. The doctor prescribes medications to mitigate the intensity of after-treatment side effects.

4. Endocrine Therapy

Endocrine therapy is also known as hormonal therapy. This is typically given before surgery and continued after surgery to reduce the risk of death from breast cancer. It is usually given 3 to 6 months before the surgery date to shrink the size of the cancer. Doctors generally recommend it along with chemotherapy.

This is an effective treatment for tumours that test positive for either estrogen or progesterone hormones. Under this treatment, these hormones are blocked to fuel the growth of tumours and their recurrence and prevent the risk of cancer death.

5. Other Medications

The doctor prescribes some other medications to slow the growth of cancer cells and their recurrence. They may give you medications through your bloodstream passage, which helps reach breast cancer cells directly. Otherwise, they may tell you to keep medication in a particular body part or apply it to the cancer area.

In some cases, the doctor prescribes oral medications. It is also important to tell the doctor if you are taking other medications. This will help them weigh down the benefits and risks before prescribing oral cancer medications.

To Sum it Up 

You would always want to keep your family safe and secure from the risk of life-threatening diseases like breast cancer. However, if things become difficult and a loved one gets seriously ill, you would not want to compromise on their safety, especially due to the lack of resources. However, simple solutions to manage breast cancer treatment expenses are available. With Care Health Insurance, you can choose the best health insurance policy and invest in it today. The right health insurance plan will assist you in dealing with all hospitalisation bills, surgery costs, and other therapeutic medication bills.

The future is unforeseen. Care Health Insurance guarantees your and your family's safety and security.

Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only: Policy Assurance and Claims at the underwriter's discretion.

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