India has seen a recent wave of much needed discussion about breast cancer, thanks to the recent diagnosis of the actress Sonali Bendre and Tahira Kashyap, wife of actor Ayushman Khurana with breast cancer. Both of them have been very public about the treatment process, shedding light about the otherwise taboo disease. Breast Cancer has become the most prevalent cancer among women of India, overtaking Cervical Cancer. “It is estimated that one in every 21 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and it would reach an alarming figure of 1 in every 8 women by 2025” says Dr. Rohan, one of the best oncologist in Delhi who is a breast cancer specialist. In this situation it becomes more crucial than ever that everyone is well aware about breast cancer symptoms and do not hesitate to talk about it.
What are the Risk Factors of Breast Cancer?
Some of the common risk factors of the disease are :
- Presence of family history of the disease
- Genetic mutations of the BRCA gene
- Early menarche and late menopause
- Increased breast density
- Alcohol consumption
What are the signs of breast cancer?
- A swelling or lump in the breast, or armpit which may or may not be seen but can be felt
- Any changes in the size or shape of the breast like shrinking or indentations
- Noticeable changes in the skin texture like dimpling, growing veins, skin erosion, orange peel like appearance of skin
- Bloody or unusual discharge from the nipples
- Rash, crusting or indentation of the nipple
- Changes in the colour of the breast, it may look red or inflamed
Pain in the breasts usually in itself is not a sign of breast cancer unless it occurs with one or more of the above symptoms. While pain isn’t something to be alarmed of, it is important to look out for pain that persists over a long time or feels unusual. If any pain occurs over a period of time, make notes about the type of pain and the frequency of occurrence along with the dates of your cycle as the best oncologist in Delhi or any other city near you would be able to guide you better if he/she has a detailed information about the history.
What are the breast cancer screening methods for healthy women?
1. Breast Self Exam (BSE)
Checking your breasts takes only a few minutes and can be done as a monthly routine after the end of your menstrual flow. It can discover any early changes and is a procedure as simple as Touch Look Check (TLC)
2. Clinical Breast Exam
Every healthy female should visit the best breast surgeon in Delhi or other city nearby, preferably a breast cancer specialist to get a routine clinical examination. Between age 20-35, ideally one should get examined every 3 years and after the age of 35, one should go for a clinical breast exam every year
After 45 years of age, females should undergo mammography every year. Usually, mammography isn’t advised to young patients as it gets difficult to detect radio-opacity in young breast tissue due to its high density.
Tips for risk reduction and early detection.
1. Regular exercise
Exercise of at least 30 minutes done 4 times a week highly reduces the chances of cancer and other ailments.
2. Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption
Smoking and consuming alcohol can magnify the risk of breast cancer and it is advisable to quit the habit.
3. Weight management
Obesity and being overweight is a high risk for breast cancer as it elevates the estrogen levels in the body.
4. Be breast aware
Do regular self examinations and don’t hesitate to seek help if there are some suspicious.