What is Breast Cancer?

Cancer results when the cells in the body get divides and multiply in an uncontrolled way. This is because of the mutations of the genes which regulate cell growth.

In breast cancer, breast cells get affected. The cancer is either in the lobules or the ducts of the breast. Lobules are the glands in the female body that produces milk, while ducts are the passage that brings the milk from lobules to the nipple. Fatty or fibrous connective tissues within the breast can also cause cancer. Abnormal and uncontrolled growth of breast cells leads to breast cancer.

Symptoms of Breast Cancer

There are no visible symptoms of breast cancer in the early stages. Sometimes, a small tumor can be felt, but abnormality can be seen on a mammogram. If a tumor is experienced then the first symptoms would be a lump in the breast, but however, all lumps are not cancer.

There are a variety of symptoms for each type of breast cancer. Generally, some of the common symptoms of breast cancer are:

  1. Thickening of the tissue or breast lump
  2. Nonhealing breast ulcer
  3. Red and Pitted Skin on the breast
  4. Swelling in the breast
  5. Sometimes associated with pain
  6. Nipple discharge apart from the milk discharge
  7. Blood discharge
  8. Peeling, scaling, or flaking of the skin on the nipple or breast
  9. Change in shape and size
  10. Lumps in the armpits
  11. Bone pain, jaundice, cough and breathlessness, seizures and headache, etc.( if the disease spreads to bones, liver, lung, and brain )

Who treats breast cancer?

Breast cancer is treated by surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapy. Treatment is multi disciplinary.

Stages of Breast Cancer

There are multiple stages of breast cancer depending on the size & spread area of the tumor. Clearly, cancer which has spread more and is large in size have a higher stage comparatively to the smaller ones which have a lower stage.

To determine the stage, the doctor needs to know:

  1. Size of tumor.
  2. Involvement of lymph nodes
  3. Spread area of cancer

Breast Cancer Diagnosis

To determine whether the sufferings of your pain are because of breast cancer or due to any other disease the doctor will perform certain to diagnose.

The main tests are:

  1. Mammogram: Mammogram is one of the most common ways of diagnosing breast cancer. Any deformity or abnormal area when seen on the mammogram, the doctor then may run additional tests.
  2. Ultrasound
  3. Biopsy: To confirm the diagnosis
  4. IHC: for targeted medicines including hormonal tablets
  5. CECT: To see the staging of disease
  6. Bone scan: if bone involvement is suspected
  7. PETCT: for complete staging
  8. MRI brain: to rule out brain involvement if suspected

Breast Cancer Treatment

In this section, we are going to discuss a Breast cancer treatment which are available nowadays:


Stage I-III: to cure the disease

Stage IV: Mainly to relieve the symptoms – if needed


Given in almost all cases of breast cancer post Breast conservative Surgery(BCS)

 Post mastectomy(complete removal of breast) depending on risk factors

Stage IV – mainly for symptom relief

 In case of oligometastsis SRS/SBRT can be done to prolong disease free survival


  1. to prevent recurrence and improve survival ) stage I-III.
  2. To facilitate surgery.
  3. For breast conservation ( stage II-III).
  4. To Improve survival in stage IV.
  5. Improve the quality of life in stage IV.

Hormonal Therapy

In Hormone therapy, hormones get blocked from attaching to receptors on cancer cells and the production of hormones gets decreased in the body. This therapy is used for breast cancers which have found receptors for the naturally occurring hormones estrogen or progesterone.

It is used in all stages of cancer are positive for Hormone receptors

In the stage, I to III to improve survival

In stage IV to relieve symptoms and prolong survival with improved quality of life

Targeted Therapy

If Cancer is positive for Targeted receptor then it is also given in all stages

In stage I to III it reduces risk of mortality by 30%


Because of the latest advancements cure rate of breast cancer has improved dramatically. Even in stage IV longer life is possible because of chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and targeted therapy. So please don’t worry if you are diagnosed with breast cancer, Just Meet oncologist and you will find a way to cope with the problem.