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Breast Cancer Treatment in India

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer usually starts off in the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply them with milk. A malignanttumor can spread to other parts of the body. A breast cancer that started off in the lobules is known as lobular carcinoma, while one that developed from the ducts is called ductal carcinoma. Breast cancer is cancer that develops from breasttissue.[ Signs of breast cancer may include a lump in the breast, a change in breast shape, dimpling of the skin, fluid coming from the nipple, or a red scaly patch of skin.In those with distant spread of the disease, there may be bone pain, swollen lymph nodes, shortness of breath, or yellow skin.

Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Signs and symptoms of breast cancer include:

  • a lump in the breast – the most common first sign. The woman usually finds the lump. …
  • a lump in the armpit (axilla) …
  • changes in breast shape or size.
  • skin changes. …
  • nipple changes.

Advanced Breast Cancer Symptoms

  • Weight loss
  • Bone pain
  • Welling in the armpit
  • Skin ulcers
  • Discomfort or breast pain

Types of Breast Cancer

Ductal Carcinoma in situ

Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS) is a non-invasive breast cancer where abnormal cells have been contained in the lining of the breast milk duct.

Invasive Ductal Carcinoma

Invasive Ductal Carcinoma means that abnormal cells that originated  in the lining of the breast milk duct have invaded surrounding tissue

Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Triple negative breast cancer means that the cells in the tumor are negative for progesterone, estrogen, and HER2/neu receptors

Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Inflammatory breast cancer is a less common form of breast cancer that may not develop a tumor and often affects the skin.

Metastatic Breast Cancer

Metastatic breast cancer is cancer that has spread beyond the breast, sometimes into the lungs, bones, or brain

Breast Cancer during Pregnancy

Women who are diagnosed with breast cancer during pregnancy may face tremendous additional strain due to concern for the safety of the unborn child

Other Types

Less common types of breast cancer include Medullary Carcinoma, Tubular Carcinoma, and Mucinous Carcinoma

Stages of Breast Cancer

The stage is based on the following factors:

  • The size of the tumor within the breast
  • The number of lymph nodes affected
  • The nearest lymph nodes are found under the arm, known as the axillary area
  • Signs indicating whether or not the breast cancer cancer has invaded other organs within the body

If breast cancer has spread, or metastasized, evidence be may found in the bones, liver, lungs, or brain.

Stage 0 & 1

These lowest numbered stages represent the earliest detection of breast cancer development. At Stage 0 and 1, the cancer cells are confined to a very limited area. Stage 1 breast cancer is split into 2 stages
Stage 1A means that the tumour is 2cm or smaller and has not spread outside the breast
Stage 1B means that small areas of breast cancer cells are found in the lymph nodes close to the breast and either

  • No tumour is found in the breast or
  • The tumour is 2cm or smaller

Stage 2 (II) and Stage 2A (IIA)

Stage 2 breast cancer is still in the earlier stages, but there is evidence that the cancer has begun to grow or spread.  It is still contained to the breast area and is generally very effectively treated. his is divided into two groups
Stage 2A means

  • There is no tumour or a tumour 2cm or smaller in the breast and cancer cells are found in 1 to 3 lymph nodes in the armpit or in the lymph nodes near the breastbone
  • The tumour is larger than 2cm but not larger than 5cm and there is no cancer in the lymph nodes

Stage 2B means

  • The tumour is larger than 2cm but not larger than 5cm and small areas of cancer cells are in the lymph nodes
  • The tumour is larger than 2cm but not larger than 5cm and the cancer has spread to 1 to 3 lymph nodes in the armpit or to the lymph nodes near the breastbone
  • The tumour is larger than 5cm and has not spread to the lymph nodes

Stage 3 (III) A, B, and C

Stage 3 breast cancer is considered advanced cancer with evidence of cancer invading surrounding tissues near the breast.
Stage 3 breast cancer is divided into 3 groups
Stage 3A means

  • No tumour is seen in the breast or the tumour may be any size and cancer is found in 4 to 9 lymph glands under the arm or in the lymph glands near the breastbone
  • The tumour is larger than 5cm and small clusters of breast cancer cells are in the lymph nodes
  • The tumour is more than 5cm and has spread into up to 3 lymph nodes in the armpit or to the lymph nodes near the breastbone

Stage 3B means

  • The tumour has spread to the skin of the breast or to the chest wall, and made the skin break down (an ulcer) or caused swelling – the cancer may have spread to up to 9 lymph nodes in the armpit or to the lymph glands near the breastbone

Stage 3C means
The tumour can be any size, or there may be no tumour, but there is cancer in the skin of the breast causing swelling or an ulcer and it has spread to the chest wall. It has also spread to

  • 10 or more lymph nodes in the armpit
  • Lymph nodes above or below the collar bone
  • Lymph nodes in the armpit and near the breastbone

Stage 4 (IV)

Stage 4 breast cancer indicates that cancer has spread beyond the breast to other areas of the body.
In stage 4 breast cancer

  • The tumour can be any size
  • The lymph nodes may or may not contain cancer cells
  • The cancer has spread (metastasised) to other parts of the body such as the bones, lungs, liver or brain

Diagnosis of Breast Cancer


A mammogram is an x-ray that allows a qualified specialist to examine the breast tissue for any suspicious areas.  In a diagnostic mammogram, more x-rays are taken, providing views of the breast from multiple vantage points.


A breast ultrasound is a scan that uses penetrating sound waves that do not affect or damage the tissue and cannot be heard by humans


During a breast MRI, a magnet connected to a computer transmits magnetic energy and radio waves (not radiation) through the breast tissue. It scans the tissue, making detailed pictures of areas within the breast


A breast biopsy is a test that removes tissue or sometimes fluid from the suspicious area. The removed cells are examined under a microscope and further tested to check for the presence of breast cancer.

There are different ways of taking biopsies. These include

CT Scan
CT scan is done for checking the spread of the cancer
PET scan for checking the spread of the cancer

Types of Breast Cancer Surgery

The first step and most common form of treatment for breast cancer is surgery. Surgery involves removing the tumorand nearby margins. The margin is the surrounding tissue that might be cancerous. The goal of surgery is to remove not only the tumor, but also enough of the margin to be able to test for the spread of the cancer. Once the removed tissue is checked, your post-operative report should tell you if you had “clear margins,” (meaning the tissue farthest away from the breast was free of any cancer cells.)

Lumpectomy (Breast-Conserving Surgery)

Partial Mastectomy

Total Mastectomy

Modified Radical Mastectomy

Radical Mastectomy

Breast Cancer Treatment

here are several ways to treat breast cancer, depending on its type and stage.
Local treatments: Some treatments are called local therapies, meaning they treat the tumor without affecting the rest of the body. Types of local therapy used for breast cancer include:

These treatments are more likely to be useful for earlier stage (less advanced) cancers, although they might also be used in some other situations.
Systemic treatments: Breast cancer can also be treated using drugs, which can be given by mouth or directly into the bloodstream. These are called systemic therapies because they can reach cancer cells anywhere in the body. Depending on the type of breast cancer, several different types of drugs might be used, including:

Many women will get more than one type of treatment for their cancer