Friday, 9 November 2012

Breast cancer Q and A ?

Q.1) What does Breast Cancer mean?
Ans : Breast cancer means a cancerous (causing infiltration and destruction of tissue) growth that originates in breast tissue. 
Q.2) Whom does it affect the most?
Ans : The risk of breast cancer increases with increasing age, mostly among females.
Q.3) How does Breast Cancer progress?
Ans : Usually an excess of estrogen stimulates the growth of the tumour.
Q.4) What are the causes of Breast Cancer?
Ans : The causes are
  • Positive family history.
  • Early menarche
  • Late menopause. 
  • First child after thirty years of age. 
  • Excessive body fat. 
  • Prolonged use of oral contraceptive pills.
  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for 10 years or more.
  • Oncogenes
Q.5)What are the symptoms of Breast Cancer?
Ans : The symptoms are
  • A painless lump in the breast
  • Dimpling of the skin in the area of the lump that looks like orange peel.
  • Inversion of the nipple.
  • A bloodstained nipple discharge.
  • Pain in breast.
  • In Paget's disease: patch of dry, flaky skin on the nipple.
  • A change in the appearance or texture of the breasts.
  • Cachexia 
  • General symptoms: malaise (weariness)
                                 loss of appetite
The international TNM classification is recognized for staging:

T- Extent of primary tumour
      T1 to T3 shows the increase in the extent or size of the tumour.

N- Involvement of nodes
      N1 to N3 shows the increasing node involvement.

M- Presence of metastases (distant spread)
      M0 no metastases
      M1 presence of metastases.
Q.6)What investigations are done?
Ans : The tests conducted are 
  • Mammography
  • Radiology
  • USG
  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • Lymphangiogram
  • Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology [FNAC]
  • Aspiration
  • Biopsy
  • Estrogen Sensitivity
  • Biochemical screening
Q.7) What are the treatment measures?
Ans :  Treatment Depends on: TNM stage  
                                                Estrogen sensitivity
  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormone therapy, or
  • Most often, a combination of these.
Management of pain through
  • Oral analgesics and localized techniques of pain relief.
  • Antibiotics, in case of presence of infection.
Q.8) What is the prognosis?
Ans : Prognosis is good, if early diagnosis is followed by prompt radical cure. Prognosis worsens with increasing stage of the cancer. 
Q.9) How can the disease be prevented?
Ans : The disease can be prevented through regular self-examination of breasts for lump. If there exists a positive family history of breast cancer then regular mammography should be conducted after the age of 30 years.
Q.10) Important things one should know about Breast Cancer?
Ans : One needs to know about the complementary therapies that can help in the healing process
  • Relaxation exercises
  • Meditation
  • Psychological counseling.
  • Family and colleagues support.
Terminal care
  • Psychological support
  • Appropriate nutrition
  • Treatment of cough, pruritis and nausea
  • Family and friend's support

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