Ranchi, April 3: Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer among women in both the developed and less developed worlds, according to the World Health Organisation. Early detection of breast cancer would ensure a complete recovery for patients from the disease with little medical expenses, according to doctors.
In an interview with lagatar24.com, Dr Gunjesh Kumar Singh, Consultant Oncologist at MEDICA, shared, “It is possible to survive breast cancer and emerge victorious. While we cannot prevent the onset of the condition, with awareness, the right treatment and care can be given in time for a healthier life ahead. One of the best ways to nip this disease early on is by understanding the symptoms and doing regular screening. Women over 40 years of age should ideally consult their doctor and plan out their screening schedules. While younger women can do regular self-screenings themselves, women with a family history of breast cancer should also start screenings earlier.”
“Tests are used to screen for different types of cancer when a person does not have symptoms. Cancer screening also shows early detection (finding cancer before it causes symptoms) helps a person live longer or decreases a person’s chance of dying from the disease,” he added.
Describing Mammography which is the most common screening test for breast cancer he said that a mammogram is a picture of the inside of the breast. Mammography may find tumors that are too small to feel. It may also find ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). In DCIS, abnormal cells line the breast duct, and in some women may become invasive cancer.
“Mammography is less likely to find breast tumors in women with dense breast tissue. Because both tumors and dense breast tissue appear white on a mammogram, it can be harder to find a tumor when there is dense breast tissue. Younger women are more likely to have dense breast tissue,” Dr Gunjesh added.
Dr Gunjesh said that Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to screen women who have a high risk of breast cancer. “MRI is a procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves, and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. MRI may be used as a screening test for women who have a high risk of breast cancer,” he added.
Talking about preventive measures Dr Gunjesh said, “There is no way to prevent breast cancer. However, a person can take steps to significantly reduce their risk which includes maintaining a moderate body mass index, getting enough exercise, having a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, limiting alcohol consumption and avoiding birth control pills after the age of 35.”