Breast Cancer Symptoms & Diagnosis Simplified By Sr. Oncologist, Dr Rajshekhar
Breast cancer symptoms or signs can be known if there are certain physical changes in the breasts. In this video Dr. Rajshekhar, Senior Oncologist and Breast Surgeon, explains the importance and benefits of Breast Self Examination, breast cancer symptoms and the diagnostic tests to guide them for a better treatment.
Every woman should have Breast Self Awareness which means that a woman should know should know the appearance and feel of their breasts. The Breast Self Examination is the way to have the awareness and can be taught by a specialist. Periodically this should be done by oneself to stay updated for any breast cancer symptoms or signs. If any changes occur, more than the usual, then it should be reported to the surgeon or physician for proper diagnosis.
Breast Cancer Symptoms
Presence of a lump or swelling in the breast is most often the earliest and maybe the only change in the breast. This can be regarded as one of the primary breast cancer symptoms. The other changes that can occur are nipple retraction or nipple in-drawing, discharge from the nipple, or skin thickening.
But it should be remembered that lumps detected in the breasts are not necessarily cancerous, they can be benign too, which are non-cancerous in nature. The question then comes to mind is how to proceed if a lump is detected.
Tests To Diagnose Breast Cancer
So whenever a lump is detected, the person needs to undergo a triple test:
- The first step is to get a thorough examination by a qualified surgeon or specialist.
- Second step is to get a mammogram done which in simple terms but the x-ray of the breast.
- And the third step is taking a pathological test which means getting the core biopsy done of the lump.
Dr. Rajshekhar says that most often the triple test will conclusively guide them to the right kind of treatment.
One specific test which is pertinent to breast cancer is in the core biopsy is ER. PR and HER2/Nu.
1. ER is Estrogen receptor
2. PR is Progesterone receptor
3. HER2/neu is a protein receptor
This study is very important as it will determine the type of tumor and it also helps in planning the treatment. Once the diagnosis confirms that it is cancer, the doctors need to assess the extent of breast cancer spread.
If the doctors feel that it is an early stage cancer then they prescribe some blood tests such as a liver function test, and certain minimally sufficient tests. Although if they feel that the cancer stage is even slightly advanced then they may ask for a bone scan, a CT scan, or sometimes a PET-CT scan.
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