Saturday November 23, 2019

All Breast Lumps are Not Cancerous, Says Radiologist Expert

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breast lump simulation
breast lump simulation. Wikimedia

New Delhi, Oct 7, 2017: Breast Cancer is one of the supreme causes of female deaths, however, it’s awareness is low in India. A leading Radiologist, Dr. Jyoti Arora, Associate Director, Medanta – the Medicity states that 8 out of 10 cases of breast lumps are not cancerous and undergoing biopsy is the only way to rule out breast cancer.

In India, two responses with respect to breast lumps are generally normal. Either the feeling of a lump formation in the breast is disregarded or the patient gets hysterical. The two responses are extreme and caused by the absence of proper awareness but in altogether different ways.

A recent study summarized that its predominance is as high as 25.8 per 1,00,000 women and its death rate are 12.7 per 1,00,000 women, mentioned ANI.

Dr. Arora has disclosed that because of the absence of awareness, a huge number of Indian women do not choose  appropriate tests and treatment.

Arora said, “One of the first symptoms of breast cancer is the formation of lumps in the breast. While many women from not so educated and aware sections of society do not identify lump in the breast as a reason enough to see the doctor, those who are aware of the connection between breast lumps and cancer does not realize that in 8 out of 10 cases, lumps in breasts are non-cancerous. For them, a breast lump is the synonym of breast cancer and they feel it’s the end of their life so do not get it evaluated.”

As the lumps are associated with pain, some females do not seek medical advice. The non-cancerous lumps are cyst formation, fibro-adenoma which is an abnormal non-cancerous growth, or maybe a temporary sign due to woman’s menstrual cycle.

Cancerous lumps are usually hard to feel and not associated with pain.

So if a female feels a lump, she should visit a breast specialist who will get a mammography and ultrasound done. If a solid lump is confirmed on imaging then in most of the cases biopsy would be needed to confirm whether the lump is cancerous or not.

To check cancerous cells, a radiologist removes tissue while conducting a breast biopsy from the suspected area for lab testing.

Also Read: Esteé Lauder’s Breast Cancer Awareness ‘Pink Ribbon Campaign’ Marks 25 Year Milestone 

“There are various types of biopsies that a patient is offered. Tru cut needle biopsy is performed in majority of the cases, however when the abnormality is very small, subtle or when seen only on the mammograms in the form of calcifications or only on the breast MRI, vacuum-assisted breast biopsies (VABB) are preferred as they increase the accuracy and sensitivity of getting a representative sample from the abnormal area. Through VABB, more tissue can be removed than by the true cut needle biopsy and hence a more accurate report can be generated by the pathologist,” added Arora.

One should look for changes in the breast in terms of size and shape. Other than formation of lump, observe whether there are skin changes such as swelling and redness, in drawing of the nipples or if there is pain, irritation, change of color, or peeling and flaking of nipple skin.

Next Story

Health System Failure for Cancer Patients in Venezuela

Last year, about 4,700 women in Venezuela became ill with breast cancer, according to the Anticancer Society of Venezuela

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Cancer
Cancer Patients are not just afraid of the disease itself, but they also fear dying because they cannot find or afford the necessary treatment. Pixabay

A breast cancer diagnosis is terrifying enough at any time. But for 49-year-old Grecia Solis, the arduous choices faced by all cancer patients were complicated by the crippling decline of Venezuela’s public health facilities.

After her diagnosis two years ago, doctors recommended surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Before the oil-producing nation’s steep economic decline of recent years, those services would have been available free of charge or for a nominal fee at a state-run public hospital.

But trained staff, medicines and equipment are in such short supply at those facilities today that a public hospital was no longer an option. Instead, Solis was forced to borrow money from family and friends to pay for her operation at a privately run, for-profit clinic.

Her operation, performed in May 2018, cost her $500, a modest amount by U.S. standards, but a huge sum in Venezuela where hyperinflation has ravaged most people’s savings. With additional financial help from a sister in Ecuador, Solis was able to pay for the recommended eight sessions of chemotherapy, which were completed in December.

Solis’ story is a common one among cancer patients in Venezuela. Patients are not just afraid of the disease itself, but they also fear dying because they cannot find or afford the necessary treatment.

Last year, about 4,700 women in Venezuela became ill with breast cancer, according to the Anticancer Society of Venezuela, although the nation’s health ministry has not produced official figures since 2012. The society reported 2,300 women died last year from the disease, one of the leading causes of cancer deaths among Venezuelan women.

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A breast cancer diagnosis is terrifying enough at any time. Pixabay

Senos Ayuda, an NGO that supports breast cancer patients, estimates the number of patients are even higher, at almost 7,000 a year. And it stresses that treatment, medicine and doctors are becoming ever less accessible with the deepening of the nation’s humanitarian emergency.

The problem is part of a wider crisis in public health facilities. According to several Venezuelan doctors’ organizations, 73% of the country’s operating rooms are out of service or lack supplies and have unsanitary conditions.

A survey conducted by the organization Doctors for Health indicated that 90% of radiotherapy facilities are inoperative, 94% of health centers cannot take an X-ray, and 88% of hospitals have insufficient supplies and medicines. The Anticancer Society of Venezuela has reported that 80% of public radiotherapy equipment has been inoperative in the last year.

Solis says she is frustrated the government of President Nicolas Maduro does not accept that Venezuela is in a humanitarian crisis and has done little to address the problem, leading to avoidable cancer deaths.

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Since 2018, 400,700 women in Venezuela have been diagnosed with Breast Cancer. According to the Anti-Cancer Society in Venezuela, getting an accurate numbers of patients is unlikely. Since 2012, the Ministry of Health does not offer official figures. VOA

Another patient, 58-year-old Algeria Dias, was diagnosed with a breast tumor in August 2017. She was able to afford treatment with the help of family, donations, some government help and the sale of the family car, but she says she now she spends every day “going from clinic to clinic, public and private, and see if they have the space or equipment I need to monitor my disease.”

For her part, Solis says she is running out time. She has until December to raise $5,000 to pay for more than 30 additional radiotherapy sessions to prevent the likely return of her cancer.

ALSO READ: Indian Media Firms Struggle to Attract Investors and Stocks

“Cancer does not wait. Cancer does not warn and when you have it, it overtakes you. It hurts having the uncertainty of not knowing if you can say, “I am a cancer survivor,” she said. (VOA)