Breast cancer is the leading cause of death in middle aged women. As there is lot of attention focused on breast cancer worldwide, there is a fear developing in women when they notice a lump or any change in the breast. Could it be a cancer? But 80-85% of all breast lumps/swelling are benign. Again it is better a surgeon concludes the nature of the lump by clinical examination and tests instead of assuming or neglecting it as benign. The present day diagnostic tools offer a high degree of accuracy in excluding cancer.
Female breast is a dynamic structure with monthly cyclical changes along with changes of development and involution throughout the women’s reproductive life brought about by various hormones. These changes and influences make the breast prone for many disorders including cancer.
There are certain risk factors identified as cause of breast cancer, they are - older age, first child at late age, absence of breast feeding, family history of breast or ovarian cancer, obesity, high alcohol consumption and exposure to radiation.
Women with breast disorder present with 3 main symptoms, breast lump, breast pain and nipple discharge.
When screening for breast disorders it is very important to go through 3 evaluating tools which will enhance the diagnostic accuracy. First a detailed history of the problem and a thorough examination by the clinician. Second is imaging (Mammogram, Ultrasound and MRI). Third is biopsy of the problem area.
It is also important that a woman examines her breast frequently to note any changes and report to the doctor for further evaluation.
Common benign breast conditions which frequently seen are Fibroadenoma, Fibrocystic disease, Mastalgia, Breast cysts, Cyclical nodularity, Galactocele, Sclerosing adenosis, Fat necrosis, Duct ectasis, Duct papillomas and Mastitis.
It is found that hesitation to consult a doctor and ending up in late diagnosis of a cancer has led to high mortality. Breast cancers can be diagnosed very early and early treatment gives high cure rates.
Dr. Narendra Kumar M [MBBS, MS, FMAS] is a General Surgery Specialist at Royal Bahrain Hospital. For more information or to book your appointments call 17246800 or plan your visit at www.royalbahrainhospital.com.