October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to raise awareness about the effects of breast cancer. Each year, health institutions and government agencies use this month to raise awareness and reduce stigma about breast cancer through education about symptoms and treatment. Book an online appointment today for breast cancer consultation.
Pakistan has the highest prevalence of breast cancer among Asian countries; one in nine women is at risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. Approximately 90000 new cases are diagnosed every year in Pakistan.
Pakistan is a developing country, and most of the population lives in rural areas. Rural areas lack formal health infrastructures and necessary education and awareness regarding prevention and intervention within their communities. This is the reason breast cancer rates are high among the Pakistani population.
What is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is cancer that grows in the cells of the breast. Breast cancer usually starts in the lobules or ducts of the breast but is not limited to them. Cancer can also occur in fatty tissue or fibrous connective tissue in the breast. Typically, women are known to have breast cancer, but it is a lesser-known fact that men can also get breast cancer. This is because uncontrolled cancer cells often invade other healthy breast tissue and travel to other parts of the body. If you think you have signs and symptoms of breast cancer, see a doctor online for consultations and treatment advice.
Contrary to popular belief, men have breast tissue just like women, so men are also at risk for breast cancer. Rare but possible. The breast cancer that men develop is just as serious as that of diagnosed women who also have the same symptoms.
Signs and symptoms of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer may not cause symptoms when it first starts. In many cases, a tumour may be too small to be prominent on a self-examination, but benign abnormalities can still be seen on a mammogram. The most common sign reported by patients is usually a new lump in the breast that was not there before. However, not all masses are cancerous. Suppose you experience any abnormality in your breasts, especially a new lump. Book an appointment with an online specialist online today and get an online consultation. Your online doctor can suggest further tests and a mammogram if necessary.
Different types of breast cancer can cause a variety of symptoms. The most common symptoms include:
● a lump in your breasts that was not there before
● pain in breast
● swelling in breast tissue
● unexplained nipple discharge
● flaky and peeling of skin on your nipple or breast
● a sudden or unexplained change in the shape or size of your breast
● an inverted nipple
● changes in skin or texture of the skin of the breast
● a lump or swelling under your breast arm
If you have any of these symptoms, it does not mean that you have breast cancer.No tumour or tumour is less than 2 cm. For instance, a breast lump or pain in your breast can also be caused by a benign cyst. Nevertheless, it is best to be cautious and always consult a doctor if you notice any sudden changes.
Breast Cancer Stages
Breast cancers are divided into stages based on the size of the tumour(s) and its spread. Breast cancer has 5 main stages: stages 0 – 5.
Cancer that is large and/or has invaded nearby tissues or organs is at a higher stage than cancer that is small and/or still in the breast. To be able to stage breast cancer, doctors need to know:
● invasive or non-invasive cancer?
● tumour size
● whether the lymph nodes are affected
● Whether cancer has spread to neighbouring tissues or organs
Stage 0: Cancer cells are confined to the ducts in the breast and have not spread into nearby tissue.
Stage 1: Cancer is found in nearby lymph nodes. No tumour or tumour is smaller than 2 cm.
Stage 2: The tumour is between 2 and 5 cm and has spread to lymph nodes.
Stage 3: Tumours are greater than 5 cm, and cancer spreads, invading the chest wall.
Stage 4 Breast cancer can be any tumour size, and its cancer cells have spread to nearby and distant lymph nodes and distant organs.
Tests performed by your doctor will determine the stage of breast cancer, which will affect treatment. Make an online appointment if you are not sure whether to see a doctor for a diagnosis.
Diagnosis of breast cancer
You need to consult an online specialist doctor to determine if your symptoms are caused by breast cancer or other breast conditions. Your doctor may suggest a thorough physical exam in addition to a breast exam. Your online doctor may also request one or more diagnostic tests to help determine the cause of the symptoms.
Following Tests that can help diagnose breast cancer include:
− An Ultrasound of your breast
Treatment Support with Telehealth
When it comes to the treatment of any type of cancer, its stage, how far it has invaded, and the size of the tumour determine the duration and kind of treatment you’ll need. Once your diagnosis is complete and your doctor has determined your cancer’s progression, he/she will discuss the ideal intervention and treatment plans. For example, surgery is the most common treatment for breast cancer. However, many people have additional therapies, such as chemotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation, or hormone therapy.
2. Radiation therapy
4. Hormone therapy
If you’re concerned about a new lump or change in your breast, you must seek medical advice for early detection and better treatment. You can also seek medical advice and consultations with telehealth platforms.
MY LIVE DOCTORS is an integrated telehealth programme, which offers online consultations from the privacy of your home. MLD’s features include patient profile, EMR, remote monitoring and e-prescriptions. All these features can prove to be ideal for better and easy management of your breast cancer treatment plan.
Diagnosing breast cancer can be the most stressful experience of your life. Telehealth appointments could be a small way to make your car a little more convenient and reduce stress. My Live Doctors services allow you to avoid unnecessary travel. to the health care provider’s office while you let loved ones attend the appointment. Taking care of yourself from home also lowers your risk of exposure to COVID19. However, if you notice new symptoms such as a breast lump or high fever, it is still best to get a personal check-up.
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