Breast cancer awareness programmes are extremely important as it is largely preventable and treatable if detected early. Some reports have mentioned that breast cancer development may be influenced by a variety of genetic, environmental, and individual variables. The risk of developing breast cancer may be related to strong family history, early periods, late menopause, etc.
Instead of going through the painful procedure after it is detected in stage 3 and stage 4, women should look out for early signs and start the medication early.
To understand the subject in-depth, WION spoke to Dr Tejinder Kataria, Chairperson, Radiation Oncology, Cancer Institute, Medanta, Gurugram, India.
Dr Kataria said that women should be aware of their own breast size and structure. If there’s any change in what they perceive as normal should be addressed.
The changes can be:
-increase in the size of the breast
-decrease in the size,
-a lump they noticed,
-change in the position of the nipple,
-some discharge which is not during lactation but otherwise afterwards,
Dr Kataria said that these are the “early signs which shouldn’t be ignored because the lump may be very small, and it’s painless, so women normally try not to go for an investigation or go to the doctor unless it becomes intolerable”. So they should not let themselves get into that stage.
“A painless lump, a painless discharge, or any change in the breast architecture or nipple should be taken care of,” said Dr Tejinder Kataria.
How does breast cancer affect/might affect breastfeeding in future moms?
Dr Kataria said that if the breast cancer has been treated and as we know that one of the treatments is surgery, women opt for breast removal because most of the women would go for investigation in advanced stage breast cancer so that breast won’t be there for feeding.
She added, “But the other breast should be there, and if the women become pregnant in future after the breast cancer treatment, they are able to feed. And it does not in any way compromise lactation, breastfeeding, or produce any complication in the child.”
Dr Kataria also noted that the “woman should wait for at least two years after the treatment is over”. She said that after a gap, all the side effects of the chemotherapy or the treamment that is given to her, or medicines that she has been taking are not in her body to affect the future child.
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