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August 2021
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News Headlines
Bajaj Auto July sales jumps 44 pc in Jul        Pegasus issue: SC to hear on Aug 5 pleas seeking probe into snooping allegations        Dutee finishes last in her 200m heat race, fails to qualify for semifinals at Olympics        Pakistan reports spike in new COVID-19 cases        Mexico's referendum on trying ex-presidents falls short        Berlin protesters decry coronavirus measures; 600 detained        Brave Indian women create history, enter maiden Olympic hockey semifinals        Tokyo Olympics: Badminton star P V Sindhu scripts history on Super Sunday        India beat South Africa 4-3 to keep QF hopes alive in Olympic women's hockey        World No.1 Panghal's Olympic campaign ends with shocking loss to Colombian Martinez        COVID-19: India records 41,649 fresh cases, 593 more fatalities        TREMOR        Das knocks out Olympic champion in Tokyo, joins wife Deepika in last-16        Air India sold its 115 properties for Rs 738 crore since 2015: Govt        Researchers Develop Variants Of More Potent, Stable Nanobodies To Fight SARS-CoV-2        Assam, Mizoram trade barbs over deployment of security forces at interstate border        HC rejects plea to reassess minority status of Christians, Muslims in Kerala        Govt hiding on Pegasus issue, responsible for Parliament logjam: Congress        True legend of Indian badminton: tributes pour in after legendary Nandu Natekar dies        Tendulkar helps farmer's daughter to pursue dream of becoming doctor        
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Health News
KNOW YOUR BREAST, KNOCK OUT BREAST CANCER
 
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, affecting more than 10 million women worldwide. The month of October is observed as Breast cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign conducted all over the world to increase awareness of the disease.

KNOW YOUR BREAST: BREAST AWARENESS

Breast is composed of glands called lobes that produce milk during lactation. The milk is carried to the nipple by thin tubes called ducts. Breast cancer originates from the lobes or the ducts of the breast. Normally, changes in breast can occur during pubertal development, reproductive age during pregnancy and that occuring at menopausal state.

Everyone’s breast looks and feel different. Even for a woman the right breast is different from the left. Breast awareness means being familiar with the normal look, feel of your breast and understanding the normal changes your breasts undergo with time and advancing age. There is no right or wrong way to self-examine your breast. You can see your breast by standing in front of mirror. You can feel the breast in lying down position or while taking bath. Always make sure you not only examine the breasts, but also the arm pits and upto the collar bone.

WARNING SIGNS OF BREAST CANCER

The changes that you need to watch for in your breasts are - a new lump in your breast or armpit, any new change in size or shape of breast, dimpling of skin over breast, redness or flaking of skin in and around nipples, inverted or sunken nipple, discharge from nipples.
If you are aware of your breasts, these new changes can be picked up early. All these findings need not necessarily be cancer but always meet your doctor without delay.

SCREEN YOUR BREASTS FOR CANCER –HOW AND WHEN?

Screening of breast cancer is most effectively done using mammogram. Mammogram is a low dose X-ray examination of breast cancer. It helps in early detection of breast cancer even before any signs or symptoms cancer manifest.

All females more than 40 years of age should undergo screening mammogram once in two years. Along with this they should visit the doctor for clinical breast examination once in a year. Studies have shown that regular screening has reduced the number of women who die from this disease by 30%.

However certain females are at higher risk of breast cancer as compared to normal population especially those with their first-degree relatives (first degree relatives include mother, sister or daughter) diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer. They should meet the oncologists to undergo counselling and get enrolled in more frequent screening programs.

WHY SHOULD BREAST CANCER BE DIAGNOSED EARLY?

Prognosis of breast cancer is highly dependent on stage of diagnosis. Treatment of breast cancer is highly successful when diagnosed in the early stages. The five-year survival rate ranges from 84% for early disease to just 18% for advanced cancers. This highlights the importance of early identification of the disease that assures effective treatment, longer survival and better quality of life.

BEING DIAGNOSED WITH BREAST CANCER – IS IT THE END OF THE LIFE‘S JOURNEY?

Being diagnosed with breast cancer today is an entirely different experience as compared to what it was about 3 decades ago.

Prior to 1970s, the only option for a woman diagnosed with breast cancer was to undergo a radical mastectomy where the whole breast along with nipple, lymph nodes in arm pit and chest wall muscles were removed. This was a destructive and disfiguring operation that led to a psycho social disaster for women then. Over the last 20 years the surgery of breast cancer has become more and more conservative. Moreover, breast reshaping and reconstruction are increasingly done to rebuild the breast.

Hand in hand there has been a lot excitement in the systemic treatment of breast cancer. The most important therapies being hormonal therapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapy. Targeted therapy selectively inhibits the mechanisms by which tumour cells grow, invade and metastasise. Radiotherapy has a crucial role in local control and survival.

Now we realise one size fits all approach doesn’t apply to management of breast cancer. Each patient will have a variety of concerns specific to them. The field of oncology has entered the era of personalised medicine where treatment of each patient is tailored such that maximum benefit is offered at minimal toxicity.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST - BIG SALUTE TO THE SHE-RO

With the advent of better screening and treatment modalities, women diagnosed with breast cancer are living long. They are the SHE-RO who have courageously and passionately fought and conquered breast cancer. Breast cancer survivors face a number of physical and psychological challenges while returning to normal life and attaining a new balance. Supporting them and giving them the optimal care is a major challenge the medical community is facing today.

DOES THE STORY END HERE?

Today the women diagnosed with breast cancer have a much brighter future. Though breast cancer still affects a lot of women it kills few. While much has been achieved, much more needs to be learned. Many women still develop recurrence and ultimately succumb to the disease. Ultimately the story of breast cancer remains incomplete. We look forward to the news somewhere in future that breast cancer has become a preventable disease. Hopefully that will be the best ending to this enduring story.

Dr. Rajitha L MD, DM (Medical Oncology)
Consultant Medical Oncologist
KIMSHEALTH Cancer Centre, Trivandrum


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Kidney transplantation
Lymphedema
Joint Preservation
Childhood Cancer
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Knowing about Epilepsy
Ovarian Cancer
ADVANCES IN BLOOD BANKING
KERALA NEWS
HC rejects plea to reassess minority status of Christians, Muslims in Kerala
 Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Thursday said merely because there are a few rich people among the m  
COVID-19: Over 4.5L vaccinations on Saturday, more than 16 lakh jabs this week in Kerala
Curbs tightened in Kerala following increase in COVID TPR
UDF walks out of Kerala Assembly over allegations against Forest Minister
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Pakistan reports spike in new COVID-19 cases
 Islamabad, Aug 1 (PTI) Pakistan reported 5,026 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, its highest daily-ca
Mexico's referendum on trying ex-presidents falls short
Berlin protesters decry coronavirus measures; 600 detained
Researchers Develop Variants Of More Potent, Stable Nanobodies To Fight SARS-CoV-2
NATIONAL NEWS
Pegasus issue: SC to hear on Aug 5 pleas seeking probe into snooping allegations
 New Delhi, Aug 1 (PTI) The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on August 5 the pleas, including the o
Assam, Mizoram trade barbs over deployment of security forces at interstate border
48% parents not willing to send their kids to schools till they get Covid vaccines: Survey
Will depend on situation, no problem if someone else leads: Mamata Banerjee on being face of Oppn
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