EXCLUSIVE: Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2021: Is breast cancer curable? Expert REVEALS

Updated on Oct 14, 2021 12:15 AM IST  |  31K
   
Breast cancer treatment
Expert tells you about the available treatments of breast cancer
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Prevention is better than cure. We all must have heard this adage. However, in some cases prevention is the best, or the only, cure. So is the case with cancer. With newer technologies coming in, and science growing by leaps and bounds, cancer care and treatment is becoming easy and effective, however the fact that early detection, and proper treatment is the key to cure cancer, especially breast cancers, remains unquestionable.

This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Dr Pranjali Gadgil, Breast Cancer Surgeon, Jupiter Hospital Baner, Pune, tells you that those who lose hope after getting diagnosed with breast cancer, it is imperative for them to know that breast cancer can be completely cured if diagnosed early and treated correctly and completely.

“For an early diagnosis, it is important that women do not neglect early symptoms. Given breast cancer is the commonest cancer of women in India today, all healthy women should undergo an annual breast exam after the age of 30. A good-quality mammogram should be done once a year after the age of 40. A mammogram can sometimes pick up breast cancer a year or two before the woman can feel a lump,” says Gadgil.

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This early diagnosis in the first stage makes treatments simpler, increasing the success rate of cures where more than 90 percent of the women can be completely cured of the disease.

If you are wondering, if breast cancer is curable then what are the treatments available, Gadgil says, there is no definite approach. “When it comes to treatments, it isn't one size fits all. Each case of breast cancer is unique.  We develop a personalised treatment plan for every woman depending on her age, tumor subtype and stage, her overall health and fitness. Her life history when it comes to completion of family, menopausal status, and personal priorities and lifestyle are also important,” says Gadgil.

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While for many a breast cancer must be synonymous to removal of breast, the silver lining, she says, is that in a majority of breast cancers, we can safely treat cancer without having to remove the breast. “This can be done via a procedure called breast conservation surgery. In patients where there is a need to remove the whole breast, we replace the diseased breast with the reconstruction of a new breast. We routinely perform this procedure called “nipple skin-sparing mastectomy with immediate reconstruction” in Jupiter Hospital.  In today's day and age, a woman doesn't need to lose her breast for treatment of her cancer,” she explains.

Gadgil points out that treatments like radiation, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and others have reduced the risk of recurrence after breast cancer surgery. “These treatments get more effective every day and a majority of women can live out a normal lifespan with a good quality of life, cancer-free,” concludes Gadgil.

Read Also: EXCLUSIVE: Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2021: Expert answers important questions about Breast Cancer

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