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A breast cancer survivor urges mothers to undertake an early diagnosis to gain a new lease on life

As a breast cancer survivor 28-year old young mother, oversees Mother's Day as a time of reflection and thankfulness.

The young patient was diagnosed with phylloid tumour in her breast which was about 10-12 cm. This was the third time the patient was diagnosed with a cancer. In the past, she had two surgeries to treat her condition. At the time of third relapse, doctors at Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai carried out a mastectomy with breast construction instantly- with her own tissue from the breast. Immediate breast reconstruction is always preferred, such that the patient, when regains consciousness identifies no change in the breasts, paving way for a positive impact for the life to follow.

“Apollo Hospitals, especially, Dr Sandip Bipte has magic in his hands. When we were informed about him, we wasted no time and instantly approached him for our treatment. Since day one, he has been extremely considerate and clear about my treatment plan. Before, I was afraid about this surgery, but Dr Bipte made sure that we had the accurate information. His positive outlook to treating my condition was phenomenal. Right from helping us understand the process to taking good care of me after the surgery, Dr Bipte has been extremely supportive and caring. As I celebrate Mother’s Day now, I realise that I have been lucky to receive a new lease to life - not once, but thrice. As mothers we generally forget to take care of ourselves, but on this occasion, I’d like to urge all mothers to take absolute care of their health and undertake screenings for breasts regularly,” stated the young mother.

Most of the women, commonly find breast lumps accidentally, either while bathing or during a medical examination. But they delay it to take it to doctors or experts as they think all breast lumps are due to normal changes.

Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the world. In the Middle East, the incidents of breast cancer cases are increasing very fast in Middle East women from 16-33.5 % per 100000 population. The main concern is obesity and diet patterns. The changing and sedentary lifestyle is another key cause.

While breast cancer can affect any age group from 18-95 years, the most common age group in Middle East are women in the age group of 35-50 years due to normal changes and active estrogenic phase of life during that stage. Apart from that, others breast cancer cases occur in that age group which delay the diagnosis where most women consider it to be hormonal lumps.

As such, an early diagnosis is essential. Once it’s diagnosed with mammogram and biopsy, treatment can be provided to patients to help them save lives. Common forms of treatment for breast surgery, inclusive of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy depending on the stage of illness. It takes 4-5 month to finish all treatment.

“Early diagnosis can save them from breast cancer. It is therefore suggested that they know about warning sign and symptoms such as breast lump or axillary lump, blood stain nipple discharge, inverted nipple, change in size of breast and skin thickening of the breasts,” said Dr Sandip Bipte, Consultant Breast Cancer Oncology Apollo Hospitals.

The best form of diagnosis is prevention through self-examination. It is recommended that women from 20 to 75 years of age conduct breast self-examination on 6th day of period every month. For any doubts they can contact a medical expert. In addition, a mammogram screening should be done for female above 45 years of age, once in three years. High risk women should have annual mammogram or MRI breast depending upon specialist opinion,” stated Dr Bipte.

Breast cancer is responsible for more than 20% deaths in the world every year, along with more than 17 million new cancer diagnoses each year. Luckily, new treatments have pushed the disease's five-year survival rate to nearly 90%.This year, Mother's Day may be a time of celebration for many, but for those who are fighting against the disease or who have no idea about what’s in store for them, get an early diagnosis. A step today could save a tomorrow.

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