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Diagnosed with Breast cancer,breast cancer, oncology, breast cancer diagnosis

What to expect when you are diagnosed with Breast cancer

Breast cancer is, by far, one of the most common cancers in Indian women. Breast cancer ranks number one in cities and comes at the second position in rural areas. According to one study, breast cancer accounts for 25% of all female cancer cases that occur in rural India and 32% of total cancer cases in cities.

In India, one woman in every 4 minutes is diagnosed with breast cancer. On the other hand, every 13 minutes that passes, a woman dies due to breast cancer in India. We can consider the notoriously high mortality rate as a consequence of a lack of awareness in our medical system and delays in screening.

To this day, there are no known preventive measures that women can take for breast cancer. However, while you cannot prevent it from happening, with proper medical attention, breast cancer can surely be treated.

Our primary focus for this article is to tell women that it’s okay if you are diagnosed with breast cancer. It may look like it’s the end of the world for you. But ultimately, proper treatment and medication will set you on the road to recovery.

An important aspect of your treatment journey is a good support system, so hold on tight to your loved ones. You need someone close to you to send you positive vibes during your breast cancer treatment.

Triple assessment of Breast Cancer 

The triple test assessment is the best way to find out about any issues and diseases related to the breast in women. The evaluation includes consultation with the doctor for a patient’s examination, along with imaging testing and biopsy.

  • Clinical Breast Examination: This involves looking thoroughly at the whole breast area of the patient for any physical lumps present. This process includes an examination of both the breasts, nipples, armpits, all the way up to the collarbone.
  • Image Testing: This entails two types of testing: a mammogram and an ultrasound. The age of the patient determines the tests required. 
    • Mammogram: Using low-dose-X-rays to examine breasts
    • Ultrasound: Using high-frequency sound waves to find abnormality in the breast and armpit area
  • Biopsy: This procedure involves extracting sample tissues. This allows the doctor to examine cells and tissues in the area for any sign of breast cancer.

Questions You Need to Ask After Getting Diagnosed 

After conducting the triple assessment of breast cancer, your doctor will understand more about your condition. If you find you are diagnosed with breast cancer, don’t panic. Feel free to ask as many questions about your diagnosis as you want. They, too, want to answer all your questions. In this way, you will be able to make better-informed decisions for your treatment.

Not every question mentioned here may apply to you. But they will help you get started on your knowledge of the procedure. For one thing, you know your symptoms and body much better than anyone else does. Try to write down some questions all by yourself. 

  • What kind of breast cancer do I have? And what test procedures will be needed to do my treatment? 
  • At what stage is my breast cancer in? And should I be worried?
  • What are the major side effects of breast cancer treatment?
  • What’s the probability of my survival from this cancer, based on my breast tumour size and cancer stage?
  • How should I be preparing my body for the treatment?
  • When will you start my treatment?

It’s a good thing to have two sets of ears when the doctor is explaining the overall medical management of breast cancer. Be sure to bring someone with you when you are visiting your doctor for your breast cancer prognosis.

Coming to terms with breast cancer is no small feat and may lead to emotional trauma. If you face any mental health issues during this difficult time, do not hesitate to reach out to your doctor for professional support.

What Do You Need to Do if One of Your Family Members Gets Diagnosed? 

It’s hard when someone in your family gets diagnosed with breast cancer. But with the right steps, you can be the pillar of support to your loved one. You need to stick close to her during and after her treatment. Let’s talk about some tips on how you can help someone who’s diagnosed with breast cancer and make them feel comfortable. 

  1. First, you need to prepare yourself for change in behaviour and mood in your loved one. It happens quite a lot with breast cancer treatment medications. Moreover, patients often go through emotional and physical stress after their breast cancer prognosis
  2. Secondly, you need to make her feel happy and encourage her to be active in her life. Tell her to do as much for herself as possible. It will give her a sense of control, along with freedom and responsibility. 
  3. Don’t forget to involve your other family members and friends. There is no denying the fact that more love and affection is always better. During tough times, the people who are closest to you would likely appreciate a chance to help. 
  4. Find some activity which you two can do on your own. Play some music or watch her favorite movies. Think of things that can help her forget about the breast tumour treatment for a while and make her enjoy the moment. 

In Conclusion  

Once you and your doctor decide the best breast cancer treatment plan, make sure that you follow every word of advice from your healthcare provider.

Breast cancer tends to go undetected, and a delayed diagnosis can take a turn for the worse. You need to seek immediate breast tumour treatment if you develop these symptoms in your body:

  • You need to seek immediate care if you develop these symptoms in your body
  • Lumps or nodes felt on or inside of the breast
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk
  • Change in breast colour along with changes in touch, the appearance of nipples
Author: Dr. Rohan Khandelwal
Dr. Rohan Khandelwal is a renowned surgeon who has completed his fellowship in breast oncology and advanced breast surgery from esteemed institutes like The Aiello Breast Center, University of Maryland. He has garnered over 17 years of clinical experience from some of the most reputed healthcare facilities across the country. He specializes in benign and cancerous breast disorders in both genders. He is also the editor in chief for the New Indian Journal of Surgery and Journal of Young Medical Researcher.
 
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