Introduction to Breast Cancer

What is Breast Cancer?Breast cancer is a malignant tumor usually occurs in the epithelial tissue of the breast gland. It is one of the most common malignant tumors that severely impacts on women's physical and mental health and even threats to the life, while is rarely seen in male. The main symptoms of breast cancer are: breast lumps, breast pain, nipple discharge, nipple changes, skin changes and axillary lymph nodes swelling.

How to self-diagnose breast cancer?

1. Self-exam when bathing

When bathing, soap your breast at first to make it sliding when checking. Put one of your hands behind your head, with fingers of another hand closed and straighten, carefully check every part of your breast with your finger pulps in spiral manner to see whether there are masses in your breasts. Alternate your hands when checking your two breasts.

2. Checking before a mirror

Stand in front of a mirror with your hands down to see whether the outlook of your breasts is normal and whether there is indentation of your nipples and shrinking or humps of the breast skin. Slightly nip your nipples to see whether there is discharge and check your armpit to see whether there are swollen lymph nodes. At last, hold high your hands above your head and repeat the examination again.

Symptoms

What are the signs and symptoms?General Symptoms of breast cancer

1. Breast cancer patients in early stage are not able to touch clear lumps, but often accompanied with local discomforts. This situation happens very often specially in women after menopause.

2. Early stage breast cancer patients can reach bean-size masses in their breast grand, which are hard and movable but with no significant pain, while a few patients might bear intermittent pain or pricking pain.

3. Change of the breast shape. Visible skin bulge can be seen in the mass region, local orange peel -like skin, edema, and even discoloration may appear in some cases.

4. Nipples in the center are associated with nipple retraction; breast skin is accompanied with mild depression, nipple erosion, nipple asymmetry, skin thickening, coarsening, and enlarged pores.

5. Axillary lymph nodes swelling. Swelling in ipsilateral axillary lymph nodes is most commonly seen, while swelling in the supraclavicular lymph nodes has fallen into the advance stage.

Diagnosis

Diagnostic Methods of Breast Cancer

1. Ultrasound imaging examination: it can clearly reveal the form and boundary of breast tissues and whether there is mass in the breast, if any, its size, shape and texture (cystic or solid), etc. It provides comparatively reliable basis for the distinguishing between benign and malignant cancer. Ultrasound imaging examination has an 80%~85% accuracy to the diagnosis of breast cancer patients of 30 years old. The strong reflected sound caused by the surrounding infiltrated tissues, the damaged normal breast structure, the thickening or indentation of local breast skin above underlying mass, images of all these can be taken as important reference of breast cancer diagnosis. Ultrasound is harmless and can be reused.

2. Thermal imaging examination: it is a method to reveal the temperature distribution of body surface with images. As cancer cells proliferate fast and vessels increase, the temperature of cancer surface rises higher than that of surrounding normal tissues, with the differences of which, diagnosis can be done. However, this diagnosis method lacks of accurate imaging standard, and the thermal abnormal parts cannot correspond to the tumor. Therefore, the diagnostic accordance rate of the method is low. That's why this method is used less and less in recent years.

3. CT scans: it can be used in determining the location of impalpable breast lesions before biopsy and staging breast cancer before treatment, as well as checking whether there are masses in the retromammary area, armpit and internal breast lymph nodes, and helping with treatment plan as well.

4. Cancer marker examination: during the cancerization process, a substance is produced and secreted by cancer cells. It directly releases components of cell tissues and exists in the cancer cells or body fluid of the parasitifer in the form of antigen, enzyme, hormone or metabolite. This kind of substance is called cancer marker, with which the examination methods include carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), iron protein, monoclonal antibody, and so on.

5. Biopsy: only after the diagnosis is confirmed can treatment for breast cancer be performed. Although there are plenty of examination methods for breast cancer nowadays, the result of biopsy is the only basis that can be used to confirm diagnosis.

Treatments

Breast cancer is one of the most common malignant tumor, whose disease rate makes up 10% of various malignant tumor, threatening female's health severely. The attack of breast cancer leads to females' losing confidence for life and work, and bringing a challenge for a family. How to conquer breast cancer becomes the main issue for the patient and their family. Experts from Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou point out that the New therapy brings a hope of health for breast cancer patients when the happiness arrives.

Stage Treatment
I & II

The common treatments are mastectomy, breast reconstruction, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. However, for those who can’t tolerate or do not want to take common sugery, the preferred treatment is minimally invasive treatment, including cryotherapy, interventional therapy, microwave ablation, combined therapy of chinese medicine and western medicine, etc for breast cancer stage 1 or stage 2.

III

In breast cancer stage 3,  the preferred tretaments are 125I seed implantation,  green chemotherapy, cryotherapy, interventional therapy, microwave ablation, etc.  In this condition, patients can choose to take intergrated treatment according to their phycical condition, size of tumor, etc.

IV

In breast cancer stage 4 , the tumor has spread to the other part of the body, such as liver, bone, brain, etc. Open surgery is not effective as a form of treatment while minimally invasive treatment, such as cryotherapy, interventional therapy, 125I seed implantation, microwave ablation, etc. Doctor team at Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou will evaluate patient's condition and discuss the case first, then make a personalized treatment plan to every patient.


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If you still have questions about Breast Cancer treatment, please click the following links or have online consultation with our experts to get detailed answers.

What are the treatment options for Breast Cancer patients?

Which kind of treatment has fewer side effects?

Different treatment options for different stages of Breast Cancer

Prevention and treatment for metastatic Breast Cancer.

How to improve the survival time and living quality of Breast Cancer patients?

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How We Treat Cancer?

Interventional Therapy

Interventional Therapy is a new substitute of traditional chemotherapy, which means that a physician introduces instruments such as needles or catheters (long, thin tubes) into the body through tiny(1-2 mm) incisions in the skin. The instruments are then guided by an imaging technique called fluoroscopy to the cancer tumor. In this way, the physician can deliver cancer medicine directly to the tumor.more info

Cryotherapy Therapy

Cryotherapy Therapy, also known as “Argon-Helium Knife Cryotherapy”, is a new substitute of traditional physical therapy. Practically speaking it is “extreme cold + extreme heat” cancer treatment. Generally, a minimum of 10-15 minutes is required to achieve an extreme analgesic (pain relieving) effect while lowering the temperature to the injured area, thus reducing the metabolic rate and swelling associated with tissue injury.more info

Particle Knife

Particle Knife is a new substitute of traditional radiation therapy. With the help of computer Treatment Planning System (TPS), radioactive particles will be implanted into tumors. The particles which release γ-rays can continuously kill tumor and cause destruction targeting tumor cells. With time, the radiation amount would accumulate to be large enough to destroy the DNA double strands of tumor cells.more info


Medical Team

Our medical team includes surgeons, radiology oncologists, medical oncologists, nurses, nutritionists, accompanied by interpreters and related health experts; we shall be dedicated to provide you a convenient and high-quality service.

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