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SURGERY FOR BREAST CANCER IS NOT ABOUT REMOVING BREASTS, ALWAYS… In the 1960’s, the conviction that breast cancer was a systemic disease at inception and not a local disease, prompted trials to address one question- ‘Are we doing too much?’ Radical mastectomy was replaced by modified radical mastectomy- a procedure not as mutilating as radical mastectomy ( the chest muscles were preserved)but still one, which involved loss of an organ. Moreover, to a woman, it meant much more than the loss of an organ. It probably entailed a huge psychological blow besides casting a shadow on her feminity. She, being the woman she was, in those days, came to terms with this loss, in the best manner possible. All that mattered to her was her getting well, on her feet and ready to discharge the duties of a wife, mother, daughter and more. And there was really no choice then because the doctors treating her were also convinced that sacrificing the breast was the only chance of getting well. More tomorrow.....on Evolution of treatment
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Today, I got a call from one of my erstwhile patients. I treated her for breast cancer about 10 years ago. She had two young children at that time, a daughter aged 10 and a son aged 7. She would come on follow up, regularly. However, five years down the line, her husband got transferred to Guwahati.On her last visit to me, she was tearful. She hugged me and said, ‘Doc, I have one wish. I want my daughter to become a Doctor like you! And at that moment, I choked. No words were spoken and she quietly left my room. I thought I had received the best compliment ever. Returning to the excited voice over the phone. It was her. She told me how she had misplaced my number and how she had found my number through a friend’s friend, who I had treated. I asked her if she was ok and she said she never felt better. I was relieved.She had called me to just tell me that her dream was on its way to being realised.Her daughter was studying medicine and wanted to pursue surgical oncology as her career. I mumbled my congratulations and did not realise that tears were running down my cheeks as I put the phone down. Noble profession, indeed! #Health#Doctor#BreastCancer#Surgeon#Max Hospital#Patparganj
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A young lady of 35 years walked into my clinic with cancer phobia. Her mother had died at the age of 45 from breast cancer. She said, ” My mom was diagnosed in Stage 4 and she never had a lump in the breast. All that was there to see was that her nipple had been pulled in.” I examined her, got an ultrasound of the breast done and she is fine. While a breast lump is the commonest symptom of breast cancer, a nipple pulled in could also be a harbinger of breast cancer. Under the nipple, is hardest to feel for a lump. However, when the nipple sinks in, it may mean that there is this sinister lump sitting beneath it and pulling it towards it. If this has happened recently, you certainly need to visit a Breast Surgeon!
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It is not rare for me to see patients presenting with locally advanced breast cancer or metastatic cancer. Many times, I would wonder why they came in late. Till a few years back, I would judge the educated ones more harshly and enquire in my mind what education had done for them. I stopped judging them a few years ago especially after scratching their tough exteriors a bit! Six years ago, this elderly lady, speaking in impeccable English almost stumbled into my office. She was pale and weak and her daughter informed me that she had a bleeding ulcer in her left breast. I examined her and found a 15 cm large bleeding, ulcerated mass in her left breast. Her blood tests showed she was awfully low on Hemoglobin. I quickly arranged for a biopsy and also had a PET CT done, almost certain, that her disease would have spread. Thankfully, I was proved wrong. She was given blood transfusions and chemotherapy was started. She was an epitome of courage and went through her chemotherapy, surgery and radiation with a quiet resilience. During the course of her treatment, I asked her why she had presented so late. What she said shook me!She said she had a paralysed husband to look after and she had been doing that for the past 4 years. She knew about the lump and that it was growing. It is just that her husband’s need was greater. That is when the judging stopped. We may boast of a secure social fabric but many times we see these lone wagers, fighting their own battles. Their health becomes secondary. Life is not easy for many. Bless her!She is well. Her dear husband passed away 3 years ago and she runs an NGO to promote forgotten skills among women in rural Haryana. I am truly proud to have known her!
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Cancer is often viewed as the end of the road in many ways, especially for the young afflicted with cancer. While the diagnosis of cancer, in itself, can be devastating for them, the consequences of treatment can actually push them further into a corner. One such situation arising out of treatment is infertility, a topic which was rarely broached with the young and old alike, till the recent past. With due care and sensitivity to these needs of the patients, it is possible to reverse a lot of wrong that treatment can bring in its wake! That brings me to the story of this young Champion I wish to share with you.The main protagonist of this story is a young Doctor diagnosed with breast cancer aged 26 years about 6 years ago. She was devastated! She was engaged to her sweetheart- a young Doctor training to be a surgeon. She was looking forward to a beautiful life when she was struck by breast cancer. This was more than what any girl her age could take. But she was different!She had spunk and was not willing to let go, of the life she had dreamt of. She soon collected herself to ask the right questions of her doctors. She wanted to preserve her fertility and after consulting an infertility specialist, had her ova preserved. She underwent treatment, thereafter and had breast conservation surgery followed by chemotherapy, radiation and 5 years of hormonal treatment, supported by her fiancé who stood by her like a rock.She was married to him soon after treatment. She is on follow up and all is well. The story doesn’t end here. She called me last week to share a piece of good news. She had given birth to a healthy baby boy two months ago. I was besides myself with joy and both of us laughed merrily over the phone. She came over two days ago with her bundle of joy cradled in her arms, her eyes overflowing with the selfless love of a mother. I could imagine what it meant to her. And this had happened naturally!! However bad the situation, life does turn up trumps on many occasions. These Champs give a new meaning to hope and I am wiser for it. If I am optimistic, you know where it comes from!! #health #breast cancer # breast conservation surgery #infertility #Max Hospital #Patparganj

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Max Cancer Centre. Max Super Speciality Hospital108A. I. P. Extn Patparganj, New, -110092
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28.61316 77.288369 Dr. Geeta Kadayaprath - Breast Surgical Oncologist Max Cancer Centre. Max Super Speciality Hospital108A. I. P. Extn Patparganj, New, -110092
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