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Breast cancer awareness: Trust your doctor when they advice, says Dr Sandeep Nayak


Breast cancer awareness: Trust your doctor when they advice, says Dr Sandeep Nayak

By Dr. Sandeep Nayak

My mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer and got her breast surgically removed. A year later, she was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer and she could not be saved. There’s no history of cancer in the family before this. Do I need to go for a early checkup? Should I worry that I might have cancer too in the coming years?

As your mother had cancer, there is a slight increase of chances. It is generally advised to go for breast cancer screening 10 years earlier than when your mother developed cancer. That is if your mother had cancer at 50, then you should screen yourself at 40. However, I would strongly advise you to consult an oncologist to assess your risk and make a proper plan for you. You might be considered for genetic testing if your risk is found to be high.

My mother is suffering from breast cancer. She has had a lump in her right breast for the past one year but didn’t have any issue. Three months ago, she underwent an operation to remove the lump. Doctor advised to test for cancer. The report stated that my mother is suffering from breast cancer. We immediately started the treatment. For the last three months, we have been on medical treatment for breast cancer. As per the doctor, the lump has been removed and my mother is going for chemotherapy. I need your advice. Please help

Most of the breast cancer require multiple modalities of treatment which includes surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Also, there are other factors to be assessed in breast cancers. If the breast cancer express hormone receptor, particular drugs can be used which will reduce the risk.

My mother has breast cancer stage 3 type A. She is currently undergoing treatment in a hospital but the doctors aren’t mentioning the number of chemotherapy cycles, she will have to undergo.
There are various regimes of chemotherapy of breast cancer and the number of cycle varies from regime to regime. The medical oncologist who plans the chemotherapy will be able to give you a clear idea about the number. Trust your doctor.

If the doctors say 10 chemo cycles, 5 chemo before surgery and the rest 5 cycles post surgery, what does it mean? They are also saying the cycles can be increased more than 10 if body response well. Don’t we have any standard number of cycles for different cancers in different stages?

The regimes of chemotherapy are standard. However, slight variations are made by doctors based on the patient’s fitness. Regarding the sequence of treatment, it does not make any difference if the surgery is performed in between or after performing all the cycles of chemotherapy. Sequences does not have much effect on the final outcome.

*The author is one of the leading Surgical Oncologist and Head of Surgical Oncology at Fortis Hospital and MACS Clinic. Regarded as one of the best oncologist in India. 

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