What To Expect At The Breast Centre
A Consultant Surgeon will see you first. You will be asked for details of your symptoms. You may be asked to fill in a short form, which includes questions about any family history of breast problems, and any medication you are taking. This will be followed by a Clinical Breast Examination
The doctor will check both your breasts. As part of the examination it is usual to examine the lymph glands in your armpits. You may then need to have further tests. These will usually include one or more of the following:
- Bilateral mammogram (x-ray of both breasts)
- Ultrasound scan
- Fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC)
- Core biopsy
One Stop Breast Clinictriple Assessment - ie;
Clinical Breast Examination, Breast imaging (mammogram/ ultrasound) and if there is a breast lump, an Ultrasound guided Breast biopsy (FNAC/core biopsy) will be carried out on your first visit. You do not need to go to Radiology Department for Mammogram or Ultrasound assessment. This is a unique set up, FIRST of its kind in the Country, where Clinical Assessment, Breast imaging and Breast biopsy are all done under one roof in a specific purpose built Breast Centre. The results of Imaging will be available within the hour - same day. The Core biopsy/FNAC report would be available in about three days.
A mammogram is a breast x-ray. The radiographer (an expert in taking breast x-rays) will ask you to undress to the waist and stand in front of the mammography machine. They will then rest each breast in turn between two x-ray plates so that it is compressed and flattened. Two images of each breast will be taken so that the breast tissue can be seen from two different angles.
KIMS Ushalakshmi Centre for Breast Diseases is the very FIRST Centre in South India & the Second Centre in India to have acquired the Full field Digital mammography Unit. Digital mammography is a recent revolutionary advance in which an image of the breast can be produced in about five seconds (compared to four to five minutes with a traditional mammogram). The new technique is more effective than standard mammography in showing up early subtle breast cancer changes & is particularly useful in younger women with dense breasts. Furthermore, Digital Mammography is associated with lesser radiation and lesser discomfort when compared with conventional Mammography system.
@ Kims-Ushalakshmi Centre For Breast Diseases
Right Breast Cancer
Screen Detected Early Left Breast Cancer
An ultrasound scan uses high-frequency sound waves to produce an image of the breast. It is not an x-ray. An ultrasound scan is painless and only takes a few minutes to do. You will be asked to undress to the waist and lie on a couch with your arm above your head. Some gel will be spread on your breast and a scanning probe will be moved around the breast. This is the same technique used to look at babies in the mothers womb during pregnancy.
Ultrasound And Ultrasound Guided Core Needle Biopsy Of Right Breast Cancer
Core biopsy has replaced FNAC to become standard of care in assessing solid lumps in the breast. A core biopsy uses a large needle to obtain a sample of tissue, but you will be given local anaesthetic to numb the area before the sample is taken. The specialist may take several samples at the same time. The tissue samples are sent to the laboratory where they are examined under the microscope to establish a diagnosis.
You will usually be asked to wear a small dressing or plaster for a few hours afterwards. Once the anaesthetic wears off you may find that your breast aches and it may also become bruised. You may need to take painkillers if the area is tender or painful. Your result may be described to you as one of the following:
- B1 normal breast tissue
- B2 benign (non-cancerous)
- B3 suspicious but probably benign
- B4 suspicious and possibly malignant (cancer)
- B5 malignant (cancer) Further tests or treatment are usually needed for a result showing B3, B4 or B5.
FNAC involves taking a sample of breast cells using a fine needle and syringe, which is then sent to the laboratory where it is looked at under a microscope. As Core biopsy has replaced FNAC in the evaluation of solid lesions, FNAC is only used mainly for aspiration of large Cysts/Abscess in the breast
This test can be uncomfortable but rarely requires local anaesthetic. You may need to wear a plaster for a few hours afterwards and the area may feel sore. Your result may be described to you as one of the following:
- C1 inadequate sample (not enough cells for diagnosis)
- C2 benign (non-cancerous)
- C3 suspicious but probably benign
- C4 suspicious and possibly malignant (cancer)
- C5 malignant (cancer)
The specialist will use the result to help decide if further tests or treatments are needed. Further tests or treatments are usually needed for a result showing C3, C4 or C5, or where the findings of the tests do not agree.
Triple assessment is usually all that is needed to make a diagnosis. However, sometimes you may need further tests. An excision biopsy of the lump may be required rarely, if the triple assessment is unable to establish the nature of the lesion. If the lesion is impalpable, a wire guided excision biopsy may be needed, if the image guided core needle biopsy is not able to establish a diagnosis.
Getting your results
For the majority of women triple assessment will show nothing more serious than a specific benign breast condition. In this case the Consultant Surgeon will explain what it is and whether you need any treatment or follow up.
If your results show that you have breast cancer you may feel all sorts of emotions such as shock, fear, anger and helplessness, and you may find it hard to take in what you are being told. Having someone with you who can listen carefully or ask questions can be very helpful.
Detailed Counseling will be done by the Consultant Surgeon in the Breast Centre and he will talk to you about your diagnosis/treatment.
What are the possible questions that one might want to ask the Specialist?
One should feel free to ask questions to the Specialist relating to various treatment options. They might include
Why is this the best treatment for me?
Are there any options?
What are the possible side effects? Are there any short term & long term complications?
How will these treatments impact on everyday life?
It is the duty of the Specialist to clarify questions posed in an unhurried manner
You may also want to read booklets published by Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation in partnership with Breast Cancer Care, UK or download the World’s first mobile app on ‘ABC OF BREAST HEALTH’ that provides detailed information about every aspect of breast cancer and benign non cancer breast health issues in simple easy to understand format in 12 commonly spoken Indian languages, including English.
Abc Of Breast Health
World's First Mobile app on Breast Health in 12 languages
For Free download, please click on link below
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