Dr. Gautam Goyal is a lead consultant for the Medical & Hemato-Oncology at Max Super Speciality Hospital, Mohali. Dr. Goyal trained in MD (Internal Medicine) from CSMMU (KGMC), Lucknow before initiating his career in Hemato-Oncology. He completed his DM (Medical Oncology) from Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai and is ECMO (ESMO Certified Medical Oncologist).
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, after skin cancer. One in eight women is suffering from breast cancer in her lifetime. It is also the second leading cause of cancer death in women after lung cancer. Encouragingly, the death rate from breast cancer has declined a bit in recent years, perhaps due to greater awareness and screening for this type of cancer, as well as better treatments. Breast cancer is a disease that occurs when cells in breast tissue change (or mutate) and keep reproducing. These abnormal cells usually cluster together to form a tumor.
A tumor is cancerous (or malignant) when these abnormal cells invade other parts of the breast or when they spread (or metastasize) to other areas of the body through the bloodstream or lymphatic system, a network of vessels and nodes in the body that plays a role in fighting infection. Breast cancer usually starts in the milk-producing glands of the breast (called lobules) or the tube- shaped ducts that carry milk from the lobules to the nipple. Less often, cancer begins in the fatty and fibrous connective tissue of the breast. New cases of breast cancer are about 100 times more common in women than in men, but yes, men can get breast cancer too.
Male breast cancer is rare, but anyone with breast tissue can develop breast cancer. Breast cancer is caused by a genetic mutation in the DNA of breast cancer cells. Some mutations may develop randomly over time, while others are inherited or may be the result of environmental exposures or lifestyle factors. With breast cancer, early detection is key. The earlier the disease is diagnosed the less it has progressed, and the better the outcome with treatment. A diagnostic mammogram, which involves more X-rays than a screening mammogram, can offer a more detailed view of the area of concern.
Two other tests, a breast MRI or a breast ultrasound, may be ordered to gather additional diagnostic information. All breast cancers are assigned a stage based on biopsy results plus other findings from blood tests and imaging scans. Staging can help you and your medical team make decisions about appropriate treatment and understand your chances of survival. Breast cancer treatment regimens differ widely based on the type of cancer, its stage, its sensitivity to hormones, the patient’s age and health, and other factors. Treatments for men and women are similar.
Surgery and radiation therapy are mainstays of breast cancer treatment. These are known as “local therapies” because they target the tumor without affecting the rest of the body. With a breast-conserving surgery called a lumpectomy, only the portion of the breast containing cancer is removed. A mastectomy involves removing the entire breast and possibly some of the surrounding tissue. Lymph nodes may be removed as part of breast cancer surgery or a separate operation. Radiation therapy uses high-energy waves to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. It may be recommended for patients who have breast cancer surgery or whose cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Newer medicines, called targeted therapies, specifically attack cancer cells while sparing normal cells. Cancer-killing chemotherapy medicines are delivered intravenously (into a vein) or taken by mouth. Chemo may be given before or after surgery. Treatment outcomes may depend on the stage of cancer, a patient’s response to treatment, and other factors.
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With vast experience of 12 years & work in the prestigious TMH, Mumbai for over 5 years, he is widely appreciated for his clinical judgement, operative skills and state of art care for patients with all types and stages of cancer. His main area of interest includes breast cancer with breast conservation surgeries and oncoplasty.