Dr. Usha Maheshwari is a senior General & Laparoscopic Surgeon with an experience of over 27 years in this field. Dr. Usha Maheshwari practices at Apollo Spectra Hospital, Kailash Colony, New Delhi. She specializes in breast surgeries, inguinal hernias, hydroceles, hemorrhoids, fissures, and fistulas apart from other critical treatments. Being a female surgeon and practicing exclusively in general surgery, she is preferred by many female patients with problems related to breast and perianal areas as they feel more comfortable in confiding in a female surgeon. Here, she shares information related to breast health, breast cancer and a guide to self-analysis of the breasts and why it is important.
Breast related diseases, especially breast cancer, have reached an all-time-high in India with over 2.5 lakhs of women being affected by it. According to research, about 1 lakh cases of breast cancer are added every year. Breast disease awareness is vital in order to avoid such severe complications. Awareness programs on such issues hit a roadblock due to the hesitation among women to discuss this publicly or due to lack of appropriate medical access or facilities for treatment. According to studies, urban population, particularly the urban women entering their forties, are prone to breast diseases. It is very important for them to get a sonomammogram (Ultrasound of Breasts) done as early as possible. It is also a fact that these breast diseases create a psychological havoc for them and the whole family, making it all the more difficult for them to deal with, at this productive stage of life.
Did you know? Early detection of breast cancer can increase chances of survival by 98%. Read more here.
Irrespective of their age, women should be aware of all the symptoms of breast diseases. A regular self-analysis test is recommended along with expert consultation. If you notice any or even one of the symptoms, immediately consult a doctor or even your family physicist for guidance regarding the complication. Any change in the regular appearance, touch or feel of the breast needs to be given due attention and with appropriate protocols, adverse effects of cancer, infection or drastic losses can be prevented.
Symptoms of Breast Cancer:
The most common myth is that a lump is the first sign of a breast disease or cancer. However, fortunately, almost 80% to 90% of breast lumps are generally benign (non-cancerous), so an appearance of the same need not cause panic. Immediate consultation with a general surgeon or a breast disease specialist will help in understanding the problem better.
Other symptoms are the following:
- White, yellow or reddish discharge from the nipples
- Rash around the nipples
- Constant pain in the breast and / or the armpits
- A sudden alteration in the shape of the breast
- A bulge in or near the armpit
- A sudden change in the appearance of the nipples
Breast lumps, pain, discharge and skin changes can be signs of a minor problem or something more serious. So it is important to pay attention to any change.
Self Analysis is the Best Analysis
Guide yourself through the self-analysis of breasts by answering the following questions:
- Do you have tenderness or swelling in one or both breasts? Does this occur throughout the month, or just before periods?
- In case you’ve given birth recently and are breastfeeding your child, do you have pain in the breast or nipples? Do you see any cracks in your nipples?
- Do you feel thickened, bumpy areas in specific parts or throughout your breasts?
- Do you feel a painful lump in your breast which was not there previously?
- Do you feel a painless lump in your breast which moves from one place to the other freely, and seems to grow in size?
- Do you feel a lump, either superficial or deep, in your breast which is somewhat fixed to the surrounding areas?
- Have you noticed any changes in your breast skin, like dimpling, puckering, redness or scaling?
- Have you noticed any discharge- watery, yellowish, greenish or bloody from the nipple?
- Is there redness and scaling of the nipple?
- Do you have an ulcer on your skin which does not heal?
After a thorough analysis of the following questions, if you have observed that at least one or more of these questions have a ‘yes’ as an answer, please do not ignore the symptoms. Get a screening done immediately. Visit our BREAST HEALTH CLINIC for a thorough breast examination and guidance from our Lady General Surgeons and Breast Health Specialists. To book an appointment with Dr. Usha Maheshwari, click here.