Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women but does also occur in men. With women, the first symptom is usually a lump which may be noticed by the woman or picked up during a mammogram. Other symptoms to be aware of include thickening of breast tissue, changes in the size and shape of the breast or nipple, a discharge from the nipple or swelling in the armpit. In many cases, however, these symptoms will turn out to be benign..
Cancer may be confirmed by a biopsy where a small part of the lump is removed and then examined under a microscope. Ultrasound, mammograms and blood tests may also be used.
Treatment for breast cancer varies according to the type and extent of the tumour but can include
- surgery to remove all or part of the breast, and sometimes also the lymph nodes under the armpit
- in some cases, ongoing drug therapy.
Some women will benefit from having drugs which lower the amount of female hormones in their bodies, either before or after surgery. Just under a quarter of women will benefit from HER2 antibody treatment, which is a drug used to treat a specific type of breast cancer.
If you have a breast removed, there is usually the option of reconstructive surgery.
Ramsay hospitals offers a range of screening and diagnostic procedures at a time convenient to you, and also offers treatment for some of the most common types of cancer. We offer the support of multi-disciplinary teams who will be working together to ensure you get the care which is right for you.
If you would like to discuss possible tests or treatment contact us.