Breast Cancer Blog

Breast Cancer

Oct 7th, 2017

Archive for 2017

Breast Cancer

Saturday, October 7th, 2017
What is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is an uncontrolled growth of breast cells.  Cancer occurs as a result of mutations, or abnormal changes, in the genes responsible for regulating the growth of cells and keeping them healthy. These abnormal cells keep dividing without control or order and form a tumor. A tumor can be benign (not dangerous to health) or malignant (has the potential to be dangerous). Malignant tumors are cancerous. If left unchecked, malignant cells eventually can spread beyond the original tumor to other parts of the body. Breast Cancer is a malignant tumor that develops from cells in the breast.

Breast cancer can have an impact on many aspects of your daily life. It is essential to seek treatment and be updated with the latest breast cancer breakthroughs. Everyone copes with their diagnosis differently and also responds differently to the treatment.

Know the symptoms:

Be vigilant about breast cancer detection. If you notice any changes in your breasts, such as a new lump or skin changes, consult your doctor immediately. Depending on your personal history and age, begin mammogram screenings also after the age of 40 years or earlier if needed.

Initially, breast cancer may not cause any symptoms. A lump may be too small for you to feel or notice on your own. Do keep a note of any unusual changes like below, as they may be a symptom of breast cancer:

  • swelling of all or part of the breast
  • skin irritation or dimpling
  • breast pain
  • nipple pain or the nipple turning inward
  • redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
  • a nipple discharge other than breast milk
  • a lump in the underarm area
Breast cancer prevention: How to reduce your risk

Adopt healthy habits, understand what you can do to reduce your breast cancer risk. Here are some ways to reduce your risk:

  • Limit alcohol intake – The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of developing breast cancer. Limit yourself to less than 1 drink per day as even small amounts increase risk.
  • Quit Smoking – Studies suggest a link between smoking and breast cancer risk, particularly in premenopausal women.
  • Control your weight – Being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer. This is especially true if obesity occurs later in life, particularly after menopause.
  • Be physically active – Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, which, in turn, helps prevent breast cancer. For most healthy adults at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly is recommended along with some strength training.
  • Breast-feed – Breast-feeding might play a role in breast cancer prevention. The longer you breast-feed, the greater the protective effect.
  • Limit dose and duration of hormone therapy – Combination hormone therapy for more than three to five years increases the risk of breast cancer. If you’re taking hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms, ask your doctor about other options.
  • Limit radiation exposures – Medical-imaging methods, such as computerized tomography, use high doses of radiation. Avoid unnecessary radiation exposures as they are linked to breast cancer.
Things to know about Breast Cancer:
  • 1. It does not affect only elderly people– Unfortunately, women in their 20s/30s/40s can also get breast cancer. Awareness is important.
  • 2. Early detection is not a cure – Although detecting breast cancer early is associated with a better prognosis, it is not a guaranteed cure.
  • 3. It’s not always a lump – Breast cancer most often presents itself as a lump in the breast. However other possible signs should not be ignored like itchiness of the breast, redness or swelling, puckering of the skin, and changes in the nipple.
  • 4. Breast cancer isn’t just one disease – Breast cancer has many types and subtypes, such as HER2-positive, estrogen-positive, triple-negative, invasive, non-invasive, and inflammatory breast cancer. Different breast cancers are treated differently.
  • 5. Men can get breast cancer too – Another misconception about breast cancer is it is strictly a women’s disease. Even though the vast majority of breast cancer cases are female, men can indeed get it too, their risk is less than 1%.

The greatest misconception that people have about cancer is that all patients eventually die of cancer. It is very important to realise that breast cancer is one of the most curable cancers in the human body. All patients who are cured live a normal life for their entire lifespan. Regular follow ups after the treatment are essential and help identify relapse if any.

Our Breast Clinic at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital is well-equipped with state-of-the-art radiation machines and day care chemo suites. We have a dedicated service that has been created to specifically diagnose and treat the entire spectrum of conditions affecting mammary gland. If you or a family member is suffering from Breast Cancer do visit us. For further details please refer below link:

World Heart Day

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017
How important is your heart?

Your heart is the most crucial organ in the functioning of the entire human body. Your heart is the centre of your cardiovascular system. It is responsible for just about everything that your body does — ranging from the transportation of oxygen, supply of nutrients to maintaining a good immune system. Your heart is a pump, composed of muscle which pumps blood throughout the body, beating approximately 72 times per minute of our lives.

Heart disease describes a range of conditions that affect your heart. The term “heart disease” is often used interchangeably with the term “cardiovascular disease”.

Some of the most common types of heart diseases are highlighted below:
  • Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease.  The  arteries carrying blood to the heart muscle are lined with plaque, which contains materials such as cholesterol and fat. This plaque build-up causes the arteries to narrow, allowing less oxygen to reach the heart muscle than required. This lack of oxygen to the heart leads to chest pain (angina) or heart attack.
  • Heart failure occurs when the heart is not able to pump sufficient oxygen-rich blood to meet the needs of the rest of the body. This may be due to lack of force of the heart to pump or as a result of the heart not being able to fill with enough blood or both.
  • Heart valve disease occurs when one or more of the four valves in the heart do not function properly. Heart valves help to ensure that the blood being pumped through the heart keeps flowing forward.
  • Arrhythmia is when the patient suffers irregular or abnormal heartbeat.
  • Congenital heart disease is a birth defect, where there is a problem with the heart structure.  This defect can be simple or complex, some defects may require immediate correction by surgery while some defects may also cause varying degrees of disability.
  • Rheumatic Heart disease begins with a bacterial infection in childhood affecting joints and heart valves. The heart disorder appears many years later and may need surgical intervention.
  • Heart muscle disease or Cardiomyopathy causes the heart to become enlarged or the walls of the heart to become thick. This causes the heart to be less able to pump blood throughout the body and often results in heart failure.
    Hereditary factors, our diet and our fitness levels can severely affect the overall health of your heart and the many other tissues that make up your cardiovascular system
Know the risk factors of getting a heart disease:
  • Family History
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • Poor hygiene

You might know that eating certain foods can increase your heart disease risk, however food habits are tough to change. Same is the case with fitness and lifestyle.

Listing down some heart healthy tips:

1. Control your portion size

Control your portion sizes, use small plates, avoid overloading your plate and eating till you are stuffed.

2. Eat more vegetables and fruits

Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables daily to boost your heart health. Vegetables and fruits are good sources of vitamins and minerals and are also low in calories and rich in dietary fibre.

3. Select whole grains

Whole grains are good sources of fibre and other nutrients that play a role in regulating blood pressure and heart health. You can increase the amount of whole grains in a heart-healthy diet by making simple substitutions for refined grain products.

4. Limit unhealthy fats

Limiting how much saturated and trans fats you eat is an important step to reduce your blood cholesterol and lower your risk of coronary artery disease. A high blood cholesterol level can lead to  build-up of plaques in your arteries, risking your heart health.

5. Choose low-fat protein sources

Legumes — beans, peas and lentils — also are good sources of protein and contain less fat and no cholesterol, making them good choices.

6. Reduce the sodium in your food

Eating a lot of sodium can contribute to high blood pressure, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Healthy adults must have no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day (about a teaspoon of salt)

7. Exercise

Include 10 minutes of moderately intense physical activity in your daily routine. Try to slowly increase your physical activity to 30 minutes, even simple workouts help eg. take the stairs, take a walk, get moving.

9. Get enough sleep

Quality sleep is good for your heart. Sound sleep of 8 hours is important for your body to recover.

Take great care of your heart health. For any heart related discomfort or complain contact us immediately. Call our emergency helpline 022-30919191 or visit our Cardiac centre for expert advice. Please find below link for further details:

Sports Medicine

Monday, September 18th, 2017
What is sports medicine?

Sports medicine, also known as sport and exercise medicine(SEM), is a branch of medicine that deals with physical fitness and the treatment and prevention of injuries related to sports and exercise. It specialises in the scientific assessment, study and understanding of sports performance and injuries.

How does it help?
  • Sports medicine professionals treat amateur athletes, who want better results from their exercise program.
  • It also treats people with injuries who are trying to regain full function and those with disabilities who are trying to increase their mobility.
  • It helps athletes improve their performance, recover from injury and prevent future injuries.
  • It treats all patients and not only sports persons.
  • Sports medicine doctors are either orthopaedic surgeons or primary care physicians who prescribe treatments for physical injuries.
  • Sports medicine specialists work together to focus on all facets of the body and to ensure complete recovery.
  • The team comprises of doctors, specialists, physical therapists, athletic trainers and strength coaches.
  • Sports medicine doctors often work alongside physical therapists to create rehabilitation plans, or with athletic trainers to develop appropriate exercise regimens.
Sports injuries:

Exercising by playing sports is a great way of keeping fit, but sometimes these benefits to your health are outweighed by negative things, such as an injury. The severity of these injuries can range from minor to very serious, with some injuries requiring surgery. These injuries may be from poor training practices, improper equipment, flawed techniques, or may just be an accident.

5 of the most common sports related injuries are:

1) Strains and Sprains. These are the most common type of sports injury by far, and can occur in almost any type of physical activity. A sprain occurs when a ligament tears or overstretches. These can range from minor to complete tears where the ligament is severed. A sprain is most common in wrists, ankles, or knees.

2) Knee Injuries. Every year over five million people visit orthopaedic surgeons for knee related injuries and problems. Mild knee injuries include iliotibial band syndrome, runner’s knee, or tendonitis. Severe knee injuries can involve damage or bruising to cartilage or ligaments.

3) Shin Splints. A shin splint is when pain along the shin bone (tibia) occurs. This pain is usually at the front outside part of the lower leg, but can also occur in the foot and ankle or where the bone meets the calf muscles at the inner edge of the bone. Shin splints are common with runners and even more-so when the runner runs on hard surfaces. Failing to warm up or stretch, improper running techniques, running in improper shoes, or having “flat feet” all can contribute to shin splints.

4) Fractures. Commonly referred to as a broken bone, fractures are a fairly common sports injury caused by a one-time injury to the bone. Repeated stress on a bone over time (a stress fracture) can also occur. Most are emergencies, and may even need surgery to completely repair. A stress fracture occurs most of the time in the legs or feet from sports that cause repetitive impact.

5) Dislocations. These occur when force pushes the bones in a joint out of alignment. Contact sports such as football or an activity such as excessive stretching or falling can cause dislocations. The dislocated bone may be able to be put back in place, but the connective tissue surrounding the joint may have severe damage. The most common joints that are dislocated due to sports injuries are the fingers and hand, with the shoulder being close behind.

The Sports and Medicine centre at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital is internationally recognized and fully equipped with advanced surgical and rehabilitation treatment options. Please refer below website for more details:

Floods And The Aftermath

Thursday, August 31st, 2017
Floods and the aftermath

The heavy downpour on Tuesday brought Mumbai city to a standstill. It caused water logging in several parts of the city and left people stranded due to limited transport availability. For many the day was spent treading across waterlogged areas while some chose to stay back at their work place. Power cuts, flooded roads and un-operational railway services brought the city to a halt.  The worst is over, however the after effect will still continue for a few days. Let us look at some of the health precautions to be taken.

Flooding and accumulation of water brings along with it various health issues and diseases. Bacterial infections and viruses spread easily. Children and elderly people are most vulnerable and need special care.

Some precautions post the heavy downpour:
  1. Have you walked in the flood waters, do consult a physician for any medical precautions to be taken.
  2. The stagnant water from gutters mixed with flood waters may carry leptospirosis bacterium, putting you at a high risk of contracting the disease. In case of any fever get yourself tested.
  3. Water-borne and person-to-person infections can easily spread after a disaster. Dink only boiled water and maintain personal hygiene.
  4. Gastrointestinal infections are common following floods, take care of your food intake.
  5. Completely avoid street food, consumption of contaminated food can cause diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain and fever, food poisoning.
  6. Mosquito-borne diseases increase during the rains. Uncollected garbage and filth across the city plays a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
  7. Mosquitoes can lead to harmful diseases like Chikungunya, Malaria or even Dengue.
  8. In order to stay safe from these diseases, make sure that there is no stagnant water in your area. Empty the dustbin daily and keep the area clean.
  9. Use mosquito net and repellents to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes.
  10. If you have a runny nose, sore throat, cough or fever, take the required medication and preventive measures so that the infection does not spread.
  11. Rains also cause fungal skin infections due to dampness in the air. The skin infection can cause severe itching, discolouration and flaking of the skin of the particular area.

When it comes to maintaining good health, small precautions can go a long way. In case of any complications, please feel free to contact the doctors at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital:

Can Alcohol Cause Cancer?

Monday, August 28th, 2017

Alcohol has never been considered good for health. Heavy drinking can cause health problems. But many might not know that drinking alcohol can raise their risk of getting cancer. This is proven scientifically.

How Alcohol can cause cancer:
    • Damages Cell – When you drink, the alcohol in your body is converted into a toxic chemical called acetaldehyde. This can damage your DNA and stop your cells from repairing that damage, which can lead to cancer.
    • Affects hormones – Alcohol can increase the levels of some hormones in the blood, such as oestrogen, which is linked to breast cancer.
    • Folate and other nutrients – Alcohol drinkers tend to have lower levels of folate, an important vitamin that helps our cells produce new DNA correctly. Studies suggest that cancer is more common in people with low levels of folate in their blood.
    • Increases damage from tobacco – Drinking and smoking together raises the risk of cancer even more than drinking or smoking alone. This might be because alcohol can help harmful chemicals in tobacco get inside the cells that line the mouth, throat and oesophagus.
Alcohol can cause at least seven types of cancer as per studies:
      • Mouth
      • Throat (pharynx)
      • Voice box (larynx)
      • Oesophagus
      • Liver
      • Bowel
      • Breast
      • Cancers of the mouth, throat, voice box, and Oesophagus: Alcohol use definitely raises the risk of these cancers. Combining alcohol with smoking proves even more dangerous.
      • Liver cancer: Long-term alcohol use has been linked to an increased risk of liver cancer. Regular, heavy alcohol use can damage the liver, leading to inflammation and scarring.
      • Colon and rectal cancer: Alcohol increases the risk of cancers of the colon and rectum. The evidence for this is stronger in men than in women.
      • Breast cancer: Even a few drinks a week is linked with an increased risk of breast cancer in women. This risk may be especially high in women who do not get enough folate in their diet or through supplements.

Apart from cancer, heavy drinking also causes heart disease, stroke, form of alcohol does not matter, beer, spirits or wine – they all put our long-term health at risk. The more you drink, the greater the risk of developing cancer. It is advised that one should not drink more than 14 units a week to keep health risks from alcohol low. If you do choose to drink, it is best to spread your drinks evenly throughout the week.

If you know someone addicted to Alcohol, do visit below details of our De-Addiction Clinic: