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SURGERY FOR BREAST CANCER IS NOT ABOUT REMOVING BREASTS, ALWAYS… While all this continued as the standard of care for the first 65 years of the 20th century, some smart minds in the medical field started questioning the necessity of performing such radical surgeries to get optimum results. Trials got underway to compare mastectomy versus breast conservation surgery in the 1970s. A pathologist turned surgeon, Dr Umberto Veronesi, pioneered the most convincing trial in Milan. He was able to show that breast conservation surgery (removal of the lump with a surrounding 1 cm margin of normal breast tissue) followed by radiation therapy to the rest of the breast in properly selected patients yielded the same results as a complete removal of the breast. I am quite convinced that it is the pathologist in this surgeon who urged him to go for this trial. He had probably seen while looking at the breast as a pathologist that far too much was being done to address small cancers in the breast. Finally, women with breast cancer had a choice…. For more information on breast cancer, please contact Dr Geeta Kadayaprath, Breast Surgeon, Max Cancer Centre, Delhi, India
Incision care Small pieces of tape (called steri-strips) will remain over the incision site and may be removed 10 to 14 days after surgery. The incision should be kept clean and dry for one week after surgery. Therefore, we recommend sponge baths instead of showers the first week. You may bathe in a bathtub if you are able to keep the area dry. Look for redness and swelling, which may be signs of infection. Do not go swimming until you have discussed this with your surgeon at your follow-up appointment. Dr. Geeta Kadayaprath - Best Breast Cancer Specialist in Delhi
Breast cancer can happen in males too...1% of all breast cancers happens in men Dr Geeta Kadayparath, Breast Surgical Oncologist, Max Patparganj, East Delhi DBOG meeting on Male Breast cancer on23rd November at DDU, Delhi
SMALL BUT SIGNIFICANT!! I recently operated upon my colleague’s aunt for breast cancer. She was discharged uneventfully and went home in a baby pink tunic with her drain in a floral pink sling bag, that goes with each patient after breast surgery. That is when my colleague pointed out that the film ‘Sui Dhaaga’ was based on a concept I had created 8 years ago.I was taken aback! I had not seen the film. So, he explained to me how that film was based on creating comfort and practical clothing for patients after surgery.That idea catches on and goes on to become a successful business venture, in the movie. I had seen my patients after surgery for breast cancer, especially those with mastectomy (breast removal) struggle with their clothes to expose the wound while at the same time struggling harder to cover their loss.It was not easy to carry their drain( tube) boxes around and they were always scared of the drains being pulled at and dislodged. I wanted to come up with a solution. My dear friend, Mamta Goenka, had already worked on a pink bag with a smiley ball, peppermint, Vaseline and a soft pillow. I wanted to add something to this and that is when I set about designing a baby pink or floral post mastectomy knee length tunic with Velcro tapes holding the front and Velcro tapes on the sides to allow the drain to slip imperceptibly into the sling bag. To this was added bras with pockets to hold the external prostheses and restore body image, even as the lady walked out of the hospital. I got a vendor to design it and it was welcomed by all patients. Like in the movie, there was a potential business opportunity in this thought.However, I am no businesswoman but the idea caught on with the vendors.Now, there are many vendors in the fray and this kit is being supplied by them to most of the large corporate hospitals in Delhi. For me, patients’ positive feedback is my reward. I am happy that I have been able to make a difference in the lives of those who have had a brush with breast cancer, in a small but significant way!
Another breast and cervical cancer awareness workshop with the women employees at ONGC office, Vasant Kunj. What an amazing building.. a green building- spacious and naturally well lit. We were welcomed by an eager to know and learn group of ladies. Had a very engaging interaction with them but the expression that was mirrored on each face when I said that men also may get breast cancer, was priceless! There goes another myth! Men do get breast cancer. 1% of all breast cancers every year happens in men. # health# cancer# breast cancer# breast surgeon# Max Hospital, Patparganj # East Delhi
I am a big fan of Angelina Jolie. So what is the big deal about it? Half of the human race is possibly her fan..her looks and her acting prowess has had the world swooning. I am her fan for a different reason. I haven’t followed her movies, her drop dead gorgeous looks or her personal life but I admire her for her courage. Some years ago, this remarkable lady announced to the world that she is having both her breasts removed. She knew that she was carrying a genetic mutation which made her susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer. Her family history was strong for both breast and ovarian cancer and once she tested positive for the mutation, she knew she carried a 60-80% risk of developing either of these cancers. She was faced with the prospect of prophylactic breast and ovarian surgeries. I can only imagine the sleepless nights, the battle within-to do or not to do, several rounds of long discussions with her doctors, family and friends, the impact on her career which relied heavily on glamour, her children... and so much more. And then she made that decision to have both her breasts removed and subsequently her ovaries. She shocked the world but at the same time catapulted herself to that realm of courage and fortitude that rarely people of her standing dare to tread. I joined her fan club and her story of courage became the benchmark for women caught in a similar situation. Why I recalled this story was when I encountered my own Angelina Jolie. This young lady of 35 had a very strong family history of breast, ovarian and colon cancer on her maternal side.Her husband was gutted when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. I advised her for a genetic consult while planning for her surgery. The genetic consultant had barely advised her gene testing and was discussing the possible implications, when she said that she had made up her mind. She very calmly told the consultant that irrespective of what the test says she was going ahead with bilateral prophylactic mastectomies and bilateral ovarian surgeries in the same sitting. She came to be and conveyed the same to me. It shook me inwardly and took me a while to gain my composure as her husband stood by her, rock solid in his support of her decision. ‘COURAGE’ as a word probably does not do justice to the tenacity with which one arrives at this supremely difficult decision. I have done these surgeries before and this one was certainly not the last. Such decisions are rationalised within the multidisciplinary board, the molecular oncologists, the psychologists, the family and most importantly, the patients!! While I see more of these Angeina Jolie clones, I will always hope and pray that these amazing ladies’ decision translates into long, meaningful and inspiring lives!
Bliss Foundation launches its unique ‘Touch Feel and Do’ Workshop to create breast and cervical cancer awareness! All things, big and small, begin with an idea. Touch Feel and Do workshop was conceived as we sat across a table. It started with the questions Are we doing enough? Are we doing right? Do the ladies we talk to understand what we are trying to tell them? Do they know what to look for? What should alert them? And then the realisation dawned, that when we talked to them, they absorbed a few things here and there. They surely could not piece it together. We had do something different to create a lasting impression....while the thoughts flew back and forth, the idea of a dummy with all possible presentations of breast cancer came up. The dummy was acquired by the tireless efforts of Reva and what started as a thought began to take shape.We wanted the ladies to touch the dummy breasts, to feel what cancer may be like and to do it on their own selves. A pre lecture questionnaire followed by the lecture, a post lecture questionnaire and then a Touch Feel demo completed the workshop The results quite amazing... from ignorance to empowerment in a matter of an hour and a half- the duration of the workshop. We are on a roll after the stupendous success of yesterday’s program where the Touch Feel and Do Workshop was formally launched with the blessings of BK Sister Shivani. We have done 10 and with more doctors and volunteers joining us, we hope to complete 30 this year. With the kind of love and support we are receiving, there is no stopping us now! A big hug to the Crusaders who made this happen- Nidhi Agarwal, Reva Kumar, Meenu Madan, Dr Swasti, Dr Neerja Gupta, Dr Mallika Agarwal, Dr Smriti Neha, Ms Payal, Vijayaji, Ruby, Saloni, Anju, Kalpana, Shivani, Smita, and the young Turks Navya, Ansh and all the volunteers .....you have every reason to be proud of yourself!💖 Jaadoo ki jhappi for the unsung heroes who work selflessly for the cause- Karuna, Esther, Deepta, Rituparna, Archanaji and Mrs Solanki. You help us dream bigger!💖 A big thank you to all those who attended the program and believed in us!
ATTITUDE IS TRULY EVERYTHING The picture one would conjure up on seeing this beautiful old lady is that of a loving ‘dadi’ or ‘nani’ full of stories, weaving magic with her deft fingers as spools of thread became exquisite pieces of crochet art.She is all of 86 years old and continues to do all her chores without any help. She does not believe in stopping. And believe me she is quite extraordinary! I have known her for the last 8 years and every meeting with her is inspiring. At the age of 78 years, when many would will themselves to die at the simple pretext of a minor illness, this lady was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She had deep jaundice and she needed a Whipple’s procedure to get rid of the cancer. This surgery is one of the most challenging to even an experienced surgeon. She and her family were explained the pros and cons in view of her age and frail self. She was determined to see this through. The surgery went to plan but the postoperative period was stormy. She had a bloated abdomen, for which she was re-explored and found to have a twisted bit of intestine. It took her a month to recover and finally, she walked out of hospital, recovered fully.She refused any further treatment and said she felt fine. She would meet me every 3 months for a year and then she stopped coming. I had almost forgotten all about her, when she resurfaced again after almost 1 year. This time she came with an ulcerated mass in the right breast. She was 80 now. She did not want any other treatment except surgery. She had a surgery to remove the breast and the lymph nodes in the armpit. Fortunately, the disease was hormone sensitive. She said no to Radiation and accepted hormonal treatment. What does one say to this except that I was fortunate to witness this most wondrous display of an old lady’s grit and determination, willing herself to live on, in the face of not one but two cancers! She came to meet me five days ago. She is disease free. Her smile lit up her wrinkled face and her eyes sparkled as she said she had come to bless me. I, honestly had nothing to offer her. Did she even realise how inspiring she is? She wanted me to share her story with everyone and so here I am! Important lesson learnt..Attitude is truly everything!!!!
Today is World Cancer Day and I recall fondly each one of my warriors who battled cancer valiantly! I consider myself fortunate that I could be a part of their journey, because with them, I learnt life’s best lessons! I learnt to be patient, to listen to them when they spoke... that is all they wanted I learnt to appreciate the smallest of things in life, as I saw them struggle with simple acts like swallowing their own saliva I learnt to be strong, as I saw them smile while chemotherapy took its toll on their frail bodies I learnt to be hopeful in adversity, as I saw them rise from a seemingly hopeless situation to adorn their lives with positivity, happiness and joy, creating miracles along the way. Thank you for teaching me this and more!!!
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