Breast Cancer Archives | Dr. Geeta Kadayaprath

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Today is the culmination of the International Breast Feeding Week.
I want to take your focus away from the goodness of breast milk and feeding, about which a lot has been said already. When my colleague’s young sister, who is nursing her two month baby, casually mentioned a lump in the breast, my colleague did not make too much of it. She has had similar lumps during the past pregnancy, which went away on their own.

When she said she had started feeling the lump in the latter half of her pregnancy, my colleague was quick to get her investigated and a biopsy confirmed his worst fears… it was breast cancer!

Pregnancy associated breast cancer is a known entity, presenting often late, as most of the changes in the breast are attributed to pregnancy and lactation. It is here, that we need to up our ante and not ignore any new lump that surfaces during pregnancy and breast feeding. 9 out of 10 times, it would be something innocuous, but for that one which may turn out to be cancer, one needs to visit a breast surgeon and get the lump investigated and seen to it’s natural conclusion.

While you enjoy your pregnancy and bond with your child over breast feeding, do not forget to be breast aware. Your awareness will surely save your day and be a blessing to your family!


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I am often asked why does breast cancer happen? And the only honest answer I come up with is ‘I don’t know. There are risk factors but there is no absolute association of breast cancer with these risk factors! Not a very confidence inspiring answer but that is the reality. The truth is that in a developed country like USA,1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime while in India,1 in 25-30 women in the urban population and 1 in 65-70 women in the rural areas will be diagnosed with the same. That may seem reassuring but in absolute numbers we are way ahead of America.

The western world has a well-oiled mammographic screening program to detect breast cancers early. We do not have one and probably the incidence as of now, does not justify such an exercise. The real worry, however, is that in India and other developing countries, more lives are lost to breast cancer compared to the west. So what is it that they are doing right which we are not? Some things are quite obvious, that they have better access to uniform healthcare and they are quite mindful and aware of the problem of breast cancer. Our cup of woes is overflowing- the larger population has no access to primary healthcare let alone tertiary care.

With every passing day, the problem of breast cancer is growing and it is imperative that we do what we can to turn the tide. It is rather unfortunate that about 50-60%of breast cancers in our country are detected in advanced stages. It is therefore not surprising that more than 50% of patients diagnosed with breast cancer would succumb to the disease. For a country like ours, the only useful tool to tackle breast cancer would be –EARLY DETECTION! It is a known fact that the only method to improve outcomes in breast cancer is by catching the disease early. For us, becoming familiar with our own breasts and making others around us breast aware is the need of the hour.

Breast Self Examination

Breast self examination (BSE) is an extremely simple procedure to carry out. You don’t need to set aside a special time to execute it. You can do so while you are taking a bath. Examination is so much simpler when your hand slips over the breast and you can detect any abnormal area in the breast quite easily. Breast self examination should be performed once a month, a week after your periods or if you are postmenopausal, on a fixed day every month which could coincide with your birthday or anniversary. Some breasts may be extremely lumpy and bumpy. You may perceive this as abnormal when you start examining yourself but a trip to a breast surgeon can allay your fears. The lumpy breast is your normal. What a regular breast self examination achieves is quite remarkable: it familiarizes you with the usual undulations in the breast in the same way as you are completely aware of all the speed breakers, curves and kerbs we encounter on our way from work to home even on a dim lit road.

Early Detection is the Key

EARLY DETECTION IS REALLY THE KEY! Any new finding in the breast needs to be seen, investigated and seen to its natural conclusion. PERIOD!! To remain healthy and disease free is what we all want, but to detect a problem and procrastinate can have serious consequences.

A woman, without doubt, is a multitasker- balancing her home and her work with dexterity unique to her. It is impossible to overemphasize the role a woman plays in the lives of the many who depend on her for their day-to-day needs. In the process, she often pushes back her needs. Her health almost always takes a backseat as she always has better things to do – FOR OTHERS!

Let us all pledge to become breast aware and inspire at least 10 other women to do the same. We certainly owe this much to ourselves and to all our loved ones………

Learn the technique of Breast Self-Examination @ https://youtu.be/49Usr5ASo8g


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We have been waiting for this day for almost two years. Breast Support Group meetings used to happen every month before COVID struck and since then, we had no choice but to migrate to the Zoom mode. We adapted well but nothing like an -in-& person meeting.
The Champions came back to enliven our space and brought with them the energy that one can experience only by being there. The ones who have recently crossed paths with cancer looked up at those who had done the journey and were living lives more enriching than before. Some thanked cancer for transforming their lives and others felt blessed that cancer had touched their lives, as it had changed the very lens through which they were looking at life.
Their laughter rang true, their singing had everybody pitch in, their superlative attempt at dancing with the leader and their unbridled enthusiasm made it an event to remember!!

Thanks to all my colleagues at Max Institute of Cancer Care who pitched in and to the Management who helped us put this together.🙏🙏

Gratitude to Susheela, Shreya, Divya and Abhishek for pitching in selflessly!💕💕

We will come back with more as we know for sure that HAPPINESS COMES IN MANY COLOURS!!!!🌈🌈🌈

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For the larger part of the 20th century, breast removal surgery was the only surgical option for breast cancer treatment. In India, it continues to be the surgical option offered to about 70-80% of women suffering from breast cancer. It is tough, I am sure, as women from various sections of society, grapple with the loss and try to complete their feminity with newspaper rolled into the bra or rags or cotton or a piece of rolled cloth or nothing, recoiling in acute embarrassment, when having to put these unsightly contraptions away, prior to a physical examination. This Shame has to end!!

They don’t ask for fear of not getting a useful answer and we, as caregivers, in our rushed existence, don’t want to know if it matters to them. The truth is, it matters! To be physically complete, either with an external prostheses or reconstructive surgery, is important, to restore confidence. While there are expensive external prostheses made of high quality foam and silicon, there is an option which comes as a boon to many women who want a comfortable, easy maintenance option …. All for FREE!! KNOCKERS, it is !!

At a webinar on KNOCKERS, for the Max Breast Support group meeting today, there was much gratitude and a sense of awe for the amazing work being done by SAAISHA. Spearheaded by Jayashree ji and assisted by her team of dedicated, selfless volunteers, SAAISHA provides knitted or crocheted breast forms ( Knockers) made of Mercerised cotton for FREE. You can hand wash it, use it with your normal bras with pockets stitched onto it, add pouches of coins if you need to increase the weight and have a pair of them delivered home. The volunteers knit them for those who need them, with lots of love and affection. Great concept and suffused with the warmth of selfless givers.❤️❤️

With Knockers, no one should go Breastless after mastectomy. Spread the word and if you wish to volunteer for SAAISHA, please get trained under them and become a part of this wonderful movement.

For those interested, please contact Jayashree ji @ 7700-990212 or email at saaisha.india@gmail.com for your pair of Knockers today!!


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Four years hence and five Breast fellows later, I am a happy soul. We are a super charged unit, sharing professionally, egging each other on, holding hands when the chips are down, laughing and enjoying our small successes, sharing our joys and sorrows alike, completing each other with each ones strengths, learning from each other and keeping pace with each other come rain or shine. We are making steady progress. The ones who came earlier are doing well in their current spaces and the ones with me keep adding value to this amazing journey!

Thank you Mallika Agarwal, Sandhya Gupta, Naresh Guthula, Hina Afsar and Shreya Sardana for believing in me and running alongside me. Proud of you!!

Cheers to our first alumni meet (missed you, Mallika)and may our clan grow bigger!