New developments in the world of Breast carcinoma have made extensive and mutilating surgery totally redundant.
These mutilating surgeries had led to a great distress in recovering patients and did not really give a better life to patients in various studies.
During the turn of last century extensive radical surgeries were the norm. These were toned down to a removal of breast and removal of same side lymphatics called Modified Radical Mastectomy.
The principal side effect of a Modified Radical Mastectomy is swelling of arm due to dissection of lymphatics and collection of fluid in chest wall.
Though the fluid collection settles down in a couple of weeks the swelling keeps on increasing and the older patients never really get used to it.
It makes their arm heavy and useless for any work. Many patients get into a bad depression due to this side-effect. In fact older patient in early stage is more likely to die because of this side-effect than cancer.
Lymphoedema of Arm after conventional Breast cancer Surgery
Tumour handling during surgery is a very big reason for spreading of tumour.
A fact well known to all surgeons.
With advent of a better understanding of the tumour characteristics especially the discovery of ER/PR status or hormonal status of breast cancer, the survival for these patients has improved radically.
Older post-menopausal patients show a propensity for being ER/PR positive in their tumour study.
These patients if operated in early stage were not only living better they were also getting cured in a significant majority of cases.
Latest studies show a destruction of tumour by a simple lump removal and followed up by anti-hormonal drugs has an equal if not better life survival in older patients.
At Orchid cancer centre we specialize in laser thermoablation of breast tumours. This procedure is done under sonography control so the operating surgeon knows the exact extent of the destruction of tumour. It works very well in early i.e stage 1 and 2.
This is followed up by anti hormonal drugs .
In fact it works very well in non malignant tumours of breast as well. Making it totally unnecessary for any scar on the breast in most cases.
A cursory search on this topic on google shows up many USFDA procedure which are now the standard alternative for a mutilating surgery called mastectomy.
In fact in a study conducted by Tata Hospital it was shown that late stage breast carcinoma surgeries do not help in extension of patient’s life
Always get a whole body PET scan before any breast Cancer Surgery.
Over 60% of cases of breast cancer cases regardless of size of tumour have already spread out of breast before surgery.
Therefore any major surgery to remove the breast is not only useless but detrimental to patient health.
No surgeon can know beforehand the spread of the disease therefore he should not operate without PET scan report.
Faq's of Breast Cancer Laser Treatment.
1. How safe is this treatment.?
A. It is an extremely safe treatment with an average time of only 30 mins. The procedure is done under General anaesthesia and under sonography control.
2. Can any stage of cancer be handled with Laser.?
A. The procedure works best with cancer in stage 1 and 2. i.e cancer less than 2.5 cms in size. Presence of 1 or 2 lymph nodes is not very significant as lymph nodes which are affected are laserised under sonography guidance.
3. Is this treatment internationally approved ?
A Yes absolutely .Laser thermoablation is a USFDA approved procedure.
4.Is chemotherapy essential after Laser>?
A. Laser is a substitute for surgery .Therefore chemotherapy is absolutely essential after laser.
In older patients with hormonally responsive tumours anti hormonal treatment may be given instead of chemotherapy.
Immunotherapy is also a promising alternative.
5. Is there an absolute guarantee for success of this treatment.?
A. Like any cancer treatment the final success depends on the aggressiveness and response of cancer to the adjuvany chemotherapy and anti hormonal treatment.
This treatment is best suited for patients who are adamant in not wanting surgery or who are not fit for a prolonged surgery .
This proceedure is also preferred by patients who do not want the side effects of swelling of arm and the discomfort that goes with it.