The Breast Cancer Program at the Nanavati Max Institute of Cancer Centre is a dedicated program offering the most comprehensive treatment options for breast cancer, irrespective of the complexity of the type of cancer. Our team of highly qualified, compassionate, world-renowned oncologists and reconstructive surgeons hold specialized expertise in treating all types of breast cancer from early to advanced stages and is ascertaining new ways to bring the best care for managing breast cancer.
We offer a full spectrum of services such as state-of-the-art infrastructure, cutting-edge technology, on-site multidisciplinary experts, second opinion, and innovative treatment methodologies. We follow a team-based approach for diagnosis and advanced treatment options in breast cancer surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy and targeted therapy, thereby offering seamless, coordinated breast cancer care under one roof.
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women that develop when cells in the breast begin to grow out of control. This uncontrolled growth of the cells usually forms a tumour that can be felt as a lump.
Ductal Carcinoma in Situ: these are premalignant cells confined within the duct.
Lobular Carcinoma in Situ: It affects the breast’s milk-producing glands, but does not invade the surrounding tissue.
Invasive Ductal Carcinoma: This is the most common type of breast cancer that commences in the ducts.When cancer cells spreads beyond the ducts into the surrounding tissue.
Invasive Lobular Carcinoma: When cancer cells spreads beyond the lobules into the surrounding tissue.
The lesser-known breast cancer/tumour types include Paget’s Disease of the Nipple, Phyllodes Tumor, Inflammatory Breast Cancer, Male Breast Cancer, Metastatic Breast Cancer, Pregnancy associated breast cancer , and Angiosarcoma.
The TNM staging is used to determine the stages of breast cancer.
The tumor is classified from TX to T4 where the former one cannot be evaluated to T4 which involves spread of the cancer to the rest of the breast involving skin or chest wall or both.
The nodes are classified into NX to N3. NX cannot be evaluated. The node progresses to next stages and reaches the N3 stage where the cancer involves 10 or more axillary lymph nodes or it involves the nodes above the collar bone or nodes along the internal mammary vessels ( vessels that supply the breast but are inside the rib cage)
The spread of the cancer to other parts of the body is classified into stages such as MX to M1..Oligometastatic breast cancer is a special group of metastatic breast cancer patients with low burden of metastatic deposits that is amenable to curative treatment.
The natural progress of breast cancer can be understood well with the help of the TNM stages as specified above. Most commonly the breast cancer originates from the cell in the breast and progresses to involve other sites and hence it becomes extremely important to detect it when it is still in the breast or is spread only to the regional lymphnodes.
Different people have different signs and symptoms of breast cancer. Some of the very common ones include:
In some cases, a patient does not experience any signs or symptoms; therefore, a regular screening for breast cancer is necessary. The screening for breast cancer need not always be with mammograms as they fraught with problems like over diagnosis and over treatment. The best way to screen for breast cancer would be to do a proper monthly self breast examination combined with an annual clinical breast examination by a breast surgeon. The doctor will be able to give you a fair estimate on your risk of developing breast cancer in your life time. This risk is not the same for everybody and changes based on your age, menopausal status, reproductive history and many environmental and genetic factors.
Ageing: As you age the risk for breast cancer increases, most common age for incidence of breast cancer is between 40 and 50 years of age.
Obesity: One of the most understated risk factors for development of breast cancer and risk factor for development of recurrence after completing treatment for breast cancer is obesity.
Genetic Mutations: Women who inherit certain genes like BRCA1 and BRCA2 are at higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Other than BRCA genes there are other deleterious mutations which increase the chances of development of breast cancer in a life time. Having a genetic mutation only means that the risk is higher as compared to rest of the population. Each mutation is associated with a different risk.
The Family History of Breast Cancer: Having a first-degree or second degree relative either from maternal or paternal side of the family, who have had breast or ovarian cancer increases a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.
Reproductive History: Women who experience early menstruation that starts before 12 years of age or have menopause after 55 years of age are at risk of developing breast cancer. Having ones first pregnancy after the age of 30 years also increases the risk of development of breast cancer.
Hormone Pills: Use of hormone replacement therapy after menopause or use of oral contraceptives for more than 10 years
Personal History: Having a personal history of breast cancer or history of benign breast lesions
Previous exposure to radiation (childhood cancers)
Having Dense Breasts: Women having radiologically dense breasts are at high risk of developing breast cancer. This is because dense breasts have more connective tissues than fatty tissues, which makes it harder to detect cancer
Our multidisciplinary team of national and international oncologists offers a personalized treatment plan to patients diagnosed with breast cancer. Some of the advanced treatment options we offer include:
Breast Cancer Surgery is performed by experts to remove the tumor from the breast and there are two types of surgeries for the primary tumor performed:
Mastectomy is the removal of the entire breast along with either removal of axillary lymph nodes or with sentinel node biopsy of axillary nodes
Removal of the tumor alone with a safe rim of surrounding healthy breast tissues along with axillary surgery while conserving the breast.
Removal of a few lymph nodes in the armpits to confirm the presence of cancer. Prior to the procedure, a radioisotope is injected in the vicinity of the tumor to locate the sentinel lymph node a blue dye is also injected at the time of breast cancer surgery to identify the first node to which the tumor drains. This procedure is oncologically safe and also decreases the chances of lymphedema after breast cancer surgery. It is performed in selected cases, where clinically and radiologically axillary lymph nodes (located in armpits) are not involved.
Complete removal of all axillary lymph nodes suspected of harbouring cancer cells.
This array of procedures is done keeping in mind that breast conservation is now possible in suitable cases even if the tumors are big. The surgeons reconstruct the part of the breast using a perforator flap harvested from the fat around the breast or from the patient's back. These procedures are oncologically safe while offering patients cosmetically acceptable breasts after cancer surgeries. They can be combined with symmetrisation procedure of the opposite breast.
It is an advanced surgical procedure after the removal of the whole of a breast for cancer, it involves transferring tissue (skin and fat) from the normal part of the patient’s body to the chest for reconstruction. For those women who are unhappy with the idea of losing their breasts, this immediate breast reconstruction can help them wake up with a breast after surgery. A plastic surgeon is involved in this case and utilises the patient’s own tissue to create a breast form which closely matches the opposite breast and if required an artificial implant is also used. If the patient does not wish to get the breast reconstructed in the same sitting then she can delay reconstruction for about 1 to 2 years after completion of treatment.
Radiation therapy is given post-operatively and after completion of all chemotherapy for local control and to reduce the chances of distant metastases. Radiation therapy is also given in metastatic breast cancer at the site of bony mets and it provides pain control therapy is a safe & effective procedure where radioactive isotopes or high-energy photons, electrons, or other particles are used to destroy the cancer cells. There are two types of radiation.
A Radiation Oncologist is a specialised doctor for this treatment. Radiotherapy regimens or schedules and protocols are specific for different tumors and hence the time for treatment differs from case to case.
For early breast cancer, it is now possible to offer radiation therapy only to the part of the breast that had the tumor. This can be done intraoperatively as well as postoperatively. The amount of radiation given and the time required to complete the treatment in these cases is less. This is called Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation ( APBI).
Hormone therapy is a treatment that uses anti-hormone medication to slow down or stop the growth of hormone-positive (tumors that depend on oestrogen to grow) cancer and give the quality of life with minimal side effects. Hormone therapy is often offered after breast cancer surgery to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence. It can also be used before surgery in certain large cancers to downsize the tumor burden. Hormone therapy can also be used to treat cancer that has come back or has spread to other parts of the body. This treatment is available in tablet form to be taken once daily. In premenopausal women the drug used is Tamoxifen and in postmenopausal women, the drug bro used is an aromatase inhibitor(Anestrazole, letrozole, exemestane)
The treatment uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. It is given to lower the risk of cancer returning. Chemotherapy is usually given to a patient through injection or infusion, and rarely by mouth depending on the type and stage of the cancer being treated. We offer tailored protocols of chemotherapy as per patient needs, tolerability, and type of cancer. Along with chemotherapy we also give medications to keep the side effects of the chemotherapeutic agents to the minimum. We also try to maximize day-care chemotherapy to allow our patients to carry out their daily lifestyle activities with ease. Sometimes chemotherapy can be given prior to surgery to shrink the size of the tumour in order to offer them The possibility of Breast conservation
Targeted therapy works by targeting cancer’s specific genes, proteins, or the tissue environment that contributes to cancer growth and survival. These genes and proteins are found in cancer cells or cells related to cancer growth, hence it does not affect other tissues. Targeted therapy is given to block the effect of these genes and proteins. Targeted therapy is used by itself or along with chemotherapy and immunotherapy. These agents have been shown to give results as good as and sometimes better than chemotherapy with minimal side effects.
Cancer immunotherapy is the artificial stimulation of the immune system to treat cancer, improving the immune system's natural ability to fight cancer. It is considered a fundamental application of the research of cancer immunology and is a growing subspecialty of oncology. The current use of immunotherapy is restricted to certain breast cancers that do not have any receptor positivity.
Dynamic compression physiotherapy an advanced form of inflatable compression therapy is being provided at Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital which reduced lymph oedema significantly in most cases.
Some of the Major Precautions And Lifestyle Changes one Must Adopt Include:
The 5-year relative survival rates related to localized and regional types falls between 85%-99% whereas it falls between 20%-30% for breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.
At Nanavati Max Institute of Cancer Care, we offer you the most advanced diagnosis and treatment techniques for breast cancer, irrespective of its complexity. Our doctors conduct several tests to diagnose cancer, these tests include:
This malignant tumor commences in breast cells of the patient. DNA damage and genetic mutations are often responsible for breast cancer.
The most common type of test to detect breast cancer is called a Triple test and it includes Clinical examination, a diagnostic mammogram and a biopsy of the breast lump.
Ans. Nanavati Max Hospital in Mumbai is considered one of the best hospitals for breast cancer treatment in the city, offering a range of advanced treatments and experienced specialists.
Ans. The success rate of breast cancer treatment in Mumbai varies depending on several factors, including the stage of diagnosis and the type of treatment used.
If you are facing any similar signs or symptoms please contact the Nanavati Max team to schedule an appointment at : +91 22 6836 0000