The Royal Bahrain Hospital (RBH) sheds light on its top-of-the-line 3D Mammogram which features breakthrough improvements designed to transform patient experience without compromising on accuracy, speed or dose.
The Hologic Mammogram is clinically proven to deliver a more comfortable experience and is able to detect 20 to 65 per cent more invasive breast cancers than 2D mammograms.
As the world marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month, RBH General Surgery specialist Dr Neetha Ravi shares some vital information about the disease.
There are five stages of breast cancer, which depend on the size of the primary tumour in the breast, the spread to the lymph nodes and the extent of spread to other parts of the body.
Stage zero is when a tumour has only started to grow (limited to duct or lobule) and is usually detected by a mammogram scan.
In stage one, the tumour is smaller than 2cm, limited to the breast and usually there is no lymph node spread if the growth is less than 2mm.
In stage two, the size of the tumour is 2cm to 5cm and underarm lymph nodes may or may not be involved.
The advanced stage is the third, where the size of the tumour is more than 5cm and the spread is present in many lymph nodes and tissues around the breast.
The last stage is called the metastatic stage, where the cancer has spread beyond the breast to lymph nodes of the underarms, chest and other organs like the bones, brain, lungs, liver, etc.
“The symptoms in 90pc of the cases are lumps or swelling in the breast,” Dr Ravi said, adding that other infrequent symptoms are nipple discharge, change in size and contour of the breast like dimpling, protrusion, irregular contour, skin changes like redness and pitting.”
When it comes to treatment of the disease, it “depends on the stage of the cancer”.
While stage zero requires frequent screening or radiation and lumpectomy if a lump is present, other early stages require surgery followed by radiation and chemotherapy (if needed) and hormone therapy if indicated.
“Late stages initially require chemotherapy to reduce the size of the tumour followed by surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone therapy, if indicated.”
Dr Ravi advises that the typical age bracket for women to begin their regular checks is from the age of 30 for the normal population and from 20 years of age onwards in high-risk people like those with a family history of breast cancer in first degree relatives and those who were exposed to radiation.
“The frequency of the breast cancer check-ups should be once yearly for the normal population and twice in high-risk cases,” she added.