Speaker:Dr.Neeta Warty (gynaecologist and endoscopic surgeon), Dr.Kanchan Kaur (oncologist and breast speciality surgeon)
Moderator: Ms Oindrilla Dutt
Venue: 7 Alipore Avenue
Date: 4th December, 2018
Ladies Study Group hosted an information-packed interactive session on “Health:our greatest asset” on Tuesday,4 December 2018. We had the privilege of hearing two eminent doctors, Dr.Neeta Warty( gynaecologist and endoscopic surgeon) and Dr.Kanchan Kaur ( oncologist and breast speciality surgeon) in conversation with the amazing Oindrilla Dutt who steered the dialogue masterfully. They had an avid group of ladies listening in rapt attention to each and every word of wisdom that was shared. Breast Cancer is now affecting one in every 22 women in India and so women’s health and its related issues is definitely one of our primary areas of concern and stress,and the need for information in this area is vital.
Both doctors provided critical insights on breast cancer and other gynaecology issues and shattered many of the myths that typically plague our minds.
Some useful details:
Cancer is a lifestyle disease and so while no particular food is good or bad for it, making healthy choices and eating quality over quantity will definitely improve our overall wellbeing for sure.
Self examination by a woman of her own breasts is mandatory and typically should be done by menstruating women just after their period, while women who have menopaused, should fix a monthly self-check date and do it.
Mammograms should be done as a routine after the age of 40 years especially for Indian women, and should be complimented with an ultrasound scan. They can be repeated yearly or once in two years. There is no need for a thyroid shield while undergoing a mammogram.
The cancer marker tests have zero role in detecting breast cancer and so if there is a even a hint of suspicion then one needs to instead urgently follow the Triple Assessment protocol of clinical check up, ultrasound/mammogram and then a needle biopsy if needed.
A fine needle biopsy of a breast tumour is very safe and the procedure does not result in the tumour spreading further. Also, today , doctors prefer a “true cut biopsy” for breast tumours where a rice grain sized piece is taken out to analyse and decide the line of treatment.
There are no restrictions on wearing any type of bra vis-à-vis it’s relationship with breast cancer. Whether the bra is coloured,padded or underwired,it does not affect the possibility of getting cancer in any way!
The use of deodorants on their own have no direct correlation to cancer. However certain chemicals that toiletries and cosmetics contain do lead to increasing the risk of cancer. Hence it is important to be knowledgable about the ingredients of all the products we are using; including our deodorants and anti-perspirants.
Lumpectomy and Masectomy are decided according to the size and type of the tumour, the stage of the cancer and the choice of the patient. However, lumpectomies must always be followed up by radiotherapy.
In Masectomies, breast reconstruction surgery can be done either simultaneously during the breast removal procedure or at a later stage after completion of treatments. It can be done using body tissues from the patient itself which could include muscle from the back or fat from the stomach area (leading to a free tummy tuck which women love!)
Concerns on procedures done through Laproscopy on the thought that some “parts” might get left behind due to the key hole procedure are unfounded. Laproscopy is definitely the way forward with minimum invasion and hence quicker recovery for the patient.
HRT treatment should be used only if absolutely necessary and for a period of 5 years only. The doctor’s judgement should be trusted.
While 90 % of breast cancer cases occur in women with no family history, there is definitely a direct link between factors like alcohol and excess body weight especially post menopause.
Hysteroscopy is a modern diagnostic tool which is now used to understand why patients have issues like fertility, irregular bleeding patterns etc and is a simple day procedure.
It is important to change our cultural mindset on cancer treatments for women and consciously let the woman patient herself be involved and take her own decisions on type of treatment etc rather than have the family members and relatives do that for her,which unfortunately is the most common practice in our country.
The fascinating concept of the pathbreaking technology for uterine transplants performed in India was explained wherein the uterus of a woman is transplanted into another who can then proceed to conceive and give birth to a healthy baby.
The entire discussion revealed a series of facts and realities on a topic which is so relevant and concerns each and every Indian woman today . Statistics show that Indian women have a higher risk of breast cancer as compared to the Whites and Caucasians. It is with knowledge like this that we can empower ourselves and educate ourselves on how to successfully combat this disease. Most importantly, if the cancer is detected at the right time,it is curable and treatable. So our life mantra should be -” you should find your cancer before it finds you” and thereby we will win this battle too!!