To commemorate the Breast Cancer Awareness Month of October, leading physicians emphasized on the importance of early detection of breast cancer as the only key to reduce mortality from this rapid disease. They also broke the common myth that breast cancer can occur only in older age groups. The percentage of women between 30-40 years being detected with the disease has more than doubled in the last two decades. In recent times about 50% of women diagnosed with breast cancer each year are below 50 years of age.
Dr. Anthony Pais and Dr. Shilpa Lad
Speaking on the importance of timely diagnosis, Dr. Anthony Pais, Senior Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgery, at the SPARSH Hospital, Cytecare Cancer hospital, HOSMAT and the Alteus hospital, Bangalore adds, “Early detection is the first step to fight breast cancer. As we see a rise in the incidence of breast cancer cases, it is important that women pay attention to their health and not ignore any worrisome signs that could indicate the onset or presence of this disease. Unfortunately, regular breast screenings and check-ups are dismal in our country and most women are not aware of the latest diagnostic technologies available for them in India. Vacuum-Assisted Breast Biopsy or VABB is one such technique that offers highly accurate diagnosis of even the smallest lesion present in the breast, which can immensely benefit in timely detection of the condition if present.”
Women often feel anxious once lumps are detected in the breast even though they may be non-cancerous and benign lesions. In younger women (15-35 years), non-cancerous lumps Fibroadenomas are more common. Fibroadenomas comprise about 50% of all breast biopsies, and this rate rises to 75% for biopsies in women under the age of 20 years. A fibroadenoma might feel firm, smooth, rubbery, or hard and has a well-defined shape. Another extremely common condition, Fibrocystic breast disease also gives breasts a lumpy or rope-like texture and is diagnosed in millions of women worldwide.
Traditionally, these benign lumps would be removed surgically, causing much distress, leaving scars, or patients would choose to live with them in anxiety. Advanced technology like Vacuum-Assisted Breast Biopsy (VABB) comes to respite in such situations. VABB enables removing smallest of benign lumps without leaving scars or disfigurement of the breast which can be very reassuring for women.
Dr. Shilpa Lad, Consultant & Head – Breast Imaging and Interventions, NM Medical Centre, Mumbai added, “Since the occurrence of Fibroadenomas are very common, women should be aware of advanced technologies and solutions like VABB that can offer them much respite in the course of diagnosis and cosmetic-friendly removal of these lumps. Technological advancements like VABB are helping patients live longer, healthier and lead more productive lives. VABB not only supports diagnosis but also enables a cosmetic-friendly procedure for removal of these benign lumps. Women must not panic or take stress if any lumps are detected, instead they should timely seek the right course of diagnosis and treatment as today we have much more sophisticated means to treat the disease.”
VABB is a pioneering tissue sampling technique by which breast abnormalities (benign and malignant lumps) can easily be accessed through a small and single incision. It is performed with the help of either a mammogram or ultrasound, or MRI, to precisely identify the lesions. The ability of VABB to collect multiple samples with a single needle has the potential to reduce procedure times for patients and may reduce discomfort during breast biopsy in a minimally invasive manner. In addition, it ensures that tissue samples are taken from all parts of the lesion. The samples are then sent to laboratory for detailed analysis, to identify if the lump is malignant or benign.
VABB has been approved by FDA (USA) and NICE (UK) for complete removal of fibroadenoma. This advanced technology is widely used abroad and is now available in India and is helping women take charge of their health and outsmart breast cancer. The Vacuum-Assisted Breast Biopsy technology increases the efficiency, accuracy, and ease of targeting such small breast lesions and therefore is practiced as a gold standard across the globe.