Q&A with Dr. Archana Shetty from Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital

Dr. Archana Shetty is a well known Breast Surgeon Consultant at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai, India. Her expertise lies in treatment of benign & malignant breast disease, sentinel node biopsies, breast reconstruction & oncoplastic surgery with implants & flaps, symmetrisation surgery, immediate & delayed. We had the opportunity to interview her and find answers to the most common queries around Breast Cancer.

1. What is Breast Cancer?

Uncontrolled growth of breast Cell


2. Is there something people can do to prevent breast cancer?

No. Not absolute prevention, but we can reduce our risks by leading a healthy lifestyle & being vigilant. Eat healthy, exercise regularly, control weight, limit alcohol intake, avoid smoking, ensure breast feeding, avoid prolonged use of hormone replacement therapy & oral contraceptives, conduct regular self examination.


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3. Who are considered the high risk group for breast cancer?

People from high risk families with genetically proven mutations, women who have previously had breast or ovarian cancer, If they have had chest wall radiotherapy for something else, strong family history, precancerous/ proliferative breast disorders, no children, mothers not done breast feeding


4. Are there any early symptoms, If yes, what are they?

Any Lumps in the breast/ armpit/ above the collar bone, nipple retraction, dimple in the skin, rash around the nipple, blood stained single nipple discharge, obvious asymmetry, orange peel appearance of the breast.

breast cancer treatment


Doctor’s profile – Dr. Archana Shetty, Breast Surgeon at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital.


5. Is Breast Cancer curable?

Yes, in the early stages (Stage 0/1/2)


6. What tests are required for detection of breast cancer?

A mammogram is the best test for early detection in over 40 years age. For younger women a sonography done by an experienced radiologist is good. In some cases the doctor might prescribe a breast MRI.

7. Do regular check ups help in early detection of breast cancer?

Yes


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8. What are first steps patient should take once breast

cancer is detected? DO NOT PANIC. See a breast cancer specialist immediately & discuss the various treatment options in detail. Preferably take a close relative or friend along with you who can make notes, as you may not be able to remember the whole discussion later.

9. What are the treatment options?

Treatment for breast cancer is usually multimodal i.e a combination of surgery +/- chemotherapy, +/- targeted therapy, radiotherapy & hormone tablets


10. Is there anything you suggest to improve quality of life for a person undergoing treatment for breast cancer?

Regular exercise, healthy diet & lifestyle & regular follow up as advised by your doctor


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11. What is the process followed for cancer treatment in KDAH?

In KDAH, each patient is managed in a multidisciplinary team with the surgical oncologist , medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, oncopathologist , radiologist, psychological counsellor & palliative care team

12. Any other information unique to the hospital which can be mentioned for breast cancer?

AT KDAH, we are one of the very few centres in India performing dual technique sentinel node biopsy, day care breast cancer surgery, Breast conserving surgery, Oncoplastic breast surgery, breast reconstruction (with implants or with the patient’s own body tissue) EDGE radiotherapy


13. How many patients of breast cancer are treated in KDAH?

More than 1500 cases of breast cancer have been operated at KDAH, majority with breast conserving surgery


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14. What equipment does the hospital have for treatment?

All the latest & best equipment available in the developed countries like gamma probe, PET CT, MRI, Digital mammogram, EDGE radiotherapy, chemotherapy suites, well equipped operating theatres with frozen section, intra-operative imaging, SNOLL

15.Any diet suggestions / restrictions?

Healthy diet, avoid smoking, reduce alcohol intake

16. How quickly this cancer Tumor grow or how quickly it moves from one stage to another?

This is very variable depending on individual factors in each patient like tumour grade, aggressiveness, stage, age etc

17. Does this cancer treatment need post operation follow up?

Yes. Post treatment, we recommend regular follow up for the 1st 5 years with annual mammograms & blood tests & sonography

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