The most common cancer among women in Sri Lanka is breast cancer. In Sri Lanka the risk of developing any of the common cancers in one’s lifetime, for both males and females, is 1 out of 40. Many improvements have been made in diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer where the current goal is conservation of the breast.
Periodic breast screening can help in the early detection of breast cancer. Digital mammogram with Tomonsynthesis enables earlier and better detection of small breast cancer and non-palpable (not felt by hand) lesions indicative of early stage of disease and helps localise small cancers to allow one-step precise and direct excision. Mammogram is recommended for women above 40 years and is mandatory for women after 50 years while those below 40 years are free to undergo an ultrasound scan.
In the surgical management of breast cancer patients, Sentinel node biopsy is one important change that has occurred. Sentinel node biopsy is the first node that is usually affect by breast cancer and is used to find out if the cancer has spread beyond the tumour to the lymphatic system. The lymph node is removed and analysed for cancer in a laboratory. If it is abnormal, further lymph nodes maybe removed.
Advancements in breast cancer surgery have resulted in an increasingly onco-plastic surgical approach which results in improved cosmetic outcome with a better oncological outcome. Dr Asela Senanayake, Consultant Oncological Surgeon at Durdans Hospital says, “Early detection is key to getting a better oncological and cosmetic outcome”.
It may be part of a combined treatment plan that includes other therapies such as chemotherapy. Simple mastectomy with delayed reconstruction is where reconstruction is done months or even years after the mastectomy. It is used if patient has to undergo chemotherapy or may have recurring tumours. In skin sparing mastectomy with immediate reconstruction, the skin is preserved and breast reconstruction done in the same surgery for a highly natural look and patient satisfaction; Nipple sparing mastectomy leaves the breast skin with nipple and areola intact. The candidacy of the patient for these types of surgeries depends on the stage of cancer and the timing of the reconstruction surgery.
From initial specialist consultations and conducting investigations to undergoing surgery, Durdans Hospital is dedicated towards patient-centric care and will provide all necessary guidance needed to make a well-informed decision. Durdans Hospital’s panel of Oncological surgeons are experienced in performing complicated surgeries with better outcomes.