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When Sheena,a young 32 year old, was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was extremely stoic about it. She had read all about it and had participated actively with her doctors in the discussion regarding treatment and her future prospects. She had a very good chance of recovering completely from the disease considering she was in an early breast cancer stage with treatable tumour characteristics.
There were some bits that were bothering her. In the course of her reading and consult with the doctor, she had realised that she had the option of getting her breast removed or breast conserved or have a breast reconstruction done. She was quite certain that she wanted to keep her breast and that was something, which was quite possible. The other bit that worried her was the risk of developing lymphedema, a condition that could develop after removal of all lymph nodes from the armpit, shoulder dysfunction and abnormal sensation in the arm. She did not get a convincing solution at most centres where she took an opinion. She was informed there was a 15-25% risk of developing lymphedema after axillary dissection. Would she be able to drive and would she have to give up playing tennis? These questions filled her with a feeling of anxiety.
It is when she came for a consult to Max Cancer centre, Patparganj, when she realised, there was a method to counter these uncomfortable complications.... Sentinel lymph node biopsy was the answer to all her queries. In this procedure, the pathologist studies whether the disease requires removal of atleast 4-5 lymph nodes. Incases the nodes are not involved, then no removal is required. This reduces the incidence of lymphedema by 5% and there is hardly any shoulder dysfunction or abnormal sensations in the arm.
Sheena decided to get herself treated at Max Cancer Centre and underwent breast conservation surgery with oncoplasty to restore the shape of her breast as well as Sentinel Lymph node biopsy. Thereafter, she had chemotherapy and radiation followed by hormonal treatment. She has finished her treatment and presently is on a follow up.
Post treatment feedback- Sheena has a great body image, no arm swelling, shoulder pain or numbness and engages in driving and playing tennis just like before. She happily admits that she feels more complete than before and does not allow scars to hurt haunt her.
We at Max Cancer Centre, Patparganj have helped them do that.