The world is seeing an unprecedented shift towards westernisation, and India is not far off in this race. As the country’s major metros are donning the complete western lifestyle pattern, rural areas are fast catching pace.
While all this seems fine and natural, it also seems to be inviting a disease that is more often than not linked to development leading to changes in life style. As per extensive studies carried out, Breast Cancer is more prevalent in developed and developing countries. Not that the terms ‘developed’ or ‘developing’ have anything to do with the increasing cases of breast cancer, but it seems that as women are increasingly juggling both home and office on a daily basis, the level of stress has shot up considerably. Add to this, erratic eating habits, alcohol consumption, smoking and exposure to oral contraceptives.
While cervical cancer tops the list of cancers among women in India, as per the recent National Cancer Registry Programme report by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), breast cancer cases for the year 2010 were estimated at 90,659 and 103,821 of cervical cancer cases were reported. The report also indicates that the occurrence of breast cancer is growing at a faster pace, which may soon hold the first position replacing cervical cancer.
The treatment of breast cancer is always governed by the stage of the cancer in a patient. Stage 2 and 3 often require the patient to undergo lumpectomy or mastectomy. Lumpectomy is the surgical procedure for the removal of the lump causing cancer in the breast, and is a viable means of preserving the breast. Mastectomy, on the other hand, refers to the surgical removal of one or both breasts, partially or completely.
Mastectomy is often seen to effect women psychologically with lowered self-esteem. A number of these patients decide to undergo breast reconstruction surgeries. Common techniques involve Tissue Expander – breast implants, wherein saline solution is injected to expand the overlaying tissue, Flap reconstruction which uses the tissues from the patient’s body (back, buttocks, and thighs) and Abdominal Flaps which uses abdominal tissues and requires advanced microsurgical techniques.
A recent procedure that is fast picking pace is Cytori Therapeutic Inc’s breast reconstruction surgery that uses the patient’s own fat to create the breast deformed by lumpectomy or removed by mastectomy.
The procedure is distinct in its use of Cytori’s Celution System to extract unwanted fat from the patient’s body to process the stem cell and create fat grafts to be used as implants. This procedure avoids the scars at the donor site which are caused in case of flap reconstruction and abdominal flaps.
Further, as the patient’s own fat is used, it greatly reduces the risk of rejection. What is then created is a breast that is natural looking and made of patients own fat and stem cells.
“While breast cancer and its treatment are traumatic for patients, what is equally traumatic is the effects it leaves behind,” stated Dr. Mark Hedrick, Cytori Therapeutics. “Regenerative medicine- based techniques and technologies allow the patients to reconstruct their breasts with their own fat and not by implanting a foreign object which sometimes is a harrowing and painful experience.”
Such a procedure that utilizes the patient’s own fat and is based on regenerative technology would seem a better choice when compared with other implants that often leave behind scars on not just the body of the patient.
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