BREAST CANCER

 

Dr van Schalkwyk’s practice is focused exclusively on breast related conditions, and therefore you are in good hands when it comes to breast cancer. With her experience working under Professor Carol-Ann Benn at the Breast Care Centre of Excellence, she has the expertise and experience to diagnose, inform you on your options as well as advise you which treatment options are best suited for your particular case

Breast cancer is caused by abnormal division of cells within the ducts, lobules, fatty tissue or fibrous connective tissue within the breast. These abnormal cancer cells then invade healthy breast tissue and may spread throughout the body and / or to the lymph nodes that are situated under the arms.

Dr Lucienne van Schalkwyk is highly knowledgeable in various types of breast cancer and is able to assist you in your fight against cancer.

Symptoms

You may not experience any symptoms of breast cancer in the early stages, however it is important to have regular breast exams done by your doctor or on yourself, especially if you carry the BRCA gene, have a high risk of breast cancer or have a familial breast cancer history.

  • A lump in the breast or under the arm
  • Change in breast skin - red, pitted, peeling, scaling, or flaking of skin around the nipple or on the breast
  • Swelling in part of your breast or entire breast
  • Nipple discharge (other than lactating women
  • A recent change in shape or size of the breast
  • Nipple retraction or an inverted

If you notice any of these symptoms, be sure to speak to your doctor as further tests such as a mammogram, ultrasound or breast biopsy, may be needed to rule out breast cancer.

1TYPES
  • Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)
    This is a non-invasive cancer in which the cancer cells are found in the breast ducts.
  • Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)
    Abnormal cells are found growing in the breast’s milk-producing glands (called lobules). The term lobular carcinoma in situ is actually a misnomer, because LCIS is in fact NOT a cancer. It is however a sign of a higher than normal risk of developing an invasive breast cancer in future.
  • Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC)
    These cancer cells form in the milk ducts of the breast and invades nearby healthy breast tissue, and may spread throughout the body.
  • Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC)
    This is an invasive cancer which develops in the breast’s lobules and spreads to nearby healthy breast tissue and throughout the body.
  • Paget’s disease of the nipple
    This cancer grows in the ducts of the breast and later affects the skin and areola of the nipple, as the cancer grows. A common symptom of this rare cancer is itchy nipples or itchy breasts
  • Phyllodes tumour
    This extremely rare type of breast cancer develops in the connective tissue of the breast.
  • Angiosarcoma
    A rare and aggressive type of breast cancer that develops from the blood vessels of the breast.
2TREATMENT
While surgery is the most common course for breast cancer, treatment options depend on the type of cancer, the size of the tumour as well as the stage of the cancer of each woman. Deciding which surgical procedure is best is a personal decision that needs to be made with your surgeon as it is not a decision made lightly. The size, location and type of tumour as well as lifestyle and psychological concerns need to be considered when choosing a specific surgical treatment. Dr van Schalkwyk firmly believes while each woman is unique, so is each form of cancer and therefore she takes a personal approach to each patient that enters her practice.

Common surgical treatment options for breast cancer include lumpectomy or mastectomy, combined with sentinel node biopsy or axillary lymph node dissection. In women at high risk, contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (mastectomy of the opposite, non-involved breast) may be considered. Dr Lucienne van Schalkwyk’s practice consists of a multidisciplinary team of specialists, including oncoplastic surgeons, able to assist with each and every part of your journey. Upon diagnosis, she will discuss the likely outcomes of surgery, reconstruction concerns and possible complications, as well as assist with the psychological issues you may be experiencing with compassion and support. Other treatment options such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy and hormone blocking therapy are frequently used in conjunction with surgery.


+27 87 077 0401
+27 12 677 8041
info@breast-surgeon.co.za


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