Breast Cancer: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment – Dr. Garvit Chitkara

by Gposting

Cancer is a scary and life-threatening disease. Being diagnosed with cancer takes a physical, mental, and emotional toll on you. It is crucial to seek treatment as soon as possible. 

In this article, Dr. Garvit Chitkara, a breast cancer surgeon in Mumbai, talks about breast cancer, its signs, causes, stages, and available treatments.

What is Breast Cancer?

Cancer occurs when cell mutations happen in genes regulating cell growth. The mutations let the cells divide and multiply in an uncontrollable way.

Cancer develops in the breast cells in breast cancer Generally, cancer forms in lobules or ducts of the breast.

Lobules are glands producing milk, and ducts are the pathways bringing milk from the glands Cancer might also occur in the fatty tissues of connective fibrous tissue in your breast.

Uncontrolled cancer cells frequently infect other healthy breast tissue and can move to lymph nodes beneath the arms. When cancer penetrates the lymph nodes, it has access to a route that allows it to spread to other regions of the body.

Dr. Garvit Chitkara is one of the best breast cancer surgeons in Mumbai, having over 20 years of experience treating breast cancer patients.


According to Dr. Chitkara, it may not show any symptoms in the early stages of breast cancer. In many cases, a tumor might be too small but can still see on a mammogram.

If you can feel a lump, the first instinct is that it is a new lump that wasn’t there before, though not all lumps are cancerous.

Different types of breast cancers show various symptoms. Many of them are similar, but some can be different:

  • A lump in your breast
  • Breast pain
  • Red or discolored skin on the breast

  • Swelling of the breast
  • Nipple discharge
  • Bloody discharge from your nipple
  • Inverted nipple
  • Changed appearance of the breast skin
  • Swelling or lump under your arm
  • Sudden change in the size or shape of your breast

These symptoms don’t necessarily mean that you have breast cancer, says Dr. Garvit Chitkara, breast cancer surgeon in India. The lump can also be benign (non-cancerous).

It is essential to consult with your doctor if you see these symptoms.


Like some other cancers, we don’t always know what causes cancer, says Dr. Chitkara, a breast cancer surgeon in Mumbai, but some of the causes could be as follows:

  • Age: Age could be a factor in getting breast cancer. If you are 55 or older, it increases your risk of being prone to breast cancer.
  • Gender: women are more likely to get breast cancer than men.
  • Genetics: If you have a family history of people who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, you may develop cancer at some point in your life.
  • Smoking: Tobacco use is linked to different cancers, including breast cancer.  
  • Consumption of alcohol: Over-consumption of alcohol can raise your risk for some types of cancer.
  • Radiation exposure: If you have had radiation therapy in the past to your chest, head, or neck, it might increase your chances of breast cancer.
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): if you have gotten HRT, you might have a higher chance of developing breast cancer.


There are five main stages of breast cancer:

Stage 0

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is the presence of cancer cells inside a milk duct in the breast Stage 0 breast cancer is DCIS Cancer cells in the DCIS stay in the breast and haven’t spread into nearby tissues.

Stage 1 


  • Stage 1A: The primary tumor is no more than 2 cm broad Lymph nodes are unaffected.
  • Stage 1B: Cancer has been discovered in adjacent lymph nodes. There is either no tumor in the breast, or the cancer is less than 2 cm in size.

Stage 2

    • Stage 2A: The tumor is spread to 1-3 nearby lymph nodes and is smaller than 2 cm, or the cancer is two to five cm and has not spread to any lymph nodes.
  • Stage 2B: The tumor is two to five cm in width and has spread to 1 to 3 armpit (axillary) lymph nodes, or it is more significant than five cm and has not spread to any other lymph nodes.

Stage 3

  • Stage 3A: The tumor has enlarged internal mammary lymph nodes and has spread to 4-9 axillary lymph nodes. Tumors are more significant than five cm, and cancer has spread to 1-3 axillary lymph nodes or breastbone nodes.
  • Stage 3B: The tumor has spread to the chest wall or skin and may have impacted up to 9 lymph nodes.
  • Stage 3C: Cancer has spread to 10 axillary lymph nodes around the collarbone or internal mammary nodes.

Stage 4

In stage 4 of breast cancer, the tumor could be any size. The cancer cells have spread to close and distant lymph nodes and organs.


The treatment depends on factors like the location and size of the tumor and how much cancer has spread into other parts of your body, says Dr. Chitkara, a breast cancer surgeon in Mumbai.

The treatments for breast cancer are as follows: 


Breast cancer surgery removes the cancerous parts of your breast and normal tissue around the tumor. There are different types of breast cancer surgeries:

  • Lumpectomy: It is also called partial mastectomy. This process removes the tumor and a small area of tissues surrounding cancer. Generally, some lymph nodes in your breast or beneath your arm are removed for assessment. In the weeks following a lumpectomy, patients frequently get radiation therapy. 
  • Mastectomy: Mastectomy involves removing your whole breast. The doctors can also carry out a nipple-sparing mastectomy to prevent damage to your nipples. Many women undergo breast reconstruction surgery after their mastectomy.


Your doctor might suggest chemotherapy for shrinking cancer before the surgery. It is also sometimes used after surgery to kill the remaining cancer cells.

If cancer has spread to other parts of your body, your doctor might suggest chemotherapy as a primary treatment.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy for breast cancer is often used following a lumpectomy or mastectomy to eliminate any leftover cancer cells. It can also be used to treat single metastatic tumors that are producing pain or other complications.

Targeted Therapy

Some medications can target specific characteristics of cells causing cancer. It might be suggested by your doctor if cancer has spread to other parts of your body. 

Hormone Therapy

Some types of breast cancer use progesterone and estrogen hormones to grow. In such cases, your doctor can suggest hormone therapy. It can help lower the estrogen levels or stop estrogen from attaching to cancer cells.


Knowing that you have breast cancer is very scary and frustrating. Finding a good doctor and discussing your treatment options with them is essential. You can visit Dr. Garvit Chitkara, a breast cancer surgeon in Mumbai, to know more about your treatment options.

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