Health matters Know the signs and symptoms Mr Bashar Zeidan, Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon at BMI Sarum Road Hospital, Winchester, focuses treatment and could reduce the BREAST surgeon need for extensive treatment specialising in the what to look out for for advanced breast cancer. treatment of breast disease, including and changes which may Identifying breast cancer early is key for better patient outcomes breast cancer as well as breast and could improve the chances require a check-up reconstruction, advises that any A persistent change in the breast or armpit should be investigated. “The main breast cancer red flags include breast lumps, nipple change and/or discharge, breast skin change and a lump(s) in the armpit,” he said. “You need to see your GP for any persistent lump(s) which are not resolving after your period, for further evaluation and referral to the breast specialists for further assessment. “You should worry if you find a breast lump associated with nipple inversion or discharge (especially blood stained discharge), skin change (tethering, thickening, persistent inflammation) or a lump in the armpit. “Although we can’t prevent breast cancer, modifying your lifestyle could reduce the risk of breast cancer, this includes: exercising and maintaining healthy weight; avoiding saturated fat; minimising alcohol intake, and limiting hormonal exposure (for example, Hormone Replacement Therapy). “Screening mammograms are important for the early detection of breast cancer, when it is most treatable. This usually facilitates early breast cancer ABOVE: Mr Bashar Zeidan, Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon at BMI Sarum Road Hospital, Winchester. of breast conservation. “The question everyone asks ‘what are the options upon diagnosis?’ Treatment options depend on several factors relating to the tumour and patient. “These include a wide range of surgical options including breast conservation, oncoplastic procedures or mastectomy with or without breast reconstruction. Axillary surgery is often needed to complete the staging process. “Several medications (such as anti-oestrogen and chemotherapeutic agents) can also be recommended either prior to or after surgery. A significant proportion of patients, mainly those undergoing breast conservation, will be offered radiotherapy.” October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a worldwide annual campaign involving thousands of organisations to highlight the importance of breast awareness, education and research. Breast Cancer Now, the UK’s largest breast cancer research charity, aims to get as many people as possible involved in raising awareness and funds to help life-saving research and life changing support. Winchester & Eastleigh Cancer Support is a friendly support group, run by survivors for survivors. Winchester is holding a ‘Chat and Chill’ meeting on November 5. Resident 43