Dr. Aldine Astrid Basa, a specialist in breast surgery and the head doctor of Asian Hospital and Medical Center's (AHMC) Breast Center, attests that most patients who are diagnosed with breast cancer prefer to undergo Modified Radical Mastectomy (MRM), a surgical procedure which removes the entire breast and lymph nodes in the armpit to treat or prevent breast cancer.
Breast Center head, however, states that mastectomy isn't the only choice.
"When my patients are diagnosed with breast cancer, I always present to them all the possible treatment methods, so they know that having their breasts removed isn't the only option," said Dr. Basa
Patients with breast cancer can keep their breast and the healthy breast and have a good chance of surviving breast cancer," added Dr. Basa
"An alternative to mastectomy is lumpectomy, wherein only a part of the breast around the cancer is removed, thus, conserving the breast," she
"Adjuvant therapy comes after lumpectomy, and this involves chemotherapy and radiotherapy," Dr. Basa
is a proponent of early detection in fighting breast cancer.
"Not everyone knows that mammography and breast ultrasound should be done yearly for women aged 40 and above.
The general perception is, when they feel a lump or pain in the breast, that's the time to undergo breast screening, but, sometimes, it's too late," she
"Catching breast cancer in its late stages makes treatment more difficult and expensive.
No one knows who or when one will get breast cancer, that is why screening is very important.
We cannot prevent breast cancer but we can detect it early.
For women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, monitoring should not stop; they should follow up with their doctors for the rest of their lives," she
With breast cancer awareness as her
advocacy, Dr. Basa
advises women in her
public lectures and seminars also about the importance of self-breast examination as this allows detection of any changes in the breast appearance and its feel, and thus, prompts one to take action immediately.
After finishing her
General surgery training at the UP-PGH, Dr. Basa
took further specialty training in Breast surgery at the Peter Mac Callum Cancer Center
in Melbourne, Australia in 2004 and at San Raffaele Hospital
in Milan, Italy in 2005.
"Prevention is much better than cure.
Aside from annual screening, leading a healthy lifestyle is also important.
Having a healthy and balanced diet, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, keeping moderate intake of alcohol and not smoking keep us away from most diseases, including cancer," Dr. Basa