The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
This week: cancer

ulcer in mouth

I am a 36-year-old man. I am a pan masala-addict since 20. Now I have developed a persistent ulcer in my mouth. A doctor has advised biopsy. Is it cancer'

Because you have been taking pan masala, which is carcinogenic, for a long time, only a biopsy can tell if you have a malignant disease. The treatment will depend on the biopsy results. If it is found that you have malignancy, it is curable by different surgical procedures, provided it is diagnosed early. So do not get scared, and get it diagnosed at the earliest.

breast lump

I am a 35-year-old woman. There has been a soft lump on my right breast for the last two years. Slowly it is increasing in size. On pressing, I feel slight pain. Will it be harmful'

A lump of this type is not always harmful. But you should not neglect it. Consult a general surgeon for thorough investigations of your affected breast. For instance, investigations like ultrasonography (the imaging of the deep structures of the body) or mammography (radiography of the mammary gland) from a reliable diagnostic centre can be of help. If the results of the investigations reveal that the lump is a harmless one, there is nothing to worry about.

lump on nipple

I (45) have developed a stiff lump on the nipple of the left breast six months ago. It is painful wh-en pressed hard. Please guide me.

Since you are a middle-aged lady, you are vulnerable to malignant growths of the breast. The symptoms indicate a likelihood of breast malignancy. You should consult a general surgeon. Get an ultrasonography (USG) of the breast done. You should also undergo an USG-guided FNAC (fine needle aspiration cytology). In this test, tissue fluid and cells are sucked out from a localised lesion, guided by USG. The tissue fluid and cells are then studied under the microscope to detect tumours and possible signs of other diseases. The tests will indicate whether the lump is malignant or not.

breast removal

I am a 38-year-old woman. Recently I have been diagnosed with breast cancer. A doctor has advised mastectomy (removal of the breast). Is there any way to skip this surgical remedy'

If it is diagnosed as breast cancer, get a mastectomy done as early as possible. In case of a delay, the malignancy may spread out to different parts of the body. You can undergo a plastic surgery after the mastectomy. It will help you mentally. And you will get over the traumatic experience.

gall bladder

I am a 45-year-old woman. I have had an operation for gall bladder stones five years ago. After surgery the gall bladder revealed malignant changes. Now I occasionally suffer from abdominal pain, decreased appetite and mild jaundice. I'm confused. Please advise me about my next course of action.

As there is a history of malignant change in the operated gall bladder specimen, there is a possibility of recurrence of malignancy. You should consult a gastroenterologist or a general surgeon and do some relevant tests like ultrasonography and CT scan to rule out any possibility of any malignant change.


I am a 40-year-old woman. Recently I have noticed a whitish discharge from my left nipple. My son is 18. Is this breast milk or something else'

You did not mention whether it is occurring for the first time. From your description it seems that it is not breast milk. At the same time, it is not a normal phenomenon. You should undergo investigation to detect the underlying cause of the discharge.

Consult a surgeon and get a definite diagnosis to know whether any underlying growth is there in the breast or not.

We invite readers’ queries on health problems. Eminent doctors will respond to them in this column every week. Mail your letters to:
KnowHOW, The Telegraph, 6, Prafulla Sarkar Street, Calcutta 700 001
email: [email protected]
Email This Page