Attention to breast masses seen after the age of 40

prof.  Dr.  Kemal Emek

The most important risk factor triggering breast cancer is being a woman. Each woman has a 12% risk of developing breast cancer. Although it is known that another important risk factor is being between the ages of 40-55, it should not be forgotten that the disease can occur even in young girls who are only 17 years old when genetic predisposition comes into play. It is known that one out of every five patients has a family history of breast cancer. Since the risk of developing breast cancer in first-degree relatives such as mothers and sisters is 3 times higher than other women, these people are considered to be the most important risk group. Although rare, breast cancer, which can develop due to chromosomal disorders, also poses a risk for women who have had cancer in their breasts in the past. On the other hand, not giving birth or breastfeeding, being overweight, city life and stress are among the low risk factors.

Attention to audiences over the age of 40!
Age is an important factor in the development of breast cancer. Especially in women over 40 years of age, the first thing that comes to mind should be the possibility of breast cancer when a mass is detected in the breast. Knowing the age of the disease provides an important advantage for success in diagnosis and treatment. When risky groups are followed up regularly with physical examination and advanced imaging methods; The chances of catching and treating cancer at an early stage also increase.

Versatile examination is essential for the most accurate diagnosis!
Imaging methods give very effective results in the diagnosis of breast cancer. In the diagnosis of breast cancer, which is detected by the difference in density in the breast, the combined use of different techniques such as ultrasound, mammography and MR will help to get more accurate answers. One of the most important reasons for this is that breast tissue can differ from person to person. For example; Since the breast tissue already has a dense structure at young ages, it may cause the cancer to go undetected in imaging techniques. On the other hand, the diagnostic value of mammography under the age of 40 is quite low. Microscopic examination of the biopsy taken from the breast in suspicious masses that mostly develop in one breast helps in the detection of diseases that may lead to cancer in the future and can give a clue about the cancer threat.

Breast cancer - visual

The stage of the disease determines the treatment
The disease can be treated in two ways. Among the treatment modalities called “local” and “systemic treatment”, the one that is suitable for the patient is determined by evaluating all aspects and taking into account the preference of the patient. “Radiotherapy”, known as radiation therapy according to the extent of the disease, is also applied in local treatment performed by surgical interventions and cleansing the breast from cancer. On the other hand, in cases where the disease is at risk of spreading to other organs, chemotherapy is also administered within the scope of systemic treatment.

Advanced stage chemotherapy
Breast cancer progresses very slowly. A mass of only 2 cm is an indication that the disease has existed for 7-8 years and may have spread to other organs. Contrary to what is thought, chemotherapy applied for some patients in breast cancer is not used to treat cancer in the breast, but is used to minimize the risk of spreading to other organs. Masses larger than 1 cm are usually candidates for this type of systemic therapy.

No more aesthetic concerns with breast-conserving surgery!
Thanks to the developing techniques, the breast-conserving surgery method, which is used especially for young patients, gives successful results when performed by experienced physicians. In this method; without removing the breast itself, only the cancerous mass is removed. This procedure should also be considered as an aesthetic surgery. Breast conserving surgery should be done meticulously, the removed part should not be noticed, and a loss in the volume of the breast that bothers the eye should not be felt. One of the advantages of the treatment is that the patient who has undergone breast surgery can easily go home the day after the surgery.


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