Awareness of breast cancer and regular check-ups save lives
Breast cancer, which is among the most important health problems in the world, is seen in 1 out of every 8 women. Stating that the risk factor increases with age, Bayındır Kavaklıdere Hospital General Surgery Department Head Assoc. Dr. Hüseyin Altınyollar, with breast cancer, which seriously threatens women’s health, “breast cancerAgainst this, women should be their own doctors. Monthly manual examinations and regular doctor check-ups enable early diagnosis of breast cancer,” he said, and gave the following information:
- Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women. Although it differs between societies, in Western societies approximately 1 in 8 women have breast cancer during their lifetime is developing.
Risk factors for breast cancer require us to be more careful
A risk factor is any factor that affects your chances of developing a disease such as cancer. Presence of one or more risk factors does not necessarily mean that you will get the disease.
- While many women with more than one risk factor for breast cancer do not have breast cancer, most patients with breast cancer (except being female and advanced age) do not have significant risk factors. Even when those with risk factors are diagnosed with breast cancer, it is very difficult to determine how much these factors affect the development of cancer.
- There are different risk factors for breast cancer. While some factors such as the person’s age, race, and family history of breast cancer cannot be changed, some are linked to environmental factors that cause cancer. Some factors, such as smoking, alcohol and diet, are related to personal lifestyle. There are also risk factors such as never giving birth or giving birth at an advanced age, not breastfeeding, use of birth control pills, hormone treatments used for menopause, low physical activity, obesity.
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Be your own doctor
- Despite the increase in the incidence of breast cancer, death rates due to breast cancer are gradually decreasing as a result of advances in diagnosis and treatment.
- From the age of 20, every woman should regularly perform monthly breast self-exams. Regular examination makes it possible to recognize your own breast tissue and easily notice any changes that may occur.
- Women with early-stage breast cancer may not have a palpable mass or other complaints. The most vital issue is to diagnose breast cancer at the earliest stage. Early diagnosis is made by regular follow-up examinations and screening mammograms of the woman. The mammography devices used today give very low doses of radiation. This amount does not cause any harm to the breast tissue and the body.
- Even if there are no complaints, the breast should be examined by a specialist doctor every 1 to 3 years between the ages of 20-30, and every year after the age of 40.
If there is any hardness or swelling in the breast, see the doctor immediately!
As the cancer progresses, the following symptoms occur.
- Mass that is different from the tissue of the breast and does not disappear,
- swelling in the breast,
- Breast skin shrinkage, orange peel appearance, redness,
- Change in the shape of the breast, asymmetry,
- Nipple crusting, peeling,
- Change in the shape of the nipple, collapse of the nipple,
- If there are symptoms such as discharge from the nipple, a doctor should be consulted immediately.
Even if the cause of the symptoms is not cancer, examination and examination should be done to be sure of this. In patients with breast abnormality detected in physical examination, ultrasonography or screening mammography, it is necessary to take a sample for pathology from the tissue by needle or open biopsy for definitive diagnosis. In cases that cannot be resolved with these two tests, breast MRI is performed. Biopsy is the only definitive method to diagnose cancer.
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Each cancer history should be evaluated separately.
- After the diagnosis of breast cancer is made, it is investigated whether the cancer cells have spread within the breast or to other parts of the body. We call this process “staging”. Knowing the stage of the cancer is important for choosing the best treatment. Breast cancer treatment planning should be done by evaluating factors such as the type of cancer, its stage, and the general condition of the patient. All treatment options should be discussed with the patient and the course of treatment should be determined together.
- There are 4 basic treatment methods in order to provide local and systemic control in the treatment of breast cancer. The aim of surgical treatment is to completely remove the tumor in the breast, to determine the condition of the axillary lymph nodes, and to remove these lymph nodes if there is spread. Apart from this, cancer is tried to be eliminated with additional treatment methods such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy and hormone therapy.