Breast cancer is one of the most commonly found cancer form in women and early treatment can assure greater survival rate. Let us look at some facts to find out more information regarding its diagnosis, symptoms and treatment.
Breast cancer is one of the most frequently met forms of cancer in the case of women, which usually occupies a second place in recent statistics, after skin cancer. Taking into account the actual life expectancy, it was determined that approximately one woman out of nine will suffer from breast cancer.
The cause and the treatment of this disease have not been identified yet, but, if it is detected in an early phase of its evolution, it can be treated with very good results by conservative surgery of the breast, followed by radio therapy. This treatment of cancer, detected in an early phase, assures a 97% survival rate of five years.
What do you have to do in order to detect breast cancer in an early phase?
1. Clinical exam of the breast
women with the age between 20 and 40 years should benefit of this exam as part of the general control of their health condition, preferably once in three years. Women older than 40 years must be examined by a specialist once a year.
It is a radiological exam of the breast, with very small doses of X rays. Women, which are older than 40, should benefit from a mammography every year. If you notice something suspect at your breast, or you have in your family cases of breast cancer, go to your physician and establish together the moment when you should start doing this investigation. Even if some cancers can’t be detected by the mammography, this still remains an excellent method of diagnosis.
3. The auto examination of the breast
This method of an early detection of breast cancer is very important. In order to obtain the best results you must perform it 10 days after the menstruation. If your period is not regular, you ma perform the auto examination in the same day of the month. There are sites on the internet where you may find auto examination techniques and other useful information related to this subject.
Which are the factors involved in the genesis of breast cancer?
Risk factors : sex, age, genetic risk, family history, personal breast cancer history, race, radiological examinations at an early age, biopsies, normal substitution therapy, alcohol consumption, obesity.
Protection factors: nursing, physical exercise, a balanced diet.
Signs and symptoms
1. Axillary’s tumor mass, or a tumor mass located in the breast or next to it. If it is not painful, hard, with irregular edges, adherent to the tissues around, there is a high probability to be cancerous.
2. A denser area of the breast compared to those around it.
3. Changing of the breast shape or size.
4. Wrinkles, depressions, or red breast skin.
5. Pains in the mammilla or a depression in it.
6. Any secretion, different from milk.
If any of these signs appear, go immediately to a doctor specialized in this disease.
Not any change you feel in your breast mean cancer, 80 % of the inflammations are benign, but it would be the best thing for you to be seen by a doctor, who will indicate the investigations you need.
1. Breast cancer may appear t any age, but it is more possible if you are older.
2. The risk at the age of 70 is double compared to the age of 50.
3. More than 70% of the women suffered from breast cancer didn’t have any other person in the family suffering from this disease.
4. An early diagnostic means better chances of survival.
5. Mammography is a sure and efficient instrument for detecting the cancer even before it could be felt. Annual examination by an expert and auto examination every month are extremely important, too.
The frequency of breast cancer grows continuously in developed countries (especially in Occidental Europe and in North America, less in Japan). Every year, breast cancer is responsible of 77,000 deaths in Europe, out of which 40 % in the case of women under 65. The incidence of this cancer, which means the number of new cases during a year, grows, but mortality reached a plateau level, which makes us notice that chances of survival are growing.
Risk factors are known for a long time and they are:
1. Personal: early menstruation, absence of birth, a late first pregnancy (after the age 35), late menopause.
2. Inherited or Genetical: breast cancer antecedents in the case of closely related members of the family, suggesting the presence of genetic factors.
Apart from these factors, age is also a risk factor 7% of breast cancers affects women 40, and this percent grows with age: 18% in the case of 40-50 years, 32% in the case of 50-60 years and 43% in the case of women over 65 years.