Breast cancer is one of the two most common types of cancer in the world. The most common type of cancer in women is breast cancer. Breast cancer is a curable disease with early detection. Therefore, it is important for everyone to have information about breast health. For detailed information about breast health, you can review the rest of our article.
What is Breast Health?
For breast health, first of all, every woman should know her own breast. This helps to notice any changes in the breast without wasting time. There may be some changes in the breasts from time to time. For example; During the menstrual period, symptoms such as breast tenderness and swelling are common. With the effect of hormones such as oxytocin, milk begins to be secreted from the mother’s breasts after the baby is born. Therefore, it would not be wrong to say that the breast is a gland responsible for secreting milk. Health authorities around the world carry out many studies to increase the awareness of women about breast health. With the increase in awareness on this issue, there is a noticeable increase in the number of women who regularly have breast check-ups. However, in the 2020 data of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, 685. 000 women have died from breast cancer. In other words, despite a significant increase in the number of women who have regular breast check-ups, breast cancer still ranks first among the most common cancer types that cause death among women. To raise this awareness, October 15th Breast Health Day has been declared.
What is Breast Cancer?
According to a report prepared by the General Directorate of Public Health of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Turkey, a woman’s risk of breast cancer throughout her life.The risk of encountering with is 7.8%. Under normal conditions, cells have the ability to grow and reproduce. However, no healthy cell can continue to grow continuously and dies. In some cases, cells continue to multiply uncontrollably. Cancer is the uncontrolled and abnormal growth of cells. As with other types of cancer, breast cancer occurs as a result of uncontrolled growth and proliferation of cells. There are different types of breast cancer. Lobular cancer in the milk-secreting glands of the breast and ductal cancer in the milk-carrying ducts are the most common types of breast cancer. In addition, breast cancer is classified as non-invasive if it does not spread to the surrounding tissue and remains in the area where it is seen, and as invasive breast cancer if it spreads to the surrounding tissue.
Breast Cancer Risk Factors?
Depending on various factors, some people have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than others. Some of these risk factors can be changed with changes in living habits, and some risk factors cannot be changed. Breast cancer risk factors can be listed as follows:
- Being a woman is one of the non-modifiable risk factors for breast cancer.
- Breast cancer mostly occurs in the advanced age group. However, there is also a risk of it being seen in young women.
- Being overweight is one of the risk factors for breast cancer, as it is for other cancers.
- Pregnancy in which hormone levels such as estrogen and progesterone and the menstrual cycle change may be protective against breast cancer. Not giving birth yet or having the first birth after the age of 30 can also be considered among the risk factors for breast cancer.
- First of all, having a history of breast cancer in first-degree relatives increases the risk of cancer.
- Estrogen and progesterone hormones are secreted for a longer time in the body of women with early menstruation and late menopause compared to others. This is one of the risk factors for breast cancer.
- According to some scientific studies, using birth control pills for more than 10 years may increase the risk of breast cancer.
- Harmful habits such as alcohol and smoking increase the risk of breast cancer.
- Having genetically mutated genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 are among the risk factors for breast cancer.
- Having previously had breast cancer or receiving radiation therapy to the breast increases the risk of developing breast cancer.
- Some women may have benign cellular changes in their breasts. Since these changes may turn into cancer in the future, they should be followed at regular intervals.
What Are the Symptoms of Breast Cancer?
Breast self-exam is very important in the early diagnosis of breast cancer. So what are the symptoms of breast cancer? Breast cancer symptoms can be listed as follows:
- A palpable mass in the breast is the most common symptom of breast cancer. This mass is often painless. In some cancer cases, the mass may not be in the breast but also in the armpit.
- Another symptom of breast cancer is changes in the appearance of the breast, such as swelling, thickening, orange peel appearance or nipple retraction.
- Changes in the appearance of the breast and changes in its size can also be counted among the symptoms of breast cancer.
- Although rare, some breast cancer cases may also have discharge from the nipple. However, most of the time nipple discharge occurs in advanced stages of cancer.
Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment
The chance of success in breast cancer treatment is quite high. Early diagnosis is very important for successful treatment. The main diagnostic methods used in breast cancer are as follows:
- Breast self examination: Breast self examination is very important for early diagnosis of breast cancer. While performing breast self-examination, first of all, it is examined visually whether there is any change in the breast such as redness and discoloration. Then your hand is on the 2nd, 3rd. Check the breast with the front of the 4th and 4th fingers. During palpation, whichever breast is to be checked, the arm on that side is raised above the head and the breast is controlled with circular movements using the fingers of the other hand. Then the same movements are repeated lying on the bed.
- Doctor examination: Breast examination by a specialist doctor is also very important for the early diagnosis of cancer.
- Imaging methods: Imaging methods such as mammography and ultrasound are frequently used in the diagnosis of breast cancer. Thanks to mammography, fat and soft tissue graphies of the breast are examined.
Breast Cancer Treatment
As with other types of cancer, there are surgical and non-surgical treatment options in breast cancer. Breast cancer treatment; It is determined by the stage of the cancer and the general condition of the patient. While surgical methods are used in the treatment of breast cancer, only the cancerous tissue can be removed and the breast can be left, or the breast can be completely removed by a method known as mastectomy, depending on the stage of the cancer. This method can also be used in some cases to prevent recurrence of the disease. Today, aesthetic operations can be applied to the breast at the same time as surgical operations. In addition to surgical treatment, treatment methods such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and smart drug administration can also be used in the treatment of breast cancer.
Frequently Asked Questions
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE A MASS IN MY CHEST?
In order to understand the masses formed in the breast, it is important for the person to recognize his own breast and to perform a regular breast self-exam.
WHAT DESTROYS THE MASS IN THE BREAST?
When there is a mass in the breast, it is first examined whether the mass is benign or malignant. Benign masses usually do not require intervention. However, these masses should also be followed at regular intervals. In cancer-induced masses, treatment methods such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and smart drug administration or surgery are used to destroy the mass.
HOW OFTEN IS A MAMMOGRAM DONE?
It is recommended that women between the ages of 40-69 have a mammogram every two years.
Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer among women. However, the success rate in breast cancer cases diagnosed at an early stage is quite high. Do not forget to get detailed information about breast health from the nearest Breast Health Center specialists and have your controls done. We wish you healthy days.
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