Breast cancer, which often occurs after the age of 50, can affect women of all ages in every period of life, and even manifest itself in men. Thanks to advanced technology and medical experience, extremely successful results are obtained in the treatment of breast cancer, which is the most common type of cancer in women. Early detection is vital in the fight against breast cancer.
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer arises from the uncontrolled proliferation of milk-forming cells that form the milk duct in the breast tissue. Breast cancer constitutes 33% of cancers seen in women. It threatens 20% of all cancer patients. Today, 1 in 8 women lives with the risk of facing breast cancer in their lifetime.
Breast cancer is cancer cells that form in the milk ducts within the breast tissue. 80% of breast cancers are invasive ductal carcinoma. Invasive ductal carcinoma indicates that breast cancer arises in the milk ducts. 20% of breast cancer is invasive lobular carcinoma. In this type, breast cancer develops in the mammary glands, not in the milk ducts. Cells that cause breast cancer take a long time to multiply and grow. However, after multiplying, the cells can spread to other organs of the body through lymph and blood. The most important thing in breast cancer is to diagnose the cancer before it spreads to other organs via blood and lymph. With a diagnosis made at this stage, the cure rate is very high. Therefore, early diagnosis of breast cancer is very important.
It is very important to determine whether breast cancer cells have spread to the lymph nodes in breast cancer, where early diagnosis ensures the continuity of a healthy life. Lymph nodes, which are an important criterion affecting the course of this disease, cause a cancerous cell spawn in the structure of the breast. This jump may result in the spread of cancerous cells to different internal organs and negative twitching of the severity of the disease.
What Causes Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is very rare in men compared to women. However, when the disease develops, its course may be faster and worse than breast cancer seen in women. 1 out of every 100 breast cancers occurs in men. Although the cause of breast cancer is not known exactly; Many factors can be mentioned such as heredity, diet, socioeconomic status, menstrual status, births, birth control pills.The incidence of breast cancer increases with age. The risk of breast cancer, which is most common between the ages of 50 and 70, increases when there is a family history of breast cancer. When a mother or sibling has breast cancer, the risk of the disease increases 3 times. For this reason, people with a family history of breast cancer should have frequent check-ups, especially at the age of 40. People with mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have a high risk of developing both breast and ovarian cancer. Using hormone drugs for more than 5 years during menopause is also one of the factors that increase the risk of breast cancer.
What Are The Risk Factors for Breast Cancer?
The most important risk factors for breast cancer are those that we cannot change. Especially having a family history of breast cancer is one of the leading risk factors for breast cancer. Breast cancer seen in a first-degree relative before the age of 50 increases the risk of developing breast cancer three times. Breast cancer seen in second degree relatives is also an important breast cancer risk factor. In addition, the more people in the family have been diagnosed with breast cancer and the earlier they are diagnosed, the higher the risk. Another important risk factor for breast cancer is the dense breast tissue. The risk of breast cancer increases more in people with less fat in the breast tissue. The density of breast tissue can be measured by mammographic and sonographic methods. Especially in lymphoma patients, since it is applied close to the chest circumference, exposure to radiotherapy is also among the risk factors for breast cancer. For this reason, it is recommended that patients who receive radiotherapy treatment, especially lymphoma patients, have frequent lifelong checks after treatment.
Early menstruation, which is considered a risk factor for the formation of breast cancer in women, should also be considered. Especially those who menstruate before the age of 11 and those who go through late menopause are considered to be at higher risk of developing breast cancer. Not breastfeeding or having your first pregnancy after age 30, excessive alcohol consumption and being overweight are also among the risk factors for breast cancer. In addition, the estrogen hormone, which is used to reduce the effects of menopause, especially after menopause, reduces the risk of breast cancer to 1.5. times increase.
Other possible breast cancer risk factors are listed as follows:
Being a woman is a first degree risk factor for breast cancer.
A person with a family history of breast cancer has a higher risk of developing breast cancer than other people.
The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age.
White-skin women are 20% more at risk than dark-skin women.
5-10% of breast cancer cases are genetic. It occurs as a result of defective genes (mutation) inherited from the family. The most common cause of genetic breast cancer is genetic mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. The risk for family members with a BRCA mutation is 80%.
Receiving radiotherapy treatment before the age of 15 increases the risk of developing breast cancer after the age of 40 to 35%.
Two-thirds of women aged 55 and older have breast cancer that has spread.
Factors such as aging or lifestyle can change the risk of breast cancer over time.
Long-term excessive smoking has been found to increase the risk of breast cancer.
A sedentary life away from physical activity and regular sports increases the risk of developing breast cancer.
Obesity doubles the risk of breast cancer in women of childbearing age.
The use of birth control pills in those with a family history of breast cancer can increase the risk of cancer 3 times.
What Can Be Done to Prevent Breast Cancer?
It is not possible to completely prevent breast cancer. Frequency of occurrence can be reduced with modifiable factors such as avoiding smoking and alcohol, eating healthy and exercising.
What Are the Types of Breast Cancer?
The types of breast cancer are determined as a result of the pathology examination performed on the tissue taken by biopsy. Although there are many types of breast cancer, it is generally evaluated under two types:
Ductal carcinoma that forms in the cells that line the breast ducts
Lobular carcinoma of the mammary glands
Ductal and lobular carcinomas are divided into non-invasive/in situ tumors that do not spread in themselves, and invasive tumors that can spread.
What are the differences between noninvasive and invasive cancer types?
Cancer is classified in two ways. Cancers that are divided into invasive and noninvasive differ among themselves. Cancer types that do not spread in the body by remaining in the tissue where they were formed in the initial stage are defined as noninvasive cancer. Invasive cancer, unlike noninvasive cancer, does not remain constant in the tissue it formed in the initial stage and spreads. Breast cancer often develops in the milk-producing glands or milk ducts. The cancer is considered to be noninvasive if no spread is observed in the lobules, mammary glands, or milk ducts. Even if noninvasive cancer does not spread at the initial stage, it can turn into invasive cancer that spreads over time. At the same time, noninvasive cancer with a high probability of recurrence requires long-term control and observation. The spread of invasive cancers to large areas by not staying in the developing tissue causes the cancer to metastasize and increase the risk of life-threatening. After the cancer cells spread, the original tumor sticks to another location and may result in the formation of a secondary tumor. As in all types of cancer, early diagnosis is very important in breast cancers. Regular monthly breast checks by all women starting from the age of 20 reduce the risks associated with the negative consequences of breast cancer in the future. Thanks to the early diagnosis, the course of the cancer is determined and the treatment methods are applied individually by specialist physicians. With methods such as immunotherapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, radiation, surgery and targeted drug therapy, options are offered against noninvasive and invasive cancer types.
Ductal Carcinoma In Situ
It is a type of cancer that cannot be detected by palpation and is manifested by its irregular structure and calcifications on mammography. A person with this disease may also have nipple discharge.
Lobular Carcinoma In Situ
It is an important picture that increases the risk of developing cancer in both breasts 8-10 times. Patients in this situation are kept under regular control and close follow-up. At the same time, preventive drugs are given to the patient. In some patients, procedures such as removing both breasts and emptying the breast tissue can be performed for protective purposes. Surgical procedures such as prosthesis and breast reconstruction, which are applied to prevent the patient from experiencing any cosmetic problems, also contribute positively to the social lives of the patients. Breast cancer, which could only be classified into 2 groups until 10 years ago, is now gathered in 4 different subgroups. In addition, different treatment strategies and treatment methods specific to the individual's tumor have been developed. Breast cancer, which could only be classified into 2 groups until 10 years ago, is now gathered in 4 different subgroups. In addition, individual and individual tumor-specific treatment methods have been developed with different treatment strategies.
Invasive (Disseminating) Carcinoma
Invasive cancer occurs when the cancer spreads further from the upper layer of the cell, which is the starting point. Most breast cancers are invasive carcinomas. Ductal carcinoma arising from the cells forming the breast ducts is the most common type of breast cancer among the cancers that have spread.
Inflammatory Breast Cancer
It is known as the most rapid and malignant type of breast cancer. Symptoms are similar to inflammatory diseases that completely surround the breast. It does not show any signs of a mass and sometimes it may only occur with symptoms such as redness and stiffness. In breast diseases that do not heal despite antibiotic treatment, it should be investigated whether there is an underlying cancer, and necessary examinations and examinations should be performed, considering that the patient has cancer until proven otherwise.
What Are the Symptoms of Breast Cancer?
Knowing the symptoms of breast cancer is very important for catching breast cancer at an early stage and for successful treatment. The most prominent breast cancer symptom is a palpable mass in the breast. A palpable mass may be in the armpit, other than the breast. If the mass is enlarged, recession in the nipple is also one of the symptoms of breast cancer. Although it is very rare, bloody or bloodless discharge from the nipple can also indicate breast cancer. If the tumor causing breast cancer grows too large, edema occurs in the skin of the breast and swelling may occur. At the same time, redness and orange appearance are among the symptoms of breast cancer encountered. If breast cancer has spread, complaints about the area where it has spread can also be seen. Awareness of breast cancer symptoms is very important to prevent the progression of breast cancer. For this reason, the person should know his own breast structure and know the risk factors. Every woman should start her own breast examination after the age of 20 to be able to recognize the signs of breast cancer. Breast self-examination 5-7 days after the end of menstruation; women who do not have menstruation should be done once a month.
Breast cancer symptoms are listed as follows:
In the breast; They are usually painless, hard, movable or non-displaceable, palpable swellings that can grow over time.
Visible change in breast size or shape, breast deformity,
Spot recessions such as redness, bruises, wounds, vasodilation, inward depression, widespread small swellings, orange peel appearance on the breast skin.
Change in color and shape of the nipple and its surroundings, enlargement of the nipple, flattening, inward collapse, change of direction, crusting, cracks and wounds.
Bloody or bloodless discharge from the nipple, nipple discharge,
Painful or painless swellings that can be seen in the armpit and can be noticed by the hand.
However, do not forget that; Having a risk factor does not mean you will get that disease.
Diagnosing Breast Cancer
Early detection of breast cancer is very important. Every woman should know her breast from the age of 20, and should follow up on monthly regular checks and mammography from the age of 40. 8 out of 10 breast masses are benign; so it's not cancer.
Early-diagnosed breast cancer is both easy to treat and has a high chance of success. For example, the chance of success and the probability of not repeating the disease in breast cancer caught in Stage 0 is 96%. The success rate is 93% in Stage I and 85% in Stage II. The earlier it is diagnosed, the higher the chance of success. For early diagnosis, every woman should perform a breast self-examination in front of the mirror once a month, starting from the age of 20. Women between the ages of 35 and 40 should have their first breast ultrasound, and after the age of 40 they should have a mammogram once a year.
8 out of 10 masses seen in breast cancer diagnosis are benign. Most of these are non-cancerous masses called fibroadenoma or cysts seen in young ages and fibrocystic masses seen in middle age. The fact that the lump in the breast is painful or painless does not mean that it is cancer. However, it is absolutely necessary to clarify what a different structure or mass is in the breast, and when the mass is noticed, it is absolutely necessary to consult a doctor. In recent years, social responsibility campaigns and awareness programs to raise awareness of breast cancer in the society point to the importance of self-examination for early diagnosis of breast cancer.
MAMOGRAPHY AND TOMOSENTOSIS MAMOGRAPHY
Digital mammography and tomosynthesis devices are used in breast cancer diagnosis and screening programs. Tomosynthesis is a technology in which low-dose X-rays are used and high-resolution images are obtained. Thanks to mammography technologies, breast cancer can be diagnosed at an early stage and treatment planning can be made accordingly.
It is defined as an imaging system suitable for advanced technological infrastructure that performs breast tissue examination through sound waves in order to detect cancerous cells in the breast. This system, which does not require preliminary preparation before ultrasound, also does not contain radiation. This system, which is used for breast cancer detection, also shows whether the formed mass is in solid or liquid form. It is also known as the imaging system that is frequently used in every age range in the examination of anomalies in breast tissues. Results are available shortly after shooting.
PET - CT
One of the advanced technological imaging methods, PET-CT can be described as the most valuable radiological method used in cancer stage, such as detecting cancer cells and determining treatment methods. It is necessary to determine whether the mass causing cancer is benign or malignant. Tumor size facilitates the spread of cancer throughout the body. This is very important in terms of determining the risk ratio and determining the prevalence of the disease. Some preparations are required before PET-CT extraction. At the beginning of these preparations, food consumption should be terminated for a period of 6 to 8 hours before shooting.
Early Diagnosis Methods in Breast Cancer
Self breast examination
Breast examination is very important to prevent breast cancer and to catch breast cancer at an early stage. When breast cancer is a small mass in the breast, it can be treated with nearly 100% success. Another feature that distinguishes breast cancer from other cancers is that it can be evaluated in "cancer screening programs". For this reason, women who have no complaints or lumps related to the breast should pay attention to screening methods.
How To Do The Self Breast Examination?
It is a practical method for women to regularly examine their own breasts in front of the mirror every month. Breast examination should be done every month 4-5 days after the end of menstruation. Menopausal women and women who have undergone uterine or ovarian surgery should periodically undergo breast examination once a month to coincide with the same days. In breast examination, attention should be paid to the symmetry of the breast, whether there is a discharge from the nipple, the presence of any deformity, skin changes, and whether there is a mass in the hand.
Breast Examination In 3 Steps
Examination in Front of the Mirror
Raise your arms up. Check for any irregularity, skin recession or depression in both breasts, nipple sores, crusting, nipple retraction, breast changes. Put your hands on your waist and press down hard. Contract your chest muscles at the same time. Check if there is any recession in your breast skin in the mirror. As a result of your control, you can see that your breasts are not equal to each other. This is normal and should not be considered a sign of illness. However, if you suspect a formation, you should definitely see a doctor.
Examination While Showering
Keep your left hand above your head as you examine your left breast while standing. Examine your left breast by pressing your right hand from top to bottom and from bottom to top. Examine with your right hand by pressing radially or in circles from the outside of your left breast towards the nipple. (Do the same operations for your right breast using your left hand. Inform your doctor if there is a hazelnut or walnut-sized hardness in the breast.)
Examination while lying supine
When examining your right breast, place a pillow under your right shoulder and place your right hand behind your head. Examine your right breast with your left hand from top to bottom and from bottom to top. Examine with your left hand by pressing radially or in circles from the outside of your right breast towards the nipple. (Do the same operations for your left breast using your right hand. Inform your doctor if there is a hazelnut or walnut-sized hardness in the breast)Gently squeeze the nipples of both breasts. Whether there is discharge from the nipple; If it does, check if it's light-colored or bloody. Report any swelling, thickening, or discharge you notice to your doctor.
For early diagnosis of breast cancer, every woman over the age of 40 who does not notice any changes in her breast should have an annual mammogram. Thus, it is possible to catch breast cancer before it reaches the palpable size. However, it is recommended that at least one mammogram be taken at the age of 30 and the film should be kept as a reference for future mammography shots. Those who have never had breast cancer in their family should have their first ultrasound after the age of 35, and those with a family history of cancer and those at risk of genetic breast cancer should have their first ultrasound done after the age of 25. These people should be under regular ultrasound follow-up every year from the age of their first ultrasound.
Regular doctor follow-up is very important for the detection and diagnosis of breast cancer at an early stage. Even if there are no complaints, all women after the age of 40 should consult a doctor and be examined. “Which doctor should I go to for a breast cancer diagnosis?” The question is one of the most frequently asked questions. Breast cancer diagnosis and treatment process is carried out by general surgeons who are experts in breast cancer. Your doctor, who carries out routine follow-ups on women's health or your general health, may also request the necessary tests for the early diagnosis of breast cancer.
How Often Should Breast Examination Be Performed?
You should have mammography and ultrasonography once between the ages of 35-40. This is called “Basic mammography”. After the age of 40, you should have routine mammography screening.
What are the Breast Cancer Stages?
Breast cancer is a slow-growing type of cancer. The tumor, which reaches 1 cm in size in 5-7 years, can spread first to the lymph channels and axillary lymph nodes, and then to distant organs such as liver and bone through blood. To find out at what stage the tumor is and where it has spread, staging is done and treatment is decided accordingly. A system called TNM is used for staging in breast cancer. Accordingly, T indicates tumor diameter, N indicates the number of diseased axillary lymph nodes, and M indicates distant spread (metastasis). There are 4 stages in breast cancer. Stage I, II, and some stage III tumors are considered early-stage breast cancer. Some of the stage III tumors and stage IV tumors are called advanced stage in breast cancer. When staging breast cancer, the size of the tumor and whether it has spread to the surrounding lymph nodes are taken into account.
Accordingly, we can define the stages of breast cancer as follows;
Stage 0 – DCIS
Stage I: The tumor is smaller than 2 cm and has not spread to the lymph nodes yet.
Stage II: The tumor is between 2 and 5 cm in size and may or may not have spread to the surrounding lymph nodes.
Stage III: It means more spread to the surrounding lymph nodes
Stage IV: It means that it has metastasized to other organs (bone, liver, brain, lung) or bone, distant lymph nodes
Diagnosis and Treatment of Breast Cancer
In recent years, important developments and new treatment possibilities in the treatment of breast cancer; It ensures that the disease can be completely eliminated with early diagnosis and treatment. Today, with the important developments in breast cancer treatment and new treatment options, the diagnosis and treatment of the disease has become easier and more successful. The priority in the treatment of breast cancer is the treatment and applications for the protection of the breast. In breast cancer that is caught at an early stage, without breast loss, the spread of the disease can be detected in advance with advanced techniques, and precautions can be taken and the tumor is directly intervened. In cases where the breast is surgically removed in advanced breast cancer, breast reconstruction (a new breast) can be performed with plastic surgery techniques. Breast cancer can be cured at a rate close to 100% thanks to early diagnosis.
Breast cancer treatment varies depending on the stage of the patient. In stage 0, there is no need for post-operative chemotherapy treatment. Often, radiotherapy is added to the treatment. Since the mass is small in stages I and II, it is decided whether or not to apply chemotherapy after surgery. In stage III, chemotherapy is administered first, and then the patient is taken to surgery. In stage IV, surgery may be considered if the cancer has not spread to too many parts of the body. However, if the cancer spread is high, only surgery is definitely not recommended. Only chemotherapy and sometimes radiotherapy treatment is applied. It is expected that vaccines specific to breast cancer will be used in the treatment in the near future.
In breast cancer surgery, the primary aim is to remove the tumor so that it does not remain behind and to remove the lymph nodes completely in cases that spread to the armpit.
Simple mastectomy: This procedure is also called a total mastectomy. The entire breast, including the nipples, is removed, but not the axillary lymph nodes or the muscle tissues under the breast. It is a method that is not preferred much nowadays.Skin-sparing mastectomy: In some female patients, the breast can be reconstructed during surgery. This procedure is called a skin-sparing mastectomy. Most of the skin above the breast (including around the nipple (areola) and nipple) is left untouched.Radical Mastectomy: In this large-scale operation, the entire breast, armpit glands and pectoral (chest wall) muscles under the breast are removed. Radical mastectomy is a method that has been used quite frequently in the past.
Breast conserving surgery
When breast cancer is detected early, more of the affected part of the breast is removed. However, the portion to be removed depends on the size and location of the tumor and other factors. In lumpectomy, only the mass in the breast and surrounding tissues are removed. Radiotherapy is a treatment method applied after lumpectomy. If the patient will also be given adjuvant chemotherapy, radiotherapy is usually delayed until the chemotherapy treatment is complete. In quadrantectomy, one quarter of the breast is removed. Radiotherapy is usually given after surgery. Again in this method, if chemotherapy is to be given, radiotherapy is delayed.
Lymph node surgery
To determine the spread of breast cancer to the axillary lymph nodes, one or more lymph nodes are taken and examined under a microscope. This examination is important for staging the cancer, determining the treatment modality and its results. If cancer cells are found in the lymph nodes, there is a high chance that the cancer has spread through the bloodstream to other parts of the body. The presence of cancer cells in the lymph nodes under the arm plays an important role in deciding what kind of treatment to apply after surgery, if necessary.
With radiotherapy in breast cancer, it is aimed to destroy cancer cells that may remain with the beam given to the armpit and breast area after surgery. In the treatment of breast cancer, radiotherapy is applied in order to protect the remaining tissue of the breast, especially in patients with a high risk of regeneration and in patients who have undergone breast-conserving surgery. TrueBeam STx and Elekta Versa devices play an important role as beam technology in the fight against breast cancer.Thanks to these technologies, only cancerous cells are focused on in radiation oncology applications in the field of breast cancer and damage to healthy cells is prevented.
Chemotherapy in breast cancer is mostly applied after surgery. Although there is no cancerous cell left after the surgery, chemotherapy treatment can continue for a while as a preventive measure.
The purpose of hormone therapy is to reduce the amount of hormone in the cancer patient in cases of breast cancer sensitive to female hormones. Some cancer cells that are sensitive to the hormone estrogen grow and multiply faster. This method of treatment prevents the development of cancer by eliminating the effect of estrogen.
Breast cancer is a disease that requires individual and tumor-specific treatment with different treatment strategies. In the past years, there were no options other than classical chemotherapy drugs and hormone treatments, but today, the use of newer and more effective chemotherapy drugs, targeted smart drugs that can be taken intravenously and orally, and new hormonal therapy drugs together bring successful results.
What can be done to reduce the risk of getting breast cancer?
There is increasing evidence that physical activity in the form of exercise reduces the risk of breast cancer. At least 1.25 – 2.5 hours of brisk walking per week reduces the risk of breast cancer in women by 18%. If this walk is 10 hours a week, the risk ratio is slightly reduced.Some studies suggest that prolonged breastfeeding slightly reduces breast cancer. Studies show that women who use birth control pills have a lower risk of breast cancer than women who do not. When the use of the pills is stopped, the risk ratio returns to normal. Women who have had multiple pregnancies and become pregnant at a young age have a reduced risk of breast cancer. The reason for this is the menstrual cycle that stops during pregnancy. Knowing which subgroup of breast cancer you are dealing with in the treatment decision is very important for the success of the treatment to be applied.
Life After Breast Cancer
It is very important to plan the treatment model focused on the physical quality of life for the patient. In most of the patients, shoulder limitation and sometimes lymphedema occur after surgery (removal of the armpit lymph nodes). Thanks to the exercise and rehabilitation programs that are planned correctly and in the early period, these problems of the patients are eliminated. Thanks to the life-long follow-up programs of the patients, the possibility of encountering permanent shoulder limitations and lymphedema can be greatly reduced.
Sexual and psychological problems observed in almost 70% of patients who survived breast cancer can be managed by specialists and problems that may develop in this direction in patients can be eliminated. Exercises continued throughout the disease should be resumed shortly after the surgery and should be continued regularly. Most breast cancer recurrences occur within the first 3 years. For this reason, it is important for patients to follow their health checks in detail for 3 years after the end of treatment. Since the recurrence rate of breast cancer is 30% in the surgical field and 70% in distant organs, it should not be neglected. Exercises continued throughout the disease should be resumed shortly after the surgery and should be continued regularly.
In the control examinations, the complaints of the patients are questioned and the patient is examined in detail. No examination is required in patients who do not have any complaints or suspicious findings. However, in those with suspicious findings, detailed examinations are carried out to clarify them. With breast cancer treatment, patients should first open a new page for themselves and live away from worry. During the treatment of breast cancer, shoulder and shoulder limitation and sometimes lymphedema occur when the axillary lymph nodes are removed. Thanks to the exercise and rehabilitation programs that are planned correctly and in the early period, these problems of the patients are eliminated.
Expert help should be sought for sexual problems seen in 70% of patients who survived breast cancer. After breast cancer surgery, sports such as exercise, yoga and walking should be continued. The risk of recurrence of breast cancer exists in the first 3 years. For this reason, health checks should not be interrupted after the disease has been overcome. Since the recurrence rate of breast cancer is 30% in the surgical field and 70% in distant organs, it should not be neglected.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT BREAST CANCER
Breast Cancer Statistics
In 2012, 1.7 million new cases of breast cancer were encountered in the world. The top 3 countries with the highest incidence of breast cancer are Belgium, Denmark and France.Breast cancer accounts for 12% of all cancers.25% of cancers seen in women are breast cancer.
What are Breast Mass and Cyst?
A palpable mass in the breast may be a cyst or a solid mass. Especially fibroadenoma and fibrocysts are very common masses in the breast. Breast masses that appear in the form of coins are benign tumors that do not turn into cancer. Women cannot tell whether these masses they notice during breast self-control are breast cancer or a harmless fibroadenoma mass. Especially in women under the age of 30, fibroadenomas are very common due to hormonal changes. The character of the mass in the breast is understood by breast ultrasound. For this reason, women should see a specialist doctor as soon as they notice a change or mass in their breasts. An idea of the mass in the breast can be obtained with breast ultrasound and, if necessary, mammography.
What does breast pain indicate?
If breast pain is felt in both breasts, it primarily indicates hormonal changes and the menstrual cycle. In addition, fibroadenoma and fibro cyst can also cause pain in the breast. While breast pain is observed in pregnant women due to hormonal changes, breast pain may develop in lactating women due to breastfeeding. In advanced stages of breast cancer, edema and pain in the breast may occur due to the growth of the tumor. However, breast pain is not considered a sign of breast cancer.
What is done when a mass is detected in the breast?
It is necessary to consult a specialist doctor immediately when a difference and change in the breast is felt during the breast self-exam. This mass should be investigated and diagnosed.
Is Every Mass Detected in the Breast Cancer?
8 out of 10 masses seen in breast cancer diagnosis may be benign. There may be non-cancerous masses called cysts seen in young ages, fibroadenoma and fibrocystic masses that can be seen in middle age. The fact that every lump in the breast is painful or painless does not mean that it is cancer.
What should be my diet if I have breast cancer?
The diet in the breast cancer process has a positive effect on breast cancer treatment. After the diagnosis of breast cancer, breast cancer patients expect a diet list from the physician in order not to get cancer again or to recover urgently and to strengthen the defense system, and they are disappointed when such a list is not given. Under false news, some private organizations and individuals marketing alternative medicine products, misguided information on the patient and his family; Patients expect physicians to recommend some herbs and to write down the foods and foods one by one.
According to the researches, special supplements to be made for nutrition after the diagnosis of cancer cause a decrease in the patient's appetite, inadequate nutrition and weight loss. Apart from this, the "nutrition model that is mainly based on vegetables and fruits, and increases the ratio of white meat, which is poor in red meat," recommended by nutritionists to all individuals, is sufficient for many cancer patients who are in good general condition and can be fed. Studies have shown that special supplements to be made for nutrition after the diagnosis of cancer only cause the patient's appetite to decrease, insufficient nutrition and weight loss.
During the breast cancer treatment process, in cases such as weight loss due to treatment and disease, inability to take food by mouth, mouth sores, long-lasting diarrhea, long-lasting nausea and vomiting, vitamin deficiency, special nutrition teams should be given intravenous or oral supplementation with special foods and vitamins. Cancer patients should avoid overeating and salty food! Early-stage breast cancer patients should avoid overeating and salty foods, especially during their treatment, and should be careful about the appetite-increasing, weight- and edema-inducing effects of cortisone, which is used to reduce allergic side effects before treatment.
In addition, high-calorie foods such as honey and molasses, which are consumed in order not to be sluggish and weak during this period, can cause unwanted and extremely difficult to lose excess weight in patients. Apart from the proven benefit of using Ginger 0.5-1mg orally as a pill for nausea and vomiting in the treatment of both breast cancer and all other cancers, there is no herbal product that has managed to enter the oncology literature as scientific evidence. Herbal products can harm patients. The use of vitamins, which have been popular in the last 20 years, has found an intense use area with the assumption that "it will keep us young, make our skin smooth, and protect us from side effects during cancer treatments" with their antioxidant properties. However, as a result of extensive studies conducted in the last 5 years, it has been determined that unnecessary vitamins and vitamins used without the recommendation of a physician cause more harm than good to the body and even cause an increase in some types of cancer. Thereupon, alternative medicine market and marketers in the world and in our country have turned their targets to herbal products. However, the unwanted interactions of these seemingly natural products, especially with chemotherapy and other medical treatments, leave many patients and the physician responsible for the treatment in a difficult situation.
Can physical activity reduce breast cancer risk?
Exercise strengthens the immune system and helps keep your weight under control. A woman who exercises as little as three hours a week, or about 30 minutes a day, may have a reduced risk of breast cancer.
Does eating a lot of sugar and sugary foods cause breast cancer?
Sugar is not directly linked to breast cancer. In order to be protected from breast cancer, it is enough to be careful to be at our ideal weight.
Should I stay away from crowded environments in breast cancer treatment?
In the breast cancer treatment process, instead of avoiding crowded environments, it is necessary to be in environments that are more likely to socialize and find morale. During the treatment process, there is no such thing as catching germs from crowded environments.
Do perfume, deodorant, laser hair removal, permanent make-up cause breast cancer?
Laser epilation, permanent make-up, perfume and deodorant use do not cause breast cancer.
What is the best time for a breast exam?
Breast examination should be done 4-5 days after the end of the menstrual period.
I have breast cancer in my family. When should I have the first checkup?
After the age of 25-26, you should have your annual routine ultrasound follow-ups. In genetic breast cancers, the age of first mammogram is 26. If you are at familial risk of breast cancer, you should be followed up with mammography after the ages of 32-34.
Does mammography have an effect on cancer formation?
The benefit of mammography far outweighs the harm. For this reason, the radiation given by mammography should never be considered as a harm to the body. In the 1960s, it was determined that the harm of mammography was far below the benefit in patients who were followed up with mammography for 30 years in technologies with very high radiation rates. Mammograms, on the other hand, give 10 times less radiation than the technologies of that period. Since there is no radiation in MRI, there is no side effect to the patient.
Is breast cancer contagious?
No cancer is contagious. The fact that many members of a family have cancer may be the cause of this misconception. A person cannot transmit cancer to another person. However, there are viruses among the causes of some cancers such as cervix and liver cancer.
Does a healthy and balanced diet reduce the risk of breast cancer?
In particular, care should be taken to consume fresh fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins A and C, avoid animal fats and prefer more pulpy foods, smoked salty and canned foods should not be consumed, cigarettes and alcohol should be avoided, and excess weight should not be gained. Precautions such as doing sports, using preventive drugs in women with high risk factors, emptying both breasts in those with high risk factors, making breasts with silicone or one's own tissue, not using tablets, creams and gels sold under the name of 'breast enlargement' sold in the market. possible to reduce risks.
Does it help if I exercise to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer?
In daily life, you should choose the sport that suits you. Sports that can be done for many people; It is a regular and brisk walk. However, you can choose exercises that you can do alone or with a group, such as swimming, cycling, pilates, yoga.
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