Breast cancer, a silent danger that should not be overlooked #time to stop cancer
Every woman! Has a chance of getting breast cancer.
The significant risk factors of breast cancer are age, female gender, and family history of breast cancer.
“Breast cancer” is the most common cancer in women and the incidence continues to increase every year. Early detection of breast cancer enables specialists to plan appropriate and effective treatment for the patient. It could potentially avoid the need for breast removal surgery and may reduce the mortality rate. Therefore, breast cancer screening is crucial in helping to reduce the risk of the disease.
Who are at risk of developing breast cancer?
Each woman has a different level of risk for breast cancer, depending on various factors, such as
- A family history of breast cancer
- A history of ovarian cancer, as it is related to hormonal exposure that increase the risk of breast cancer
- Inherited gene mutations that increase the risk of breast cancer
- Exposure to female hormones, especially estrogen, or long-term use of birth control pills
- Women who have never had children, or had their first child after the age of 30
- Obesity, smoking, and regular alcohol consumption.
For women who are involved with any of these risk factors, breast cancer screening is highly recommended
Warning signs and symptoms that should not be overlooked.
If you are experiencing any of these abnormal appearances or symptoms, please see a doctor immediately.
- New lump in the breast or underarm
- Yellow or bloody discharge from the nipple, or persistent ulcer
- Changes in breast skin, such as thickening, lumps, redness, resembling an orange peel
- The breast shape is different or there is a change in only one breast
- Pain in any area of the breast
- Dimpling or shrinking of the skin around the breast, with the nipple being drawn inward
- Abnormal fluid or blood coming from the nipple
- The incurable wound on or around the nipple
What causes breast cancer?
Breast cancer is caused by abnormal cells of breast tissue that unusual develop and rupture uncontrollably. This can lead to the formation of tumors or increasingly aggressive tissue, with a risk of spreading to other parts of the body via the bloodstream or lymphatic system. Breast cancer can result from various factors, including chemical substances in food and the environment, smoking, alcohol consumption, as well as genetic factors such as a family history of breast cancer.
Breast examination for abnormalities
The screening for abnormalities in the breast can be and should be done before any symptoms arise, according to the above criteria. Research has confirmed that having a mammogram screening every year helps detect breast cancer in its early stages, increasing the chance of successful treatment and avoiding fatalities. Moreover, there are treatment options available that do not require a full mastectomy. Breast cancer screening is crucial, and the methods for screening include the following:
Who should receive breast cancer screening?
- Women aged 40 years and above are recommended to undergo screening every year
- Women with a family history of breast cancer, screening is recommended 5-10 years earlier
- If a lump is found in the breast, breast pain, or abnormal discharge from the nipple, or any other abnormality in the breast
Mammogram and Ultrasound of Breast
A combination of mammography and ultrasound of breast is now considered the standard for breast cancer screening. In addition, physical examination by a specialist can increase the accuracy and reliability of the diagnosis.
is a specialised radiographic examination similar to X-ray imaging that uses 3D mammography technology. The images are clear and can differentiate between fat and breast tissue, which may reveal abnormal lumps and detect the density of abnormal breast tissue with high accuracy. It uses lower radiation levels than conventional X-ray machines, is highly safe, and has high efficiency in screening for breast cancer at an early stage. It is considered the best screening test for breast cancer currently available, as it can detect small calcifications or lesions and takes only 30 minutes to complete the examination. Additionally, it does not require fasting or special preparation before the test.
is a technique for penetrating breast tissue that uses high-frequency sound waves. When the ultrasound waves contact the tissues, they bounce back and are detected by the equipment. This enables the differentiation of normal breast tissue from lumps in the breast. It can also tell whether the tumor is made of fluid or solid tissue, which can help distinguish any preliminary abnormalities discovered.
Preparation before mammogram examination
- The examination should be conducted 7-10 days after the end of menstruation.
- Do not apply perfume, lotion, deodorant, powder, or any fragrance spray around the breast area.
- If there are any abnormalities such as lumps, pain, or abnormal discharge from the nipples, please inform the doctor before the examination.
- No need to fast before the examination.
- If breast augmentation has been done before, please inform the doctor.
Advantages of digital mammography screening
- There is no residual radiation in the body after the examination is complete.
- The amount of radiation used in diagnostic digital mammography usually has no side effects on the body.
- Mammogram images help physicians in detecting small-sized tumors, providing more treatment options and increasing the chance of complete cure.
Stages of breast cancer
Stage 1 – Cancer cells begin to expand out of the breast tissue and into surrounding tissue, with a size no larger than 2 cm.
Stage 2 – Cancer cells penetrate the core of the breast tissue and expand into surrounding tissue, with a maximum size of 5 cm.
Stage 3 – Cancer cells enter the tissue and structure of the breast and spread to distant tissue and structure of the breast, with a size of little more than 5 cm.
Stage 4 – Cancer cells spread to other tissues and organs in the body, affecting the bladder, liver, lungs, and bones. This is the most serious stage. As a result, it should be treated on an ongoing basis by a cancer specialist.
Therefore, women aged 40 and over should receive regular breast cancer screening every year using digital mammography combined with ultrasound to detect abnormalities early, allowing for accurate diagnosis and effective treatment planning by physicians. This helps patients to alleviate anxiety and maintain good health.