Breast cancer - causes, symptoms, treatment

Health 2023

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Breast cancer - causes, symptoms, treatment
Breast cancer - causes, symptoms, treatment

Breast cancer (breast cancer) is one of the most common oncological diseases in the world and in Russia, in particular, it ranks first among oncological diseases in women. More than 60,000 women receive this diagnosis every year in our country.

Can breast cancer be prevented?
Can breast cancer be prevented?

Causes of breast cancer

The cause of breast cancer has not yet been fully disclosed, it is not yet possible to get a full guarantee against the disease. Breast cancer is not one, but a whole group of diseases, each of which requires accurate diagnosis and, accordingly, treatment tactics and prognosis depend on the exact diagnosis, stage, and can vary greatly.

In Russia, about 40% of cases of breast cancer are detected in the later stages. About 22,000 women die every year from breast cancer. This is due to the fact that in the early stages it proceeds with virtually no symptoms. There is no culture of preventive examinations among women in Russia, and this is also the reason why cancer is detected late.

At the same time, if cancer is detected at stage I, up to 98% of women recover. Today, breast cancer is well diagnosed and many forms respond well to treatment. Early detection increases the chance of a good prognosis.

Experts from the Women's He alth charity program urge women to understand which risk group they belong to and get screened accordingly.

Key risk factors

They are two - female and age. With age, the risk of getting sick increases significantly, and the peak incidence occurs at 55-65 years. However, the insidiousness of the disease is that it can develop in an adult at almost any age (cases of breast cancer in girls of 19 years old have been registered).

Can breast cancer be prevented?

Because the exact cause of breast cancer is unknown, there is no single way to prevent the disease 100%. However, making he althy lifestyle choices (regular physical activity, avoiding alcohol and smoking, giving birth on time and breastfeeding) can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. Perhaps this is the only thing we can do for ourselves. For women in the high-risk group, there are preventive medical and surgical methods, they are determined by the doctor. Find your doctor, here is the top recommendation for the high risk group. It is important for every woman to know if she belongs to a high or medium risk group. The program of preventive examinations in this case is different.

You are at high risk if your immediate family (mother, grandmother had breast cancer or other reproductive cancers, especially at a young age). In this case, after 20 years, you need to find a mammologist oncologist whose competence you will trust, and draw up an individual examination program with him. If you belong to the medium-risk group and nothing bothers you: there are no changes in the mammary glands, complaints or symptoms - you do not need to undergo special examinations until the age of 40. However, it is important to be attentive to your he alth and in case of any changes compared to your norm, do not hesitate to consult a doctor: a gynecologist or an oncologist-mammologist. Moreover, in the vast majority of cases, you will hear that some benign changes are bothering you, and you don’t even need to do anything special about it.

Breast Cancer Symptoms

  • nodular formations, seals in the mammary gland or in the armpits;
  • swelling, irritation, fever in the breast area (hot to the touch),
  • red or dark spots in the breast or underarm area;
  • change in size or shape, breast skin pores, increase in the diameter of breast skin pores (some compare this phenomenon to an orange peel);
  • wrinkling of breast skin;
  • itching, painful peeling or rash in the nipple or underarm area;
  • retraction of the nipple or other part of the breast;
  • nipple discharge;
  • pain in the breast or axillary region, in the shoulder, which is not clear what caused and does not go away.

At the age of 40, you need to visit a gynecologist or oncologist-mammologist and consult whether to start doing preventive mammography. The fact is that from any medical research there can be both benefit and harm. There is a method error, false positive and false negative results. Any medical research should be ordered when the benefit outweighs the harm. The group of 40-50 years is controversial, the medical community disagrees on the recommendations. If you are very wary of cancer and understand the possible risks of the examination (consult your doctor for this), you can start doing a mammogram once every two years. According to modern recommendations based on epidemiological studies, it is indisputable that from the age of 50 it makes sense to do preventive (screening) mammography once every two years. For this age group, the balance of harm and benefit is clearly skewed towards benefit. Ultrasound is not a preventive screening method for breast cancer for the intermediate risk group. It is used as an additional diagnostic method.

Self-examination is not a method of early detection of breast cancer and does not reduce mortality from this disease. However, it is good to know how your breasts normally look in order to notice changes in time.

Screening (preventive) examinations catch only "slow crayfish". And fast crayfish - do not catch. Therefore, if cancer is detected immediately at an advanced stage, one should not always blame oneself or doctors. There are rapidly developing breast cancers. This does not mean that they are not treatable. Medicine has advanced a lot. Almost all types of breast cancer, with some exceptions, can be treated quite well today.

Psychological rehabilitation after illness

The fact that after oncology rehabilitation is needed is undoubtedly recognized by doctors in all developed countries. But in Russia, the he althcare system is focused only on providing treatment services. No one deals with the issues of psychosocial rehabilitation of women. And in the eyes of society, and in the eyes of the state, and in the eyes of medical specialists, this is not a priority.

While timely psychological support provided allows a woman to more easily endure treatment, process the fears associated with the diagnosis, return to life and society: to be a full-fledged woman, mother, wife.

Charity program "Women's He alth" is professionally engaged in the rehabilitation of women with a diagnosis

From March 3 to March 14, Georgia will host "Victory Vacations" - the first in Russia rehabilitation program after breast cancer, which is run by the Women's He alth and Aviasales charity program. Cancer patients, along with their loved ones, will be able to undergo a course of physical and psychological rehabilitation free of charge, including art therapy, as well as specially developed methods of body therapy. The pilot group of "Winners" consists of activists of the foundation. These are women from 11 regions of Russia who not only overcame the disease themselves, but also help others - organize self-help groups, meet after operations or see off for chemotherapy.

The travel search engine Aviasales has become a partner of the Winners Vacation project. In addition to logistics for participants, the service has created a page, where you can learn about the risks associated with breast cancer, as well as support the Women's He alth initiative. A percentage of the sales of air tickets found on Aviasales will be transferred to the prevention of cancer. You can also follow the project on social networks using the hashtag Vacations of the Winners.

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