According to WHO statistics, breast cancer is the most common of all cancers in women. In Ukraine, breast cancer ranks first in incidence among women.
According to the National Cancer Registry in 2020 in Ukraine 12,164 women contracted breast cancer and 5,156 died. Given such high rates of morbidity, every woman should ask herself, "What can I do to prevent this disease and save my health and life?"
There are a number of factors that affect the development of breast cancer:
- age (with age the risk of breast cancer increases. Women over 45 are three times more likely to get the disease than younger women)
- hereditary and familial predisposition (women whose mothers or sisters were ill breast cancer are much more likely to get sick);
- genetic predisposition (if there were breast cancer patients in the family the doctor may recommend testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 tumor markers to detect mutations in genes that are inherited)
- hormonal factors (early menstruation - up to 12 years; menopause after 55 years increase the risk of breast cancer by 2 times) ⠀
- no childbirth (increases the risk in women by 1.5 times)
Women who gave birth to their first child after the age of 30 are at higher risk than women who had their first child before the age of 19.
- refusal to breastfeed a child (breastfeeding reduces the development of breast cancer by 2 times)
- abortion (increases the risk of development by 1.5 times)
- the presence of fibrocystic mastopathy and other proliferativeтdiseases of the mammary glands
- sedentary lifestyle
- obesity (over 40% of normal weight);
- regular smoking and alcohol consumption
Prevention and early diagnosis allow early detection and treatment of the disease.
There are primary and secondary prevention of breast cancer.
Primary prevention means prevention of the disease by studying risk factors, reducing the impact of carcinogens on the body (smoking cessation, limiting alcohol consumption, avoiding excessive insolation, stimulating physiotherapy), leading a healthy lifestyle (combating obesity and hypodynamics, nutrition, reducing stress) factors on the body), timely performance of a woman's reproductive function, breastfeeding.
Secondary prevention is early detection of benign dyshormonal diseases of the breast and in the timely correction of hormonal disorders, as well as regular monthly self-examination of the mammary glands, starting from 20 years.
Remember that women of childbearing potential should have a self-examination on days 7-14 of their menstrual cycle. It must be held monthly. Self-examination is not a substitute for a visit to the doctor but will help a woman to know her body better and detect the first changes in the structure of the mammary glands.
Examination of the mammary glands should be performed in front of a mirror, changing the position of the body:
- examination in front of a mirror of the shape of the chest and exterior view of the skin of the nipples with hands down
- raise your hands behind your head and examine your chest, first in front, then on both sides.
- in a standing position press on the chest with three fingers.
- start with the upper outer quarter. The tissue of the glands here is usually denser, then move clockwise. Pay attention to possible swellings and seals.
- gently squeeze each nipple separately between your thumb and forefinger and see if fluid comes out.
- repeat all lying down.
- also palpate the tissue under the armpits and the area between the chest and neck.
If you find similar symptoms during a self-examination, be sure to see a doctor
- nipple retraction
- change in the color and structure of the skin of the breast (decrease or increase in size, edema)
- clear or bloody discharge from the nipples
- compaction and neoplasms in the mammary glands
- erosions, crusts, scales, ulcers within the nipple and areola
- enlargement of the axillary or supraclavicular lymph
According to the WHO criteria, the "gold standard" of screening of the breast is mammography. In 85-90% of cases the high efficiency of diagnosis of asymptomatic malignant tumors by this method is confirmed.
Women under the age of 35 are not prescribed mammography (if there is no reason to do so), using ultrasound.
If you have a family history of breast cancer, mammography is recommended once every 1-2 years (regularly examine the breast yourself and in the doctor's office), starting from the age of 35;
- at the age of 35-40 years, all women undergo a single primary mammogram (to determine the structure of breast tissue).
- at the age of 40-49 years it is offered to carry out mammography depending on indications.
- at the age of 50-69 years mammography is performed once every 2 years, taking into account results of previous examinations, self-examinations and clinical examinations of the breast.
There is also tertiary prevention of breast cancer - a specific prevention based on the appointment of hormone therapy for menopausal women up to 5 years. This reduces the possibility of recurrence of the tumor (in hormone-dependent tumors).
Breast cancer is a problem of the 21st century. Timely detection and proper treatment of breast cancer is a reliable guarantee of health and life of women.