- Breast cancer
PREDISPOSING FACTORS FOR BREAST CANCERThe presence of risk factors for breast cancer does not mean that the malignant disease certainly develops but indicates a higher chance for it. In many cases where the patient has one or more predisposing factors the disease does not develop, and there are also such cases of the disease when the patient does not have any known risks.
CONGENITAL AND UNCHANGEABLE RISK FACTORS
- Female gender: being a women is unfortunately one of the main predisposing factor for breast cancer (it can also develops in men, but its incidence is about 100 times higher in women)
- Age: at a later age, the likelihood of a malignant tumour is increased
- Genetic factors: the change (mutation) of some genes - BRCA1/BRCA2 and other, rarer gene mutations (ATM, TP53, CHEK2, PTEN, CDH1, STK11, PALB2)
- Positive personal anamnesis: who has once had breast tumour, she is at higher risk for the development of a new tumour in the other breast or at other part of the same breast - In younger women this risk is even higher
- Positive family anamnesis: (among women suffering from breast cancer this risk factor is present in about 15%): if breast cancer has been present in one first-degree relative (mother, sister or daughter) the person has 2 times higher risk as in average, if 2 first-degree relative have had breast cancer, then the person's risk is already threefold.
- In the dense type of breast tissue the risk of breast cancer can be up to two times higher as in the normal breast tissue, in the extreme dense type, the risk can be 4–6 fold higher then the average risk.
- dense, solid breast tissue: lots of connective tissue and glandular substance, less fat
- almost every second women have dense breasts
- in this type of breast even for the X-ray mammograph is "more difficult to see"
- on the X-ray image of the breast the dense, glandular tissues are depicted as white areas – the picture of the malignant lesion is also white, therefore the tumour can be hidden by the breast structure
- the colour of the fattier type breast tissue is almost black on the X-ray image, in which the white tumour can be easily distinguished.
- Certain benign breast laesions
- Precancerous change: certain histologically detectable, abnormal breast tissue changes can be the base for malignant tumours
- Early period: those who had the first menstrual bleeding before 12 years of age (probably because of the longer estrogen/progesteron effect because of the more menstrual cycles)
- Late menopause: if the menopause started after the age of 55 (probably because of the longer estrogen/progesteron effect because of the more menstrual cycles)
- Irradiation treatment: if as a child or yound adult the patient has received chest irradiation treatment because of Hodgkin or Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma) - irradiation therapy above the age of 40 probably does not raise the risk
LIFESTYLE RISK FACTORS WHICH WE CAN CHANGE
- Among women who does not have a child, there is a higher incidence of breast cancer
- Later pregnancy: who gave birth to their first child above the age of 30
- Those women who refused breastfeeding or breastfed their child only for a short time (breastfeeding of 1.5–2 years can decrease the risk of developing breast cancer)
- Prolonged use of any hormone replacement therapy (birth pill or postmenopausal hormone replacement)
- Unhealthy diet
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Lack of any physical activity, obesity
WHEN IS IT WORTH CONTACTING A SPECIALIST FOR PREVENTION?
- The choice of the required imaging methods is based on clinical decision and it depends on several factors: such as age, the size of the breasts and the personal and family history with regard to the risk factors
- The exact age threshold should be determined individually and it is always the competence of the radiology specialist
- To average-risk women above the age of 20 occasional breast diagnostic evaluation is recommended
- For women over 20 who are taking birth pill, yearly
- For women who have breast implants, yearly (by the appropriate breast diagnostic examination the general status of the implant and the presence of any leakage or other damage can be very well determined)
- For high-risk women below 40 years of age yearly
- For average-risk women between 40–50 years of age who are free of signs and symptoms, as the incidence of breast cancer is higher in this age group and the malignant tumour developed in this age can grow faster
- For average-risk women above 50 years of age in every 2 years
- For hormone-treated women above 50 years of age yearly
- (women of between 45–65 years of age and free of signs and symptoms receive a referral in every 2 years in the frame of public health screening)
WHEN ARE YOU REQUIRED TO IMMEDIATELY CONTACT A RADIOLOGIST?
- If you detect any unusual lump or a well defined knot in the breast or in the armpit
- If the shape of the breast is deformed
- If on the breast there is a non-healing wound and you do not know its cause
- If you detect the thickening of the breast's skin or it is dimpled
- If your nipples are discharging or swollen, you experience an erythema or itching
- If a bloody, straw-coloured, aqueous, clear, serous discharge comes from the nipple
WHAT KIND OF BREAST CANCER EXAMINATION ARE PERFORMED AT MEDOC HEALTH CENTER?
HOW SHOULD I PREPARE MYSELF FOR THE EXAMINATION?
- Please be informed about our diagnostics methods and procedures, read carefully our Breast Diagnostics Leaflet.
- Please bring all your medical reports on previous breast examinations.
- Please wear such clothing that you can comfortably take off from the top half of your body.
- Please do not use any cream or deodorant because those can affect the results of the mammography examination.
- No matter how old you are, if you have noticed any abnormality in your breast, DO NOT WAIT, but please contact our specialists without delay.
- In order to detect breast cancer early, the ladies herselves can make the most.