What is Breast Cancer?
The breast is an organ that consists of three types of tissues: adipose tissue, connective tissue and glands. The breasts produce milk and enable lactation in women. In the middle of each breast, there is a large milk duct leading to the nipple. The smaller ducts of the mammary lobes often drain into the main duct just before the nipple. The mammary lobe consists of lobules containing milk-producing glands.
In addition to the tissues mentioned above, the breasts also have lymphatic channels that connect to the axillary lymph nodes via lymphatic vessels.
Breast cancer is the uncontrolled growth of breast cells. Although breast cancer can also occur in men, the incidence of the condition in women is beyond compare.
It is not known exactly what causes breast cancer. Breast cancer usually starts in the milk ducts. Research shows that the incidence of breast cancer is increased by a number of factors, including hormones, environmental conditions, and lifestyle.
What are breast cancer risk factors?
• Female gender
• History of breast cancer (having cancer in one breast increases the risk of cancer in the other breast)
• Family history of breast cancer
• Genetic disposition
• Exposure to high-dose radiation
• Early onset of menstrual cycle
• Late menopause
• Having the first child at an older age
• Obesity, alcohol
• Never been pregnant
What are the symptoms of breast cancer?
• Palpable mass, solid lump or space-occupying lesion in the chest and/or armpit
• Bleeding from the nipple
• Changes in the nipple (size, shape or appearance)
• Changes in breast skin
• Peeling and flaking of the breast skin or the dark skin surrounding the nipple
• Edema, swelling and pitting on the breast skin
• Redness and texture of orange peel on breast skin
What are the ways to prevent breast cancer?
As with all other cancers, breast cancer can be managed and its risks can be eliminated or minimized. The first step in treatment should be to alleviate the risk factors that helped the onset of the disease.
Weight control, healthy eating habits and regular exercise are preventive measures that should be applied by everyone.
The texture and firmness of breast tissue varies from person to person. The breast tissue of the same person shows some differences depending on aging, pregnancy and breastfeeding. Therefore, breast self-examination at regular intervals is a very important screening method.
Diagnosis in breast cancer:
As with all cancers, early detection of breast cancer not only increases the chance of treatment but also increases the number of treatment options.
• Clinical breast exam: Your doctor will examine both the breasts and your armpit to check for a mass or lump.
• Mammography: It is a method often used to diagnose and screen for breast cancer.
• Breast ultrasound
• Imaging-guided biopsy: The ultrasound-guided biopsy sample is the main method of definitive diagnosis of breast cancer. A small metal marker may also be placed on suspicious areas for use in future surgery or imaging studies.
• Magnetic Resonance Imaging
What are the treatments for breast cancer?
The most common treatment for breast cancer is surgery. If the patient is operated by experienced surgeons, the success rate of surgery in breast cancer is higher than in other cancers.
The treatment of breast cancer should be given in line with the decisions made by many specialties dealing with breast cancer, which we call a multidisciplinary approach, by explaining all treatment options to the patient in detail and by ensuring the active participation of the patient in the treatment process. These areas of expertise are; Surgery should be medical oncology, radiology, nuclear medicine, radiation oncology, plastic surgery and psychiatry.
Bir çok hastada, hastalığın ilk evresinde cerrahi tedavi ile tedaviye başlayarak, ameliyat sonrasında alınan patolojik sonuçlarla beraber hastaya kemoterapi, hormonoterapi ve radyoterapi seçeneklerinden biri veya birkaçı uygulanabilir. Bir grup hastada ise cerrahi öncesi ilaç tedavisi ile tedaviye başlanılır ve cerrahi tedavi daha sonra uygulanır.
What is breast conserving surgery (BCS)?
In patients diagnosed with breast cancer in the past, not a part of the breast, but the whole breast was removed and the patient's body integrity was impaired. Because they thought that cancer treatment was done better, patients accepted this surgical method and lived a lifetime with the psychological effects and problems of this situation. However, in the light of the studies, the concept and operations of breast conserving surgery have become widespread today. We now know that the concept of "complete removal of the breast treats the patient better, partial removal cures incomplete" is incorrect. Breast conserving surgery (BCS) is an operation performed by removing the diseased part of the breast (part of the breast) without leaving cancerous tissue behind. By definition, BCS aims to preserve healthy breast tissue with minimal loss, without compromising the principles of cancer treatment, during tumor removal.
What are the advantages of breast conserving surgery?
With breast-conserving surgery (BCS), body integrity is preserved and acceptable cosmetic results are provided for patients who are properly selected and applied the right technique.
Complete removal of the breast does not mean that patients are better treated. When breast-conserving surgery performed without compromising oncological principles and patients who underwent mastectomy were compared in studies, it was shown that there was no significant difference between the groups in terms of disease-free survival, survival without distant organ involvement, and overall survival in 20-year follow-up. However, it should be noted that radiotherapy is applied to patients undergoing breast-conserving surgery. The right technique should be applied to the right patient.
Op. Dr. Yunus OZTURK
General Surgery Specialist
Medicana International Samsun Hospital
Tel: +0 542 421 59 26