Breast cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in women and the second most common cancer overall. There were over 2 million new cases in 2018, but the good news is that we’re living in a time when women are surviving the disease. In fact, the population of survivors is expected to grow. However, we still need to be vigilant and take measures to protect ourselves.
The recommendation that women who are at average risk for breast cancer start getting mammograms yearly at age 40. Women 55 and older should switch to mammograms every two years, or continue yearly screening.
Mammograms do not detect every breast cancer. Women at every age should be familiar with how their breasts normally look and feel, as well as be familiar with signs and symptoms of breast cancer.
Although there are differing opinions about the benefits of breast self-exams, it is important — starting in their late teens and early 20s — for patients to know the proper technique, what to look for and what is their normal. For example, if one breast has always been smaller or if one nipple has always turned inward.
The most common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump or mass in the breast. A painless, hard mass that has uneven edges is more likely to be cancer; but breast cancers can be tender, soft or rounded. For this reason, it is important to have any new breast mass, lump or change in the breast checked by a health care professional.
Other possible symptoms of breast cancer include:
The comprehensive guidance on risk assessment, genetic testing, screenings and prevention strategies will give a multidisciplinary approach to cancer care, who are able to give an individualized recommendations regarding the diagnosis, treatment, surgery and recovery.
Early diagnosis not only increase the chance of cure but also decrease the incidence of morbidity and side effect of various aspects of treatment, as recent studies showed That the 10-year follow-up was designed to report outcomes with axillary dissection vs no axillary dissection among patients with early-stage breast cancer and positive sentinel lymph nodes (2 mm or smaller and no extracapsular extension). There was no difference in disease-free survival at 10 years between groups. Surgery with no axillary dissection will decrease the incidence of arm swelling (Lymphedema), and cancer free axilla will need no radiation to the axilla as well.
Clinical Oncologist Specialist