One of the most dreadful illnesses a woman can have is breast cancer. Breast lumps are a source of great, and understandable, fear. The likelihood of survival has increased significantly as a result of new treatment modalities and better diagnostic tools. Breast cancer is treatable if found early.
In the course of their lives, about one in ten women will develop breast cancer. The chances of recovery are better the earlier a tumor is found. For this, routine medical exams are crucial, as well as your own breast palpation.
Breast cancer: If detected early, it can be well treated.
70,000 women in Germany are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, but it can be successfully treated if discovered in its early stages. The causes of breast cancer are still unknown, but it is known that a breast cell's genome has changed, causing it to proliferate uncontrollably and form a cancerous tumor.
According to the German Cancer Research Center, in 2020, there were an estimated 71,200 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in women in Germany. The average age at diagnosis is 64 years. Breast cancer is more common in older women, but it can occur at any age.
Have changes in the breast clarified by the doctor
Women should see a doctor if they notice a change in their breasts, such as a lump, cysts, or connective tissue hardening. These spots can feel similar to tumors but are harmless. Additionally, if the skin on the breast has changed or the shape of the breast suddenly looks different, the nipple may secrete fluid or retract.
Use the opportunities for early detection
Women over the age of 30 who have statutory health insurance can have their breasts scanned by a gynecologist once a year, but a physical examination at home is more important. Women between the ages of 50 and 69 are also entitled to a mammogram every two years. It is best to examine the breasts yourself once a month, preferably a few days after the menstrual period, as the breasts are particularly soft and lumps can be felt easily.
Most diseases are not genetic
Genetic mutations, close relatives, early menstruation, and classic risk factors such as alcohol consumption and smoking all increase the risk of developing breast cancer. Genetic mutations are being researched, but the majority of breast cancers are not genetic, so detection is key.
Feel the breast yourself once a month
Women should check their breasts regularly, take advantage of check-ups, and live as healthily as possible. The guideline is three to five hours of exercise per week to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. Adipose tissue in the abdominal area is particularly problematic in the case of obesity, leading to an increase in insulin and estrogen levels, which can increase the risk of breast cancer.
Good chance of recovery from breast cancer
There are many options for treating breast cancer, with most cases being cured permanently. It is important to plan therapy in a certified breast cancer center and to tailor it to the patient's individual needs.
Breast cancer therapy: Good education is important!
Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and drug therapy, depending on the type of tumor. Patients should have the individual treatment steps explained to them in detail and ask questions if they do not understand something. It is possible to get a second opinion from another doctor if they have any doubts.