Breast cancerBreast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women in Germany. About 70.000 women breast cancer in this country annually under a so-called mammary carcinoma. For the Early detection of breast cancer early detection examinations by a gynecologist are very important. From the 30. Year of life these examinations are available to every woman once a year free of charge to. In addition to this, however, it is advisable to palpate the breast yourself once a month.
Women between the ages of 50 and 69 become every two years for mammography invited to a specialized examination center. In case of increased risk due to hereditary predisposition (frequent occurrence of breast or ovarian cancer in the family), intensified early detection examinations are recommended.
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is a malignant tumor in the mammary gland, which mainly affects women, but in rare cases may also affect men.
What are the causes of breast cancer?
The causes for the occurrence of a breast carcinoma could be not yet fully clarifiedt will be. Thus, in the majority of those affected, the disease occurs spontaneously, i.e. without physicians being able to find a clear cause for it. Independent of this, however, there are some risk factors, that can promote the occurrence of breast cancer, such as:
– advanced age – lack of exercise and overweight after menopause – regular consumption of large amounts of alcohol
What are the symptoms of breast cancer?
At early stage of breast cancer the patient usually does not notice any symptoms, especially no pain. However, there are various signs, which may indicate breast cancer. These include, among others:
– hardening or lumps in the breast that could not be felt previously – a difference in the size of the breasts that did not exist previously – watery, bloody or purulent secretions from a nipple – palpable lymph nodes within the armpit that are not due to other diseases and did not exist previously – different appearance of the breasts when the arms are raised – other discomfort in the area of the breasts and nipples, such as noticeable redness
However, these symptoms do not necessarily mean that the disease is breast cancer. However, if the patient observes these symptoms, it is important to have a check-up with a gynecologist medical examination urgent to recommend. If the breast carcinoma is already a advanced stage have reached the stage of breast cancer, the breast cancer can other symptoms occur such as:
– unwanted weight loss – great fatigue and frequent tiredness – general pain, for example in the form of aching limbs or back pain (due to metastases in the bones)
How is breast cancer diagnosed?
The earlier the diagnosis of breast cancer takes place, the higher the chances of successful treatment. If there is a suspicion of breast carcinoma, it is therefore urgently recommended to have this clarified by a doctor. The physician will initially treat the patient after the Medical history and then start with the physical examination begin. Both breasts and the clavicle pits are examined, depending on the size of the tumor. palpate the armpits accurately.
If the suspicion of breast cancer is confirmed, a mammogram is first performed on patients over the age of 40. This is an X-ray examination of the breast. In the case of unclear findings, the doctor can also perform a ultrasound examination of the breast order. Such a Mammosonography is, by the way, often the first examination option in patients under 40 years of age when breast cancer is suspected. In the course of a mammography, malignant tumors can be detected. Largely demarcate benign changes. An additional ultrasound examination can increase the certainty of the diagnosis. In the case of a corresponding suspicion, the physician performs a biopsy by, d. h. he removes tie. If the The tie removed from the tumor is examined in the laboratory the doctor can definitively determine whether the changes are benign or malignant in nature.
What is the therapy for breast cancer?
The doctor will choose the therapy for breast carcinoma individual on the patient or. align the patient as well as the progress of the cancer. Thus, the type of treatment is, among other things, equally depending on the size of the tumor as from the fact whether the cancer already metastases formed.
In most cases a Surgical removal of the tumor tie the most important treatment. Radiation therapy can then follow the operation.
Nowadays, due to the use of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, surgeons are able to breast-conserving surgery to be carried out, provided that the breast cancer is in an early stage. In contrast to a Complete breast removal with removal of the lymph nodes from the armpit on the same side – also called radical surgery in medicine – the risk of tumor recurrence after breast-conserving surgery is increased. By means of an subsequent irradiation of the remaining breast tie, however, this risk can be significantly reduced again. For this reason, breast-conserving surgery is usually followed by radiation therapy.
Therapies following the operation
Therapies that are carried out after the actual treatment – normally after surgery – are referred to as adjuvant therapies denotes. This Follow-up therapies pursue the goal of destroying cancer cells that may have remained in the body to prevent recurrence of breast cancer.
Adjuvant drug therapy can consist of a chemotherapy or a Antihormone therapy exist. A combination of both procedures is also possible. It depends on the type and size of the tumor, among other things, which subsequent therapy is the most suitable for the patient.
Radiation therapy is usually central component at the treatment of breast cancer. It is just as useful as an adjuvant therapy after breast-conserving surgery as it is for the unresolved case of whether tumor residues are still present in the breast. The goal of radiation therapy is to kill any cancer cells that remain after surgery, thereby preventing the recurrence of breast cancer.
chemotherapy is used for the so-called Cytostatic drugs. These are active substances that inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Depending on the active ingredient, the medication is given to the patient either as infusion or in tablet form administered.
However, chemotherapeutic agents also have negative effects on healthy cells. This mainly affects the bone marrow, the skin, the hair roots and the gastric and intestinal mucosa. For this reason Hair loss and frequent nausea two of the most common side effects, which can occur during chemotherapy.
The majority of Breast cancer tumors Is hormone-dependent. This means that certain hormones produced by the body stimulate the growth of cancer cells. Particularly cancer-promoting properties have here the female sex hormone Estrogen. For medicine, this means that the growth of tumors can be reduced with the help of substances that prevent the effect of hormones. If the patient is receiving chemotherapy, anti-hormone therapy should not be started until treatment with chemotherapeutic agents has been completed.
With an immune therapy Artificially produced immune system defense substances used to destroy cancer cells. The recovery period after breast cancer surgery. Subsequent treatments varies from patient to patient. Helpful in any case are physiotherapy exercises. These are thought to help restore range of motion and strength in the shoulder and arm of the affected side after breast cancer treatment. In addition, this can be used to-. neck discomfort can be avoided.
If lymph nodes have been removed from the armpit, swelling of the arm on the operated side may occur, as the fluid from the lymphatic system can no longer drain properly. In this case, lymphatic drainage can ensure that the lymph fluid can drain again and the arm can move freely again.