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  • Writer's pictureVesela Georgieva

BREAST CANCER

In recent years, awareness of breast cancer has sharply increased. However, the growing body of information has also led to an abundance of information, often leading to confusion and inaccuracies. To prevent this, we have compiled a number of important facts and clarifications on the subject in this article. There has been a significant increase in the number of women affected by breast cancer, as well as in the number diagnosed. The heightened awareness today of the importance of early diagnosis has led to an increased frequency of testing (both in terms of directing women to clinics and in terms of doctors' practices). The increase in the number of diagnosed women is also due to the fact that today, precancerous cells are also called breast cancer (pre-cancerous condition), with the tendency that these cells can develop into cancerous ones. In this context, it is important to note: Oncological disease is common among women, but it also exists in men with a ratio of 1 to 100. What can raise suspicion of developing breast cancer It is advisable to start undergoing preventive examinations by a specialist at least once a year after the age of 30. It is important to contact a doctor if you:

  • Discover a lump;

  • Notice a change in the shape of the breast or nipple;

  • The breast tissue becomes hard;

  • Notice spots on the skin;

  • Feel something new or different.

Detecting the symptoms of breast cancer is crucial for its early diagnosis and successful treatment. One of the most common symptoms of this type of cancer is the sensation of a sensitive hardness or lump in the breast. Such a lump can also be felt in the armpit, differing from the breast tissue. As these lumps grow in size, the breast may change its shape. This is also one of the symptoms of breast cancer. In rare cases, fluid, which may be mixed with blood or be colorless, may be discharged from the breast, which can also be an indicator of breast cancer. With prolonged growth of the tumor causing breast cancer, the breast skin can become swollen and look filled. Common symptoms include skin redness and the appearance of orange peel on the surface of the breast skin. If the breast cancer has spread, pain may occur in the area where it has spread. Early detection of the signs of breast cancer is essential to prevent the progression of the disease. For this reason, it is important for people to be familiar with the structure of their own breasts and with the corresponding risks. Every woman after the age of 20 should regularly perform breast self-examinations to be able to detect signs of breast cancer. Breast self-examination should be performed 5-7 days after the end of the menstrual cycle. Women who do not menstruate should perform a self-examination once a month. SYMPTOMS OF BREAST CANCER:

  • Usually painless, hard structure, moving in the breast.

  • Hard, movable or immobile, palpable, usually painless hard particles - lumps in the breast, and swellings that may grow over time.

  • Visible changes in the size or shape of the breasts.

  • Redness, appearance of bruises, wounds, dilation of blood vessels, frequent small swellings, pinpoint swellings, like orange peel on the skin of the breast.

  • Changes in the color and shape of the nipple and around it, enlargement, retraction, change of direction, crusts, cracks, and sores.

  • Discharge of fluid, which may be mixed with blood or be colorless, from the nipple.

  • Painful or painless swellings, which can be seen under the armpit and felt by hand. The presence of risk factors does not necessarily mean illness.

WHAT CAN BE DONE TO REDUCE THE RISK OF DEVELOPING BREAST CANCER? There are various ways to reduce the risk profile for developing breast cancer. Including physical activity in daily life is essential. Studies show that physical activity, including brisk walking for at least 1.25 - 2.5 hours weekly, can reduce the risk of breast cancer in women by up to 18%. Longer periods of physical activity also contribute to further risk reduction. Some studies show that prolonged breastfeeding can reduce the risk of breast cancer. It is also important to note that the use of contraceptives may slightly increase the risk profile. However, upon discontinuation of their use, the risk profile normalizes. Women who have had more pregnancies and have become pregnant at an early age have a lower risk of developing breast cancer. This fact is related to the cessation of the menstrual cycle during pregnancy. Information regarding the subtype of breast cancer is essential for making decisions regarding treatment and undertaking measures for its success.


TYPES OF BREAST CANCER The types of breast cancer are determined after pathological examination of the tissue taken by biopsy. Although there are many different types of breast cancer, they are generally classified into two main categories:

  1. Ductal carcinoma: This type of cancer forms in the cells that line the ducts in the breast.

  2. Lobular carcinoma: This type of cancer develops in the breast's milk-producing glands. Ductal and lobular carcinomas are divided into two subtypes - non-invasive (in situ), which do not spread, and invasive, which can spread beyond the original tissue. Non-Invasive (In Situ) Carcinomas:

  • Ductal Carcinoma In Situ: This is a type of cancer that often cannot be felt by touch and can only be detected through examinations like mammography. Patients with this type of cancer may experience discharge from the nipple.

  • Lobular Carcinoma In Situ: This type of cancer increases the risk of developing breast cancer in both breasts by 8-10 times. Patients with this diagnosis are regularly monitored and carefully followed, and sometimes are provided with protective medications. Invasive (Spreading) Carcinoma: Invasive cancer develops when cancer cells penetrate outside the original tissue and start to spread. Most cases of breast cancer are invasive carcinomas. The most common type is ductal carcinoma, which originates from the cells forming the ducts of the breast. If you need additional information or have specific questions, or if you would like to inquire about a particular medical intervention, do not hesitate to contact us through our contact details, which you can find on our website. Our representatives will be delighted to assist you and answer all your questions.

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