Breast Cancer: There Is A Way Out!

Methods of Treatment For Breast Cancer

To date, there are several treatments for breast cancer. The choice of the appropriate one depends on many factors: the size of the primary tumor, the state of regional lymph nodes, the presence of distant metastases and receptor status, that is, sensitivity to hormones.

Surgery

During surgery, the main task of the doctor is to preserve the patient's life and health, even if this means the loss of the mammary gland. However, now doctors are trying not only to remove the tumor but also to preserve the organ. In cases where this is not possible, breast prosthetics are performed - usually, plastic surgery is conducted six months after a mastectomy. Although, for example, in Israel, breast reconstruction is carried out as part of a single operation: immediately after removal.

If the size of the tumor does not exceed 25 mm, resort to organ-preserving surgery. Often, several nearby lymph nodes are removed, even if no metastases are found - this helps prevent a relapse of the disease.

Note that surgeons of the advanced countries in the treatment of oncology have unique surgical instruments. For example, in Israeli clinics, the Margin Probe device is successfully used, which, according to doctors, makes it possible to remove absolutely all cancer cells.

Breast Cancer: There Is A Way Out!

Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy, or radiation therapy, is part of the supportive treatment for breast cancer, it is prescribed to women before or after removal of the tumor. Radiotherapy reduces the likelihood of disease recurring by killing tumor cells. In radiation therapy, a tumor is irradiated with powerful x-ray or gamma radiation.

Intrabeam

An innovative technique of intraoperative exposure. Avoids postoperative radiotherapy and reduces the risk of relapse. This procedure is performed during surgery and saves the woman from postoperative treatment. Unlike traditional radiation therapy, radiation is directed only at those areas in which cancer cells are supposedly located. Application of the method reduces the duration of treatment by 6 weeks while reducing the risk of relapse and causing minimal harm to healthy tissues.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy, or drug treatment for breast cancer, is used before, after, and even instead of surgical procedure when it is not possible. Chemotherapy is the introduction of specific toxins that affect tumor cells. The course of chemotherapy can last from 3 to 6 months and usually begins immediately after surgery. Various drugs are used for chemotherapy - some destroy proteins that control the development of tumor cells, others integrate into the genetic apparatus of the cancer cell and cause its death, and others slow down the division of affected cells.

Hormone Therapy

Hormone therapy is useful, but only in half the cases, since not all types of breast cancer are sensitive to this treatment.

Targeted Therapy

Or targeted therapy is the most sparing treatment for breast cancer. Preparations for targeted therapy affect only the affected cells, without harming healthy ones, so such surgery is much better tolerated.

Breast Cancer Treatment

The first thing that patients and every woman need to know about breast cancer (as, indeed, about any type of cancer): today this is not a sentence, the earlier the stage of the disease, the higher the chances of defeating cancer ultimately. And even in the later stages, there are more and more opportunities to effectively fight the disease thanks to the advent of modern revolutionary methods of therapy (see below).

And yet one of the main conditions on which the patient's life span depends is the earliest possible diagnosis,” emphasises the oncologist of the OncoStop project, PhD Ekaterina Chernova.

IMPORTANT

An increased risk of developing cancer will not necessarily lead to the formation of a neoplasm,” emphasises oncologist Yekaterina Chernova. - There are times when a woman at risk does not get breast cancer. At the same time, sociopathology can develop in a perfectly healthy woman with “good” heredity. Therefore, it is essential to carefully consider your health, regularly conduct self-examination of the mammary glands. Early detection of the tumour improves the prognosis of the patient's life.

The doctor recalls cases from practice: “For example, a 36-year-old woman, upon palpation of her breast, found a round formation in the right mammary gland with a diameter of 1 cm. The next day, she went to the doctor. As soon as possible, the patient underwent all the necessary manipulations and was diagnosed with stage I breast cancer of the right breast. Currently, the patient has completed her treatment, she feels well, is active, continues to work, play sports and is under intense supervision.

Another case: a 47-year-old woman herself discovered a tumour in her left mammary gland and decided not to see a doctor. Over the year, the patient began to notice a deterioration in well-being, which was aggravated and in the end, still prompted her to see a doctor. During the examination, the patient was diagnosed with stage IV cancer of the left breast, metastases in the lungs and bones. She was prescribed several courses of anticancer drug treatment, which, alas, she could not wholly complete.

Symptoms of Breast Cancer

In medical practice, a tumour in the mammary gland in most cases is detected by the woman or spouse, which also happens. The tumour can be detected at the examination by a mammologist, gynaecologist, surgeon, or be an accidental finding during a screening examination.

What Signs Should Alert:

in addition to feeling for education in the breast, a woman can observe changes in the nipple: ulceration, retraction, spotting from the nipple. This is an occasion to immediately consult a doctor!

At later stages, there is a noticeable growing weakness, deterioration of health, cough, severe shortness of breath, bone pain can occur.

Diagnosis and Determination of The Stage of Breast Cancer

At the initial consultation, the doctor should find out the patient’s complaints and conduct an examination, which assesses the shape, size, consistency, contours, the surface of the seal in the mammary gland, discharge from the nipples and their nature, ulceration, oedema and hyperemia (redness) of the skin. An examination of axillary, subclavian and supraclavicular lymph nodes is mandatory, emphasises oncologist Ekaterina Chernova. If pathological changes in the mammary glands are detected, the doctor directs the patient to an instrumental examination.

The classic, primary diagnostic method is mammography. This is an x-ray examination of the mammary glands, which allows you to quickly and painlessly conduct a screening examination ( i.e. there is a prophylactic one. - Ed.) or according to medical indications, the expert explains. Mammography can detect breast cancer at an early stage in the absence of clinical symptoms and diagnose the disease if they are present. In the case of early detection, as already mentioned, the chance of high duration and quality of life increases significantly.