Psychology

How accurate is what we know about breast cancer?

How accurate is what we know about breast cancer?

A mass in the breast always indicates cancer.

This is wrong. Because most of the patients presenting to the physician due to a breast mass are benign. Of course, a woman who noticed a mass in her breast, "These masses are going to be good-natured physician does not need to go," he should not think. But the perception of each mass as cancer is extremely wrong. Whether the mass is cancer or not will only be determined by the physician's breast examination and, if necessary, radiological examinations. If cancer is suspected, the diagnosis can only be confirmed by a biopsy.

Those who are at risk of breast cancer necessarily become cancer.

This is a completely wrong idea. Some women have a higher risk of breast cancer than their peers. This risk is a bit higher especially for women who have breast cancer in their family tree, where the pathologies that are the pioneers of breast cancer in previous biopsies are identified, who use excessive alcohol, do not exercise regularly after menopause, and increase the fat volume in the abdominal region. It is included in this group of women who have received long-term hormone treatment, who have never given birth or who have had their first birth after the age of 35. We therefore recommend a screening program that is appropriate to the risks of women. As a result, it is not possible to say that women who have risk factors for breast cancer will surely get breast cancer, or vice versa, that women who do not have risk factors for breast cancer will not have breast cancer.

Breast cancer affects older women?

Although the incidence of breast cancer increases with age, we also see breast cancer in young women in their 20s and 30s. Breast cancer seen at a young age often has some common features. In particular, hereditary breast cancers can be seen at an early age and can be a bit more aggressive biologically. However, since breast cancer is generally a disease of the age of 40 or 50 years, it is significant that screening starts after the age of 40 or 45 in women who are not at risk. For this reason, breast cancer is a disease seen in all ages, but we should emphasize that the incidence of breast cancer increases in older ages.

If you do not have breast cancer in your family, you will not have breast cancer.

Although hereditary breast cancer has a place in the breast cancer group, it constitutes only 5-8 percent of this group. If a person's family has a gene mutation that causes hereditary breast cancer, the risk is significantly increased. However, it would be wrong to say that a person has breast cancer just because he or she has breast cancer in his family. Conversely, the absence of breast cancer in a person's family does not mean that breast cancer will not occur.

Taking birth control pills causes breast cancer.

This is quite a false belief. Breast cancer is often a hormone-dependent cancer. This interpretation can be made because of the increased risk of breast cancer in women who have to use high dose hormone, especially estrogen. However, in the field studies conducted so far, there is no evidence that low-hormone contraceptives used today increase the risk of breast cancer.

Breast self-examination is sufficient for the diagnosis of breast cancer.

Self-examination is a very accurate method for early diagnosis in breast cancer and for the person to apply to the physician earlier. We ask women to examine their breasts for 5-10 minutes once a month from the age of childbearing and apply to the physician if they notice any abnormalities. Patients who realize their own masses have a significant share in the group of women who have breast cancer. That's why we care about breast self-examination. However, it is not sufficient to examine her own breast, especially after the age of 40 years. Because the size of the mass that the person may notice during the self-examination and the effectiveness of the examination by the general surgeon will be very different. There is a large group that we have diagnosed because of having different radiological images but not certain in breast examination by radiological examinations to be added next to clinical breast examination. The woman should check her breast regularly and after the age of 40-45, she should be evaluated by clinical breast examination and mammography and ultrasonography.

I'm at high risk for breast cancer. There's nothing I can do.

The risk of developing breast cancer is not the same between a woman at high risk for breast cancer and a woman at no risk. However, a woman who is at high risk for breast cancer, discussing these risks with her physician, evaluating possible problems in breast examination and radiological images, and determining the screening program to be monitored may cause the cancer to be caught at an extremely early stage even if breast cancer may occur. we know that some parameters for life increase or decrease the risk of breast cancer. After menopause, the main source of estrogen in the body is fat tissue. Especially the fat tissue around the abdomen secretes a high rate of estrogen. Weight gain after menopause, fat increases the risk of breast cancer. Because breast cancer is a cancer associated with estrogen. If the person is gaining weight, this will increase the risk of breast cancer. A person who maintains his weight or can lose excess weight through exercise and healthy nutrition will reduce this risk. Likewise, alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer through both fat and its toxic effects.

Anadolu Medical Center General Surgery Specialist. Dr. Example: Metin Cakmakci


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