Breast cancer diagnosis and treatment

Breast cancer diagnosis and treatment

Breast Cancer Treatments and diagnosis in the last 20 years in terms of great progress has been made. In this article we analyzed breast cancer treatments, symptoms and types.

80 percent of breast cancers are invasive ductal carcinoma. Invasive ductal carcinoma indicates that breast cancer occurs in milk channels. 20 percent of it is invasive lobular carcinoma. In this type, cancer develops not in the milk ducts but in the milk glands.

The cells that cause cancer take a long time to grow. However, after proliferation, cells can spread through lymph and blood to other organs of the body. The most important in breast cancer is the diagnosis of cancer without spreading to other organs by blood and lymphatic pathways. The rate of treatment with this diagnosis is very high.

What Are the Symptoms of Breast Cancer?

Knowing the symptoms of breast cancer is very important for breast cancer treatment in the early stage and for the success of the treatment. Among the symptoms of breast cancer, the most prominent is the palpable mass. The mass can also be under the armpit.

If the mass is enlarged, pulling the nipple inward is one of the symptoms of cancer. Although it is very rare, bloody or bloodless discharge from the nipple may also indicate breast cancer. If the tumor causing breast cancer becomes too large, edema occurs in the breast skin and swelling may occur. At the same time, redness and orange appearance are the symptoms of cancer. If breast cancer has spread, complaints about the area of ​​spread can be seen.


Recognizing Breast Cancer Symptoms

It is very important in order to prevent the progression of breast cancer. Therefore, one needs to know their breast structure and know the risk factors. In order to recognize the signs of breast cancer, every woman should begin to perform her own breast examination after the age of 20 years. Self-breast examination 5-7 days after the end of menstruation; women who do not have menstrual period should be seen once a month.

Breast cancer symptoms can be listed as follows;

  • Generally painless, rigid structure on the breast
  • Breast; usually painless, rigid structure, moveable or dislocated, can grow over time and character in the structure of the swell.
  • Visibly visible, breast size or shape.
  • Redness of the breast skin, bruising, wounds, vasodilation, inward depression, common small bumps, orange peel appearance, such as spot shrinkage.
  • In and around the nipple, change in color and shape, enlargement at the nipple, flattening, inward slump, shifting direction, crusting, cracks and wounds.
  • Bloody or bloodless discharge from the nipple.
  • Painful or painless swellings that can be seen under the arm, noticeable by hand
  • Early menstruation should be considered as risk factors for breast cancer in women. Especially those who are menstruated before the age of 11 years, late menopausal women are in a riskier condition for breast cancer. Breastfeeding or having a first pregnancy after 30 years of age, excessive drinking of alcohol and being overweight are among the risk factors for breast cancer. Also, especially after entering menopause, estrogen hormone used to reduce the effects of menopause, the risk of breast cancer 1.5. increase the floor.

Other breast cancer risk factors include;

  • Being a woman in breast cancer is a first degree risk factor.
  • People with a family history of breast cancer have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than others.
  • The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age.
  • Women with white skin are at 20% more risk than women with dark skin.
  • Radiotherapy breast cancer treatment before the age of 15 increases the risk of breast cancer to 35% after 40 years of age.
  • 3 out of 55 women and 55 years of age have spreading breast cancer.
  • Factors such as aging or lifestyle can change the risk of breast cancer over time.
  • It has been found that long term smoking increases the risk of breast cancer.
  • Physical activity and regular sports away from a sedentary life increases the risk.
  • Obesity increases the risk of breast cancer in women of childbearing age.
  • In the family of breast cancer, the use of the contraceptive pill increases the risk of cancer 3 times.

What Can Be Done to Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer?

There is growing evidence that physical activity in the form of exercise reduces the risk of breast cancer. A quick walk of at least 1.25 to 2.5 hours per week reduces the risk of breast cancer by 18% for women. If this walk is 10 hours a week, the risk rate is slightly lower.

Some studies have suggested that long-term breastfeeding can slightly decrease breast cancer. Research shows that women who use contraceptives have a small risk of cancer compared to women who do not. When the use of pills is discontinued, the risk ratio returns to normal.

The risk of breast cancer decreases in women who have had a great number of pregnancies and become pregnant at a young age. The reason for this is the menstrual cycle during pregnancy.

Breast Cancer Types

Breast cancer types are determined as a result of the pathology examination performed on the tissue taken by biopsy. Although there are many types of breast cancer, it is generally evaluated under two headings:

  1. Ductal carcinoma in the cells forming the breast canals
  2. Lobular carcinoma of the mammary glands

Ductal and lobular carcinomas are divided into non-invasive, in situ tumors and invasive tumors with spreading characteristics.

Ductal Carcinoma in Situ

It is a type of cancer that cannot be determined by hand examination and is characterized by irregular structure and calcification on mammography. The patient with this disease may also have a nipple discharge.

Lobular Carcinoma in Situ

It is an important symptom that increases the risk of developing breast cancer 8-10 times in both breasts. Patients who are in this condition are kept under regular follow-up and close follow-up and at the same time the patient is given preventive drugs.

In some patients, removal of both breasts for preservative purposes and emptying of the breast tissue can be performed. For breast cancer treatment surgical procedures such as prosthesis and breast reconstruction, which are performed in order to prevent any problems in cosmetic aspect of the patient, also contribute positively to the social lives of patients.

Invasive Carcinoma

Invasive cancer type occurs when the cancer begins to spread further than the upper layer of the cell. Most breast cancers are invasive carcinoma. Among the cancers with spreading characteristics, ductal carcinoma originating from the cells forming the breast canals is the most common type of breast cancer.

Inflammatory Breast Cancer

It is known as the fastest and worse course of cancer. Symptoms of inflammatory diseases that surround the breast are similar. It does not give any signs of mass, and sometimes it can only be manifested by symptoms such as redness and stiffness. Despite the antibiotic breast cancer treatment, it should be investigated whether there is an underlying cancer in the non-healing breast diseases, and the necessary examinations and investigations should be done considering that the patient is cancer.

What is breast mass and cyst?

The mass in the breast may be a cyst or a solid mass. Fibroadenomas and fibrocystic are very common masses. These masses, seen as coins, are benign tumors that do not turn into cancer. Women cannot understand whether they are breast cancer or a harmless fibroadenoma mass during breast self-control. Especially in women under 30 years of age, fibroadenomas are very common due to hormonal changes. The character of the mass in the breast is understood by breast ultrasound. Therefore, when women notice a change or a mass in their breasts, they should see a specialist doctor as soon as possible. This is a need for early diagnosis. Breast ultrasound and mammography can be obtained if needed.

What is Pain in the breast?

If the pain in the breast is felt in both breasts, it indicates primarily the hormonal changes and the menstrual cycle. In addition, fibroadenoma and fibro kister may also cause pain in the breast. In pregnant women, there is pain in the breast due to the change of hormones, and breast-feeding may develop in the breast due to breastfeeding. In late stages of breast cancer, edema may occur due to the growth of the tumor and may cause pain in the breast. However, pain in the breast is not considered a symptom of breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Stages

Breast cancer is a slowly progressing type of cancer. The tumor reaches a size of 1 cm in 5-7 years and it can spread to the lymph nodes with lymphatic channels and then to the distant organs such as liver and bone through the blood.

The staging is performed to determine the stage of the tumor and the extent to which it is spread, and treatment is decided accordingly. A system called TNM is used for staging breast cancer. According to this, T indicates the tumor diameter, N is the number of diseased underarm lymph nodes and M is the distant spread (metastasis) state.

There are four stages in breast cancer. Stage I, II and some stage III tumors are considered early stage breast cancer. Stage IV tumors and stage IV tumors are called advanced stage in breast cancer. When staging in breast cancer, the size of the tumor is spread to the surrounding lymph nodes. Accordingly, we can describe the stages of breast cancer as follows;

Stage 0 – DCIS

Stage I: The tumor is smaller than 2 cm and has not yet spread to the lymph nodes.

Stage II: The tumor is between 2 and 5 cm in size and may have spread to the surrounding lymph nodes or not.

Stage III: More lymph nodes in the surrounding area

Stage IV: It has metastasized to other organs (bone, liver, brain, lung) or bone, distant lymph nodes.

Early Diagnosis Methods in Breast Cancer

  • Self-breast controls
  • Annual mammography
  • Annual medical examination
  • Self-Breast Controls

Breast Examination in 3 Steps

  • Lift your arms up.
  • Check your breasts for any irregularities, scars or depressions, nipple wounds, scabs, and withdrawals.
  • Put your hands on your waist and press down firmly. Muscle your muscles at the same time. Check that there is no pull out of the breast from the mirror. As a result of your control you can see that your breasts are not equal. This is a common condition and should not be a symptom of disease.

Inspection While Showering

  • While examining your left breast, hold your left hand on your head.
  • With your right hand, examine your left breast from top to bottom and from bottom to top.
  • With your right hand, examine the outside of your left breast by pressing it towards the nipple to draw the correct beam or circles.

Important Notice: Perform the same operations for your right breast using your left hand. Tell your doctor if you have a different hardness in the size of the nut or walnut in the breast.

Examination on Supine Position

  • When examining your right breast, place a pillow under your right shoulder and place your right hand behind your head.
  • Examine your right breast with your left hand from top to bottom and from bottom to top.
  • With your left hand, examine the external side of the right breast by pressing it towards the nipple.

Annual Mammography for Breast Cancer Treatment

Any woman over 40 years of age who has not noticed any changes in her breast for early diagnosis of breast cancer should have annual mammography. Thus, it is possible to catch breast cancer before reaching the incoming size. However, it is recommended to store at least one mammography in the 30s to keep the film in order to refer to later mammography images.

Those who have no breast cancer in their family should have their first sonography after the age of 35 and those with a family history of cancer and those at risk for genetic breast cancer after the age of 25. These persons should be under regular ultrasound follow-up every year from the age of their first ultrasound.

Annual Doctor Examination for Breast Cancer Treatment

Early diagnosis and diagnosis of breast cancer is very important. Even if there is no complaint, all women should be examined by a doctor after the age of 40.

Breast Cancer Treatment

Nowadays, the diagnosis and breast cancer treatment of the disease has become easier and more successful with the important developments recorded in the treatment. The treatment of breast cancer is the treatment of breast cancer and its applications. In the early stage of breast cancer that is caught in the early stage, the disease spread can be determined with advanced techniques without any loss of breasts and measures can be taken and the tumor is directly intervened. In cases of advanced breast cancer, breast reconstruction with a plastic surgery technique can be performed.

Breast cancer treatment depends on the stage of the patient. Stage 0 does not require postoperative chemotherapy treatment. Most of the time, radiotherapy is added to the treatment. Since the mass is small in stage I and II, it is decided whether chemotherapy is applied before surgery.

In Stage III, chemotherapy treatment is applied and then the patient is operated. In Stage IV, surgery can be considered if the cancer has not spread to much of the body. However, if the cancer spread is too high, surgery is not recommended. Only chemotherapy and sometimes radiotherapy treatment is applied.

Breast Cancer Treatment

Surgical Breast Cancer Treatment Methods

The primary aim in breast cancer surgery is to remove the tumor from the back and to remove the lymph nodes completely in cases with an underarm spread.


Simple mastectomy:

This procedure is also called total mastectomy. All breasts, including the nipples, are removed, but the muscular tissues under the armpit lymph nodes or the breast are not removed. Nowadays, it is a method that is not very preferred.


Skin protective mastectomy: In some female patients, the breast may be reconstructed during surgery. This process is called skin-protective mastectomy. Most of the skin on the breast (including the nipple (areola) and nipple is left untouched.

Radical Mastectomy: In this large-scale operation, all breast, underarm glands and pectoral (breast wall) muscles under the breast are taken. Radical mastectomy is a method that has been used quite frequently in the past.

Breast Protective Surgery

When breast cancer is diagnosed early, the affected part of the breast is removed. However, the part to be taken depends on the size of the tumor, its location and other factors. In the lumpectomy, only the mass in the breast and surrounding tissues are taken. Radiotherapy is a treatment method after lumpectomy.

If adjuvant chemotherapy is to be given to the patient, radiotherapy is usually delayed until chemotherapy treatment is completed. In the quadrant, a quarter of the breast is removed. Radiotherapy is usually given after surgery. Again, in this method, if chemotherapy is given, radiotherapy is delayed.

Lymph Cloth Surgery

One or more lymph nodes are examined under a microscope to determine the spread of breast cancer to the armpit lymph nodes. This review is important for staging the cancer, determining the treatment modalities and outcomes. If cancer cells are found in the lymph nodes, the chances of the cancer to spread to other parts of the body through the blood circulation are high. The presence of cancer cells in the lymph nodes under the armpit plays an important role in deciding what kind of treatment is required if necessary, after surgery.

Radiotherapy Treatment

The aim of this study is to eliminate the cancer cells that are likely to remain in the breast with radiotherapy after the operation. In the breast cancer treatment, radiotherapy is applied especially in patients with high risk of renewal and in patients undergoing breast-conserving surgery to protect the remaining tissue of the breast.

Drug Treatments


Chemotherapy in breast cancer is usually performed after surgery. Although there is no cancerous cell after surgery, chemotherapy treatment may continue for a while as a preventive measure.


The aim of hormone therapy is to reduce the amount of hormone in cancer patients in breast cancer cases. Some cancer cells, which are sensitive to estrogen, grow and multiply faster. This treatment prevents the development of cancer by eliminating the effect of estrogen.

Smart Therapies

Breast cancer is a disease that requires individual and tumor-specific treatment with different treatment strategies. While there were no options other than conventional chemotherapy drugs and hormone treatments, the combination of new and more effective chemotherapy drugs, intravenous and oral pills, and new hormonal therapy medications are successful.

Early diagnosed breast cancer is a completely treatable disease. Consider early diagnosis! We like to hear what you think, so please, post your own ideas and thoughts about Breast Cancer Treatment.


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