Breast cancer is a malignant tumor of the glandular tissue of the breast. It is the most common cancer among women worldwide, with an incidence rate of 99.4 per 100,000 women aged 13 to 90 years. In Kazakhstan, about 5,000 new cases of breast cancer are detected annually. In the structure of morbidity in the Republic of Kazakhstan, breast cancer has consistently ranked first for the last 15 years. In the structure of mortality from malignant neoplasms, breast cancer takes the 3rd place and annually claims the lives of about 1200 women.
Causes of the disease and risk factors for breast cancer:
Breast cancer occurs when breast cells, due to mutations, begin to divide uncontrollably and spread to surrounding tissues.
Factors influencing the development of breast cancer:
- • previous diagnosis of breast cancer;
- • have a family history of breast cancer;
- • identified mutations in the BRCA genes 1 and 2 or other gene mutations;
- • radiation therapy to the chest area performed before the age of 30 for Hodgkin's lymphoma;
- • early onset of menstruation - menarche (up to 12 years);
- • late onset of menopause (over 55);
- • hormone replacement therapy for more than 10 years, associated with the treatment of menopause or prescribed for the purpose of contraception;
- • absence of pregnancy and childbirth;
- • diabetes;
- • obesity;
- • smoking;
- • alcohol abuse.
Signs and symptoms of breast cancer:
- • Nipple retraction;
- • Discharge from the nipple;
- • Pain in the breast or nipple area;
- • Skin infiltration (orange-peel-like skin) in the breast area;
- • The appearance of dense nodes in the armpit;
- • Ulceration of the skin in the breast area;
- • Swelling of all or part of the breast (even if a lump is not clearly felt);
- • Unexplained weight loss;
- • Weakness;
- • Redness, peeling, or thickening of the skin of the nipple or breast.
If signs appear that are not associated with inflammatory processes (mastitis) of the breast or breastfeeding, you should consult a mammologist. The doctor will discuss with you the disturbing symptoms, clarify a number of issues (family history, gynecological history), and examine the mammary glands and peripheral lymph nodes. If necessary, he will send for additional examination.
Breast cancer diagnostics:
Most tumors that arise in the mammary gland are benign and are considered not dangerous: they grow slowly, their cells do not differ significantly from healthy ones, and they do not spread to other organs or parts of the body.
Examination and palpation of the mammary glands are important techniques for understanding the size, structure, location and a number of other signs of tumor formations in the mammary gland.
In order to determine what kind of tumor it is, the doctor may prescribe additional examinations.
Ultrasound of the mammary glands. Research using an ultrasound probe, which allows you to assess the structure of breast tissue and identify pathological formations. Ultrasound is also used during a biopsy to obtain more accurate results when collecting cells or tissues. An ultrasound of the mammary glands is recommended for women under 40 years old 1 time per year.
Mammography. X-ray examination of the mammary glands. It is especially important in terms of screening - examination of healthy women without breast cancer symptoms, but it is also the main diagnostic method. A targeted biopsy is also performed using mammography.
MRI of the mammary glands. Appointed to clarify the nature of the previously discovered formation. It has the advantage of evaluating the mammary glands in women with a high risk of hereditary cancer (for example, with identified mutations in the BRCA genes 1 and 2).
Core biopsy. Taking a sample of the detected formation using a special needle, which is inserted into the tumor under ultrasound and / or mammography control. Based on the material obtained, a histological study is performed to confirm the diagnosis, as well as a special immunohistochemical study, which allows one to determine a number of important parameters - for example, the sensitivity of the tumor to hormone therapy and targeted therapy.
Fine needle aspiration biopsy. Performed if lymph node involvement is suspected. After receiving the material, it is subjected to cytological examination, which allows to identify malignant cells.
Histological examination. Analysis of tissue obtained during a biopsy. It is mandatory for the diagnosis. It is also carried out after surgical treatment, which makes it possible to more accurately establish the stage of the process. If chemotherapy was carried out before the operation, histological examination allows to determine the tumor response to the treatment, which is an important prognostic sign.
Molecular genetic research. It makes it possible to more accurately determine the presence of overexpression of the Her2 \ neu gene in those cases when the IHC data cannot accurately determine the status of this most important marker.
Screening for early detection of breast cancer.
To detect breast cancer, there is effective screening - an examination that is done in the absence of symptoms in healthy women. Screening allows you to detect the disease at an early stage, when there are no symptoms and the woman is not worried about anything. According to statistics, the risk of death from breast cancer is reduced by about 20%. Breast cancer detected on time in most cases is successfully treated.
In the Republic of Kazakhstan, within the framework of screening women aged 40-70 years, once every 2 years, mammography of both mammary glands is performed in two projections. It should be noted that all images are double reading: by the radiologist of the mammography office of the city, district polyclinic (mobile medical complex) - the first reading, and by the radiologist of the mammography office of the OC - the second reading. If necessary, women undergo in-depth diagnostics: targeted mammography, ultrasound examination of the mammary glands, trepanobiopsy, including under ultrasound control or stereotaxic control for histological examination.
Recommendations for the prevention of breast cancer:
Recommendations for reducing the risk of cancer in general and breast cancer in particular:
- • control weight;
- • be physically active;
- • eat more fruits and vegetables;
- • quit smoking and drinking alcohol;
- • give up hormone replacement therapy, if possible;
- • conduct the examination itself;
- • get a national breast screening.
The NSC uses a multidisciplinary approach, involving highly qualified surgeons, chemotherapists, radiologists and other specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of tumor diseases. In addition, the center uses organ-preserving methods of surgical treatment, as well as operations to restore the mammary gland.
If you have any suspicions or questions, please call the Call Center 8 (7172) 702-911.