Early diagnosis is one of the most important components of success in the fight against all cancers.

Thanks to the national project “Healthcare”, the cancer care service is being improved: outpatient cancer care centers are being opened, of which there are already more than 420 throughout the country, and modern equipment is being supplied.

All this helps to detect cancer at an early stage. Breast cancer, along with cervical cancer, is one of the most common cancers in women. It is 21% in the structure of morbidity among all cancers in women. At the same time, mortality from this type of cancer in a number of countries of the world, including Russia, is currently decreasing.

An important factor is that this is one of the few cancers that can be detected on its own. About 70% of cases of breast tumors were initially discovered by patients, and not detected during a medical examination. Thus, more than two-thirds of the detected cases are in the first and second stages, when it is much easier to achieve success in treatment. The vast majority of patients treated for an early-stage disease achieve remission.

Of great importance in the prevention of breast cancer is self-examination, which must be carried out by palpation (palpation) of the mammary glands every month. According to the recommendation of the Russian Ministry of Health, such a procedure should be planned for the 5-12th day of the menstrual cycle. And older women are advised to examine the mammary glands on the same day.

After 40 mammograms - every two years.

In addition to self-examination, experts recommend regular preventive examinations and medical examinations.

Several methods are used in diagnostics. One of the main ones is mammography, it is recommended to undergo it for women over 40 years old, but in case of suspicion of cancer, the procedure is also performed for younger patients. Women under 39 years of age are recommended to undergo breast ultrasound.

The unequivocal reasons why healthy cells suddenly begin to transform into malignant ones have not yet been identified. This is one of the mysteries that science has yet to solve. However, a number of factors have been identified that may affect the development of a malignant neoplasm. The work of the mammary glands largely depends on sex hormones, so any deviations in the hormonal background can adversely affect these organs. Under the influence of estrogens, tissue regeneration is stimulated, including the mammary glands, so the risk of pathologies is higher in those women who have been exposed to more estrogens.

Women at risk:

  • who started menstruating early;
  • who have a late menopause;
  • not giving birth to children;
  • having hormonal disorders or taking hormonal drugs for a long time (including hormone replacement therapy after menopause);
  • having an abortion;
  • who have had a late pregnancy;
  • having benign tumors of the mammary gland;
  • having a burdened oncological family history;
  • entered the period of menopause, because most cases of cancer occur in older women;
  • having a genetic predisposition to breast cancer;
  • who refused breastfeeding.

Important: if this oncological disease was detected in several relatives, doctors are advised to apply for genetic testing for mutations in the BRCA1, BRCA2, CHEK2, NBS1 and TP53 genes. The presence of these mutations does not mean that a woman will definitely get cancer, but she should regularly undergo preventive examinations and medical examinations.

External risk factors:

  • alcohol and nicotine addiction;
  • malnutrition leading to excessive weight gain;
  • radiation;
  • contact with carcinogens;
  • eating large amounts of red meat and processed meat products.
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Click to enlarge.

What should alert

Head of the Department of Oncomammology, Deputy Director of the Federal State Budgetary Institution “N.N. Blokhin” of the Ministry of Health of Russia Alexander Petrovsky:

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and one of the most common in both sexes. In Russia, it is more common than lung cancer and rectal cancer. People who are overweight, smokers, and abuse alcohol are more at risk of development. Significant risk factors include late first birth, lack of breastfeeding, early onset of menstruation, use of hormonal contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy during menopause. But the main risk factor is age. Most often, women get sick around 60. Breast cancer is one of the most studied tumors. More than 70% of women diagnosed with breast cancer in our country are cured.

More information about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer can be found on the official portal of the Ministry of Health of Russia on oncological diseases: onco-life.ru