The most common finding in breast cancer is a painless mass lesion in the breast. However, 10% of the patients have pain without a mass. Persistent changes in the breast, thickening, swellings, irritations on the skin, and symptoms related to the nipple such as discharge, erosions, tenderness, or retraction of the nipple are less common symptoms of breast cancer. The early-stage breast cancers, which are the easiest to treat, exhibit typically no symptoms. Therefore, compliance with the control programs, recommended for the early diagnosis of the disease, is very critical. Early diagnosis of breast cancer significantly increases the treatment options, the therapeutic success, and survival rates. Primarily, three complementary methods are recommended for the early diagnosis.
- Breast Self-Examination
- Clinical Breast Examination (by a physician)
Monthly breast self-examination after the age of 20 and yearly clinical examination and mammography after the age of 40 is usually recommended as a preventive method. Nevertheless, we recommend to undergo at least one mammographic examination in the thirties and archive the report as a reference for the mammographic examinations in the future. Several factors like family history, ethnicity, age of the first menstruation, number of births indicate whether the patient has a high risk or not.
Breast Cancer Surgeries
There are two main surgical methods used for the treatment of breast cancer.
1. Partial Mastectomy: In this method, only the cancer-containing part of the breast is removed. The extension of the removal depends on the location and dimension of the tumor along with other factors.
2. Mastectomy: The whole breast is removed. Mastectomy has several sub-types.