About 75–80% of women of reproductive age experience breast disease. According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is found every year in more than a million women in the world. In Russia, such a diagnosis is made to 60 thousand women a year.
Doctors call on women to look after their health, because the detected ailment is well treatable in time, and at the first stage of cancer 98% of women are cured.
Throughout life, natural changes occur in the mammary gland, depending on the day of the menstrual cycle, hormonal fluctuations, age, and even the emotional state of a woman. Many ladies notice that sometimes the breast swells, painful sensations arise in it.
Here it is important to understand how dangerous it is and to consult a doctor in time.
Take a shower – look at the mammary glands. And at least once every 3 months after the menstruation, examine your chest and axillary area with your arms raised and lowered.
Bulging on the skin or, on the contrary, something inhaled, reddening, the skin coarsened and wrinkled like lemon peel, the nipple inhaled, the appearance of discharge when squeezing the nipple, compaction during palpation of the chest and armpits – this is a reason for an urgent visit to the doctor. To dispel doubts, the doctor will examine the mammary glands and, depending on the changes identified and the age of the woman, will prescribe an ultrasound scan or mammography.
You should not be afraid of this: for women over 35, X-ray mammography is obligatory even without complaints. This is the only method that identifies all variants of non-detectable tumors, and an ultrasound scan is used to supplement the dense mammary glands.
Young women from 19 to 35 years old who are not worried about anything, it is useful to do an ultrasound scan, and if there are complaints regardless of age – and mammography.
Since breast cancer in 70–80% of cases develops from ducts and often the first symptom of it can only be discharge from the nipple outside of pregnancy and lactation, ductography is performed to clarify their cause. Thanks to her, under a radiological control, using a contrast agent, it is possible to recognize a tumor in the mammary gland with a size of less than 1 mm, and it happens that barely visible parietal growths occur.
This allows you to identify the disease at the earliest stage, until it has gone beyond the ducts.
Unfortunately, not a single woman is immune from breast disease. Therefore, it is necessary to visit a mammologist not only when there are reasons for concern, but also as a preventive measure. Women at the age of 19 to 35 should visit the examination rooms or antenatal clinics once in 2 years.
There, one can be examined using radiation dose-free methods – radio thermometry (RTM) and electrical impedance tomography (EIT). They are not diagnostic, but make it possible to identify trouble spots with changes in heat or electrical conductivity and to determine the risk group.
If a lady is at risk, regardless of age, she needs to undergo a comprehensive mammography and ultrasound examination in order to clarify the diagnosis.
The risk group includes the following representatives of the weaker sex:
- if they are over 35;
- if someone from their close relatives in the female line (grandmother, mother, sister, aunt) had or have cancer of the reproductive system or breast cancer. In this case, it is necessary to undergo DNA testing of blood for mutation of the BRAC1 and 2 genes. It is done once in a lifetime, since mutations in the genes are innate. If there are no mutations, the risk of falling ill is average; if they are found, the risk of breast cancer increases by 80 percent;
- if they have disruptions in the hormonal system, regular failures of the menstrual cycle, changes in the thyroid gland (most breast diseases are hormone-dependent);
- if they have had injuries or surgery on the breast;
- if they are constantly under stress;
- if they are overweight.
Smoking is a very powerful risk factor, as it affects the state of the whole organism. It can cause a metabolic disorder, hormonal imbalance, which negatively affects the state of the mammary glands. The risk of failure to breastfeed, late, after 30 years, childbirth also increases the risk.
Unborn women are also at risk.
The most common diseases of the breast are mastopathy, fibroadenoma, cysts and malignant tumors.
Mastopathy is a diffuse change in breast tissue with excessive development of fibrous (connective) tissue, the formation of cysts, calcination of individual glandular structures, accompanied by secretions from the nipple. The options for this disease are many.
With the predominance of fibrous tissue they speak of a dense background of the mammary glands. Ultrasonography and mammography are required to clarify the diagnosis.
Recent scientific studies have shown that a dense background is a fairly high risk factor, it requires more attention. Mastopathy needs to be treated.
Fibrocystic mastopathy requires constant medical supervision, but does not require radical treatment.
When nodular mastopathy in the mammary gland are formed nodes that require careful examination using mammography, ultrasound and biopsy. The doctor prescribes medication and monitors their condition.
Often the nodes are resolved. If this does not happen, they must be removed: any tumor in the breast increases the risk of developing cancer.
When the formation is less than 2 cm, for the treatment it is advisable to use a vacuum aspiration biopsy. It allows in an outpatient setting without anesthesia to remove the tumor under x-ray or ultrasound control, without resorting to traumatic surgical treatment.
A cyst is a cavity filled with fluid. With cysts less than 1 cm, drug therapy is usually prescribed.
If the cyst is more than 1–1.5 cm, a puncture is made with a thin needle to remove the contents and introduce an ozone-oxygen mixture, which will allow the cyst to heal faster. The procedure lasts no more than 20 minutes.
Thus, up to 98% of women get rid of cysts forever.
Fibroadenoma is a benign tumor. It is necessary to make a puncture to take cells for research. If the tumor grows, it is better to remove it.
Tumors up to 20 mm are removed using a vacuum aspiration biopsy. Remote fibroadenoma necessarily sent to the study, to once again confirm its goodness.
Breast cancer is a malignant tumor. Only newly born formations are detected with the help of mammography. Traditionally, the disease is treated by surgery, breast irradiation, chemo, hormone and target therapy.
Now another, very promising method has appeared – ultrasound pyrotherapy under the control of a high-field magnet, or the so-called HI FU technology (under the control of an ultrasound machine). It is so universal that in some cases it can replace both a surgeon, and a heavy radiation treatment, and chemotherapy.
Under the control of magnetic resonance imaging or ultrasound, a tumor is “burned out” from within with a focused ultrasound beam. A few hours – and the cancer is defeated. At the Institute.
P.A. Herzen such a device has already begun work.
One of the latest achievements of mammology – aspiration vacuum biopsy. A needle is inserted into the mammary gland using a device resembling a pistol with a syringe at the end, and the surgeon receives a small part of the tumor tissue.
Investigating it, you can evaluate how a tumor behaves, what influences its development, make a forecast, including whether hormone therapy is needed and how effective it will be, and on the basis of the data obtained, choose the best treatment methods.
The same device removes benign tumors of less than 2 cm. Affected tissues are pulled out of the gland by means of a vacuum.
This is very important for young women who have not given birth, especially with multiple fibroadenomas, who will have to carry the baby and breastfeed him. If earlier such tumors were removed under general anesthesia and scars remained after the operation, now it is done on an outpatient basis, under local anesthesia under the control of an ultrasound or x-ray.
After the operation, there remains a barely noticeable mark.
Experts at the Breast Cancer Research Foundation believe that in the near future this disease will not have to be feared, like two decades ago. Everyone can contribute to the victory over the disease. Enough: