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Breast cancer.If caught early, the chances of survival are high.
Breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women between the ages of 35 and 55. But thanks to continuous scientific advances, most of the news about this disease are encouraging, the therapies are less and less aggressive and more effective, the possibilities of cure are increasing, every day it takes fewer lives and more women survive without sequelae to this disease .
Testimony of a 35-year-old woman: "Breast cancer was discovered at my annual gynecological check-up. They told me about statistics, options and treatments. My world sank, but they removed the less than one centimeter nodule without removing my breast and They irradiated the rest of my breast. Now I continue with the usual controls. "
According to the latest research, women are potentially at increased risk of breast cancer and that is why women who:
They have a family history of this disease in three generations, as they present genetic alterations, which can be determined by a blood test.
Her first period was before she was 12 years old.
They have long taken hormones for birth control or hormone replacement therapy in menopause.
They have not had children or had the first after 30 years.
They did not breastfeed their children.
There are other habits that, although they do not determine the appearance of breast cancer, the longer they are maintained, the greater the risk of suffering it:
Consuming alcohol in excess
Do not exercise
Eat a high-fat diet
Every woman, without exception, should do the following:
1) From 20 to 40 years: Self explore the breasts every month, one week after the rule so that they are not tense. Most breast cancers are discovered by the woman herself. Also, see your doctor every year for a clinical breast palpation.
2) From the age of 40: Perform a monthly self-examination and every five years a mammogram or ultrasound (x-rays of the breast to detect any abnormalities in time).
3) In menopause: Perform a monthly self-examination and a mammogram every two years.
Keys to defeat it
The earlier the diagnosis, the less treatment is needed and the greater the chances of a cure. If the tumor is discovered when it is unique and measures less than one centimeter, it has a greater than 90% chance of being cured. If it exceeds the centimeter and has not branched to the nodes of the armpit, it has more than 70% chance of being cured.
Advances in medicine
The dreaded words breast cancer no longer mean losing your breast, much less your life. In addition, the doctor and the woman can help reduce the chances of it ever appearing, as well as detect and stop it before it spreads.
Research is fighting the most aggressive types of cancer, there are already drugs that act against altered cells without affecting healthy cells and without the side effects of other treatments such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
According to recent studies, breast cancer appears in younger women, its frequency has increased in recent years, and it cannot be prevented from appearing. But fortunately the mortality rate is falling because there are already more therapeutic options, even when the tumor is not operable or has spread to the lymph nodes: Previously, mastectomies were performed in which the breast, the pectoral muscle and the lymph nodes were removed. armpit. Currently, surgeries are more moderate and are limited to the tumor and its immediate area, respecting healthy tissue.
The latest advances allow the tumor, even if it is large, to be shrunk with treatment and then operated on to preserve the breast.
Breast reconstruction has been perfected, now it is performed with the patient's own tissue or with implants filled with saline or gel.
There are several techniques to treat breast cancer in addition to surgery and hormone therapy. With them the tumor is cured, its expansion is prevented and the symptoms of the disease are alleviated:
Systemic treatment: They are radiation and chemotherapy Since they have effects on the whole organism, these therapies are now individual and the appropriate drugs are combined for each patient.
Selective treatment: These are drugs that act on the genetics and molecular biology of the tumor and kill only the diseased cells, without side effects.
The following are in the experimentation phase:
Autotransplantation: It is the transplantation of stem cells from the patient herself.
Suffocation of the tumor: The formation of blood vessels that the tumor creates to receive oxygen and spread is disabled.
Vaccines and preventive treatments: These are anti-hormonal drugs that, when introduced into cells, deactivate malignant mechanisms and can prevent disease in those with a high risk of developing it.