6 myths about breast cancer
To date, the true causes of breast cancer are unknown to science. The mammary gland is one of the most hormone-dependent organs, and everything affects the hormonal status: magnetic storms, solar radiation, lifestyle, mental attitude, stress. Therefore, in women, the likelihood of a disease is never reduced to zero.
According to statistics from the Russian Scientific Oncology Center, 42% of women with breast cancer see a doctor only at the last stage of the disease. While the diagnosis is made at an early stage, the probability of cure reaches 94%!
Myths about breast cancer: expert opinion
Nadezhda Ivanovna Rozhkova, professor, Honored Scientist of the Russian Federation, President of the Russian Association of Mammologists, Russian Association of Radiologists, head of the National Center for Mammology and Oncology of Reproductive Organs, answers questions, and evaluates methods of treatment and prevention of breast cancer.
Myth 1. The most advanced type of diagnosis of breast cancer at an early stage is mammography (after 40 years, and before that - an ultrasound of the mammary glands).
Now appeared studies proving that more accurate results are obtained by the method of molecular imaging (MVG), MRI mammography of the mammary glands. And the most advanced and modern type of diagnosis is PET (positron emission tomography).
Expert opinion. In fact, indeed, at present, most publications are devoted to MRI, PET in the study of the mammary gland. MRI is an effective diagnostic method, but due to its physical characteristics, it does not see a number of varieties of non-palpable breast cancer, so it is not suitable for screening (the earliest detection of the initial signs of cancer). It is advisable to use it as an additional method for the purpose of accurate diagnosis. In addition, PET is a very expensive study. So the leading position is retained by x-ray mammography, supplemented by ultrasound.
Myth 2. The birth of a child and prolonged breastfeeding are an excellent preventive measure against breast cancer.
Now appeared evidence that this generally does not affect the possibility of the appearance of tumors in the mammary glands.
Expert opinion. The fulfillment by a woman of her natural functions has always beneficially influenced her body and maintained her health. The world famous fact is that women who have not given birth are at high risk for a possible development of breast cancer.
Myth 3. There is a direct correlation between plastic surgery and breast diseases.
Now appeared data refuting this relationship.
Expert opinion. Known fact - any surgical interventions, injuries are an additional risk factor for the development of breast cancer. Therefore, surgical interventions should be approached very carefully, only if necessary.
Some more myths and celebrity stories
Myth 4. An increased level of female sex hormones (estrogens) increases the risk of developing breast cancer.
Now appeared evidence that treatment with hormonal drugs does not affect the development (appearance) of tumors, and some even have a prophylactic effect.
Expert opinion. Hormonal drugs for contraception have virtually no effect on the risk of developing breast cancer. In relation to hormone replacement therapy, studies have shown that their use does not significantly affect the risk of breast cancer, if used for no more than 5 years.
Myth 5. Lifestyle and proper nutrition are of great importance for the prevention of cancer. For example, broccoli have antitumor properties.
Now appeared evidence that such measures are more likely to have a placebo effect: if a person believes that broccoli or garlic will protect him from cancer, then this affects his mental state. Thus, fewer stress factors and, therefore, a slightly lower risk of cancer.
Expert opinion. These recommendations are absolutely true. A healthy lifestyle helps to strengthen the body, increase immunity, and reduce the risk of cancer. And all kinds of cabbage are good for the health of the breast.
Angelina Jolie. The famous actress openly admitted that she decided on a mastectomy (surgical removal of the breast) due to the high risk of developing her breast cancer (more than 80%). The main reason was the burdened heredity of Jolie.
Cynthia Nixon. One of the heroines of the series “Sex and the City”, actress Cynthia Nixon found out that she had breast cancer when she was 40 years old. “I knew what to expect: mom and grandmother had cancer. It’s sad, I won’t hide it, but cancer is not a sentence, ”the actress says.
Sixth myth and memo for every woman
Myth 6. The risk of developing breast cancer is increased in carriers of mutant genes - BRCA1 or BRCA2, associated with a hereditary predisposition to the disease. The chance of cancer is almost 80%.
Now appeared information that even in the presence of these genes, accurate forecasts are unrealistic.
Expert opinion. Information about high risk for carriers of the gene or heredity is true. With familial breast cancer, 5-10% of women are at risk of getting sick. Of these, in the presence of mutations in the genes, indeed, 80% have a higher risk.
But to approach the issue of preventive mastectomy (surgical removal of the mammary glands) should be used with caution. In the presence of serious changes in the mammary gland according to mammography or in the presence of cells prone to enhanced growth, obtained by puncture of formations, these operations are probably appropriate. In the absence of changes in the mammary gland, such women are shown a more thorough examination of the mammary glands and reproductive organs at least once a year.
- Women are recommended to undergo an annual examination by a gynecologist and mammologist (those at risk - as prescribed by a doctor). Up to 40 years, it is necessary to do an ultrasound of the mammary glands, and after 40 - an annual mammogram.
- An equally important ritual is monthly breast self-examination. Only you are able to react sensitively to the slightest changes that may be signs of the disease: pain, discharge from the nipple, and tightness.
- Watch out for direct sunlight. Tan topless is a very dangerous fashion. The delicate skin of the chest cannot repel the attack of the sun's rays, and harmful ultraviolet light easily enters the mammary gland.
- Avoid abortion, especially at an early age. When abortion occurs, the hormonal system malfunctions.
- Choose comfortable underwear. Tight underwired bras that tighten the breasts disrupt blood circulation and injure the mammary glands.
- Try to protect your chest from bruises. Injuries can make themselves felt in a dozen years.
- And finally, the most important thing - be attentive to your health and body condition. Any disease, even one as serious as breast cancer, can be cured if detected on time.