All Women Should Have A Mammogram…
Despite the decrease in cancer cases in western countries, cancer cases are increasing in Turkey due to the effects of industrialization. Breast cancer is the most commonly seen type of cancer in the world, but women can completely overcome this nightmare with early detection! Acibadem Maslak Hospital Breast Health Center Chief, General Surgeon Prof. Dr. Cihan Uras, who pointed out that early detection saves lives in breast cancer, said “Even if there are no symptoms all women over 40 years of age must have a mammogram”. Prof. Dr. Uras drew attention to the fact that October is “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” and said that all women need to know what risks they may or may not have concerning breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the most commonly seen type of cancer in the world. One out of every 8 women who lives to the age of 80 in the United States encounters breast cancer at some stage in their life. Breast cancer, which is also striking in our country as the type of cancer that women face most, can even occur in younger women now! Acibadem Maslak Hospital Breast Health Center Chief, General Surgeon Prof. Dr. Cihan Uras said early detection and regular check-ups are extremely important in breast cancer and added, “Now it is possible to completely overcome breast cancer because now there is personalized treatment, whereas before the same treatment would be applied to everyone. There is even custom treatment for the tumor itself”. Prof. Dr. Uras emphasized that, even women who have no family history of breast cancer and appear completely healthy must go through a screening program, said all women need to know what risks they may or may not have concerning breast cancer. Women with high risk should start screening program earlier. Screening programs can easily detect breast cancer early and enable women to beat this disease completely.
Self examination after 20!
While thousands of women lose their lives each year to breast cancer, a large portion of these deaths is the result of late detection. In if breast checkups are done on a regular basis and cancer is detected early, breast cancer is a ‘completely treatable disease’. Self examination after 20 years of age, doctor checkups and some imaging tests are very important for early detection. Prof. Dr. Uras, who provided information on some special tests that women should definitely have run, said “Although the frequency of examinations can vary depending on the woman’s degree of risk, every woman should be examined by a doctor who specializes in this field once every 1-3 years after 20 years of age and every year after 40 years of age”.
Ultrasound is a method in which images are obtained through sound waves. There is no risk of radiation or side effects in ultrasound. Also there is no discomfort during the procedure. Women with dense breast tissue or young women are recommended to get an ultrasound, because young women have more mammary tissue (dense tissue) which makes it more difficult for a mammogram to detect cancer. Also since breast tissue in young women is more sensitive to radiation mammograms can be risky. Small concentrations of cancer can be more easily detected by ultrasound because they may be hidden under breast tissue. Ultrasound is the most preferred method in women under 35, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and women in which a breast issue needs to be assessed, because there is no radiation risk. Also this can be used as a method to screen women under 40 who are at risk for breast cancer. Women with high risk may even need to have a mammogram at this age in addition to ultrasound screening.
It is possible not to have any complaints
While breast cancer is continuing to increase in our country, this disease, which normally has a high risk of death if detected late, can be treated successfully with early detection. The most important method that enables early detection of breast cancer is mammogram screening. In fact, even though breast cancer has symptoms like masses that can be felt in the breasts and underarms, and nipple discharge, some patients have no indications at all. In such cases, breast cancer is only detected through mammograms. However, women with a high density of breast tissue need to have an ultrasound, as well as a mammogram. This can increase sensitivity over 90 percent. Many women are worried about the radiation involved in a mammogram, but actually the amount of radiation women are exposed to during this procedure is very low. The radiation exposure in a mammography session is equivalent to what a normal person is exposed to in 3 months or on a long airplane trip. This dose is even less in digital mammograms. Even if they have no indications or symptoms whatsoever, women over 40 are recommended to get a regular mammogram screening at 1 or 2 year intervals.