Breast cancer patients are among the most risky group in the life-threatening coronavirus. Since many people do not want to go to the hospital with concerns about coronavirus, they cannot get the chance of early diagnosis or disrupt their treatment.
Postponing surgical operations during the coronavirus process also causes an increase in the rate of advanced breast cancer. In addition, patients with breast cancer need to pay more attention to themselves in the Covid-19 process. Associate Professor at Memorial Şişli Hospital Breast Center. Dr. Fatih Levent Balcı gave information about what breast cancer patients should pay attention to during the coronavirus process.
Like all cancer patients, breast cancer patients may become vulnerable to infections as their immune systems are negatively affected. For this reason, breast cancer patients should stay away from crowded places as much as possible, wash their hands with plenty of water and soap for 30 seconds after touching objects with disease risk, do not neglect to use a mask, do not touch their mouth, face, nose or eyes with their hands, pay attention to their nutrition, They should not disturb their sleep patterns, do light exercise for at least 20 minutes a day, and take advantage of the vitamins recommended by their doctors.
Treatment should continue uninterrupted
Breast cancer patients should not disrupt their treatment with the concern of coronavirus because breast cancer is never a condition that can be delayed. There is no difference between being outside and being in a hospital in terms of coronavirus risk. First of all, breast cancer patients with suspected coronavirus should be in contact with their physicians. If the patient has a relative with Covid-19 contact, this should be reported to the doctor. In cancer patients who do not have Covid-19 close to them or who have normal blood values, the treatment process should continue exactly. Although the process continues in the home environment in some orally treated cancer patients, chemotherapy or surgical treatments should never be interrupted or postponed.
Breast cancer treatment is not a condition that can be delayed
It can be seen that many patients with a suspected breast mass hesitate to apply to the hospital due to coronavirus. However, breast health is always important. It should be kept in mind that the treatment of breast cancer is not a disease that can be delayed. There is a race against time in breast cancer. Women should have routine breast examinations in front of the mirror. If one of the following symptoms is noticed during the examinations, a general surgery specialist should be consulted without delay:
- Palpable mass on palpation
- Mass felt in the armpit
- Collapse of the nipple
- Nipple change
- Redness on the breast surface
- Symmetry difference between the two breasts
- Bloody or bloodless discharge from the nipple
- Edema in the breast
- The surface of the breast that looks like an orange peel
Not every breast cancer gives symptoms, therefore routine examination should not be delayed.
However, breast cancer may sometimes be asymptomatic. Therefore, routine breast imaging examinations should not be interrupted. Early stage breast cancers can be detected and treated quickly with routine imaging tests. Some types of breast cancer can be aggressive. For this reason, it is very important to perform the operations of patients diagnosed with breast cancer and for whom a surgical decision is made within one week after diagnosis. Delaying treatment negatively affects the course of the disease and shortens the life span.
Breast cancer patients should keep their protein consumption in balance
- First of all, breast cancer patients should stay away from stress.
- With breast cancer, all cancer patients should have routine examinations and should not delay their treatment.
- Hands should be washed with soap and water for at least 20-30 seconds at reasonable intervals. If washing is not possible, hands should be cleaned with disinfectant or cologne.
- Hands should never be brought to the mouth, face, eyes or nose.
- A healthy diet.
- It should be fed with a Mediterranean type diet that supports immunity. Breast cancer patients need to keep their protein ratio in balance. 2 egg whites should be consumed every morning.
- When going for hospital examinations, attention should be paid to masks and social distance.
- Phone, keyboard, table, toilet, door handles should be disinfected regularly.
- Family members of breast cancer patients should do the same.
- People who have surgical treatment should continue their oncological treatment without delay.
Hospitals are safe
All kinds of precautions are taken for coronavirus in hospitals. All imaging devices are disinfected after each use. Officers are regularly screened for coronavirus. For this reason, it is important to benefit from both examination and treatment opportunities in breast health by following measures such as masks, social distance and personal hygiene.