Breast cancer, which is seen in one of every 8 women, is among the most common cancers in women. However, noting that survival rates are gradually increasing thanks to early diagnosis and improved new treatment methods, Anadolu Medical Center General Surgery Specialist and Breast Health Center Director Prof. Dr. Metin Çakmakçı, “After the age of 40, examination and radiological examinations should be done once a year. Early diagnosis of breast cancer greatly increases the chances of success in treatment. prof. Dr. Metin Çakmakçı talked about ways to reduce the risk of breast cancer on the occasion of October Breast Cancer Awareness Month...
Around 2 million 300 thousand women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year around the world. Emphasizing that neglecting regular health checks due to the pandemic and not applying to a doctor or health institutions for fear of COVID-19, reduces early diagnosis and causes an increase in advanced stage cancer cases, especially Anadolu Health Center General Surgery Specialist and Director of Breast Health Center Prof. Dr. Metin Çakmakçı said, “Early diagnosis increases the success of cancer treatment. Patients with complaints should not flee from health institutions in order to conduct necessary research on the underlying cause of these complaints, especially if these complaints are increasing. Even if it is a pandemic, if we do not protect our health, if we do not take health seriously, if we do not take the necessary examinations and treatments on time, additional problems and losses arising from these negligence may compete with the damage caused by COVID-19.
Those with a family history of cancer should be checked at an early age.
Reminding that approximately 10 percent of breast cancers occur due to an increased genetic risk and family history is important, General Surgery Specialist Prof. Dr. Metin Çakmakçı said, “There is a false belief among the public that the hereditary risk is passed on only by the mother. Women don't care about their scans by saying, 'I don't have my mother or my aunt'. However, the genes from our elders come from our parents with equal probability. People with a family history of breast cancer, diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age or aggressive type should be followed up after the age of 40 at the latest.
Stating that the risk of breast cancer can be measured by different tests to be performed at an early age in patients with a family history of cancer, Prof. Dr. Metin Çakmakçı said, “If there is a risk, it is possible to completely remove the breast tissue with surgery and to reconstruct the breast with or without a prosthesis. In this way, we have the chance to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer by 99 percent without distorting the external appearance.
The most important symptom is a mass in the breast
Underlining that not every mass in the breast is cancer, Prof. Dr. Metin Çakmakçı, “The most important symptom of breast cancer is the presence of a mass in the breast. Although symptoms such as redness, swelling, and bloody discharge from the nipple can be seen on the breast skin, it is essential to look at the mass. Breast cancer has nothing to do with pain. A sore breast does not indicate breast cancer. Whether there is pain or not does not mean much to us. Breast cancer primarily travels to the lymph nodes in the armpit via the lymphatic pathways. Stiffness and swelling in the armpit can also be a sign of breast cancer.
prof. Dr. Metin Çakmakçı made 8 suggestions to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Have regular check-ups after the age of 40
Age is an important risk factor for breast cancer. If there is no special risk factor, breast examination and examinations should not be neglected every year starting from the age of 40.
Be aware of changes in your body
Early recognition of a change in the body is important for early diagnosis and treatment success. If you know your body and can, you can examine your breasts once a month, 3 to 5 days after the end of your period. We do not insist on women who cannot or do not want to do this. Breast self-examination is no longer as important as it used to be; Because many masses can be overlooked in self-examination. Regular scans are important.
Those with a family history of cancer should start controls at an earlier age.
Family history and genetics are important factors in some breast cancers. Having breast cancer or sometimes ovarian cancer patients on the mother or father's side can increase the risk of developing breast cancer. Those in the risk group should consult their physicians and start having regular check-ups before the age of 40.
Eating a healthy diet can lower the risk of cancer. Particular attention should be paid to a low-fat and vegetable, fruit and grain-based diet, and avoid processed foods and excessive sugar consumption.
Control your weight, take care to stay at a healthy weight
Obesity is a factor that increases the risk of cancer. Therefore, get rid of excess weight, take care to stay at a healthy weight.
Stay away from smoking
Smoking increases the risk of breast cancer. To prevent breast cancer, tobacco products and smoking environments should be avoided.
Studies show that regular exercise significantly reduces the risk of breast cancer. An active lifestyle should be adopted. If possible, exercise 5-6 hours a week.
Lifestyle, working conditions and high stress can trigger breast cancer. It is difficult to stay away from stressful environments, but it is possible to manage stress. Strive to find ways to reduce your stress level.