Stating that new treatment approaches in the treatment of invasive (metastatic) breast cancer both increase the survival of patients and reduce the need for chemotherapy, Medical Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Bala Başak Öven said, “Especially in invasive breast cancers with positive hormone receptor levels, the disease can be made chronic with new targeted therapies without the need for chemotherapy.”
Medical Oncology Specialist from Yeditepe University Kosuyolu Hospital about breast cancer, which is the most common in women in Turkey and in the world and is likely to be caught by 8 out of every 1 women. Dr. Bala Başak Öven evaluated the results of the European Oncology Congress (ESMO 2021) held recently. He gave information about promising new developments.
FAMILY STORY AND AGE THE MOST IMPORTANT RISK FACTOR
Reminding that advanced age and family history are the most important risk factors in breast cancer, Prof. Dr. Öven pointed out that more than 80 percent of the patients were diagnosed over the age of 50 and that 5-10 percent of all breast cancer patients had a family history. prof. Dr. Başak Öven explained that other risk factors for breast cancer include obesity, lack of physical activity, exposure to estrogen throughout life, previous history of breast cancer or previous radiotherapy to the chest wall breast area, irregular and long-term alcohol use.
FULL HEALING CAN BE ACHIEVED WITH EARLY DIAGNOSIS
Underlining that since screening with mammography is standard, it is now possible to diagnose breast cancer in the early stages and achieve full recovery. Dr. Başak Öven continued her words as follows: “Every healthy woman over the age of 40 should have a mammography screening once a year. In this way, early diagnosis of breast cancer can be made. Those who have breast cancer in their family should start these screenings much earlier. At this point, it should not be forgotten that early diagnosis of the disease means full recovery. In addition to the risk factors, exercising, eating regularly, giving birth and breastfeeding are also among the protective factors for breast cancer.
STAGE OF DISEASE DEFINES TREATMENT SUCCESS
Emphasizing that it is a great advantage to catch the disease in the early stages with early diagnosis, Prof. Dr. Başak Öven says, “Different treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormone therapy and targeted therapies are used in the treatment of breast cancer. Which treatment to use and when is decided according to the type of breast cancer. The effects and side effects of each treatment method are also different from each other.”
“WE ARE GOING TO CHRONICIZE JUMPING BREAST CANCER”
Informing that breast cancer most commonly spreads to the armpits, Prof. Dr. Bala Başak Öven continued her words as follows: “With the treatments we have today, even a case of breast cancer that has spread to the armpit can be fully recovered. However, if the diagnosis is delayed, the disease can spread to the bones, lungs, liver, abdomen, lymph nodes and neck. Our aim is to make invasive breast cancer chronic. Especially in invasive breast cancers with positive hormone receptor levels, with new targeted therapies, the disease can be made chronic such as blood pressure and diabetes without the need for chemotherapy.”
“WITH SMART MEDICATIONS, LIVING TIME IS EXTENDED”
Yeditepe University Koşuyolu Hospital Medical Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Bala Başak Öven said, “With the addition of new targeted therapies to the standard treatment hormone drugs in hormone positive invasive breast cancer; it was observed that the survival of the patients was significantly prolonged and the survival exceeded 2021 years. In the 2021-year follow-up results, it has been shown that the life span of the patients is still prolonged.”
THE QUALITY OF LIFE OF THE PATIENTS RISES
Stating that the chemotherapy needs of the patients decreased, Prof. Dr. Öven said, “The possibility of patients to switch to chemotherapy when their disease progresses has been gradually delayed thanks to smart drugs. Chemotherapy has many side effects because it also damages healthy cells. Smart drugs are used both as oral pills, reducing dependence on the hospital, and side effects such as weakness, fatigue, and rash that can be easily dealt with. Thus, the need for chemotherapy decreases, the life expectancy is prolonged, and the quality of life of the patients increases. A gradual disease becomes a long-term disease like blood pressure and diabetes," he said.
prof. Dr. Öven said that every woman should be aware of herself and warned that "at least once a month, a physical examination should be done".