Abidjan – One in 12 women in the world will be diagnosed with breast cancer, or 2.3 million cases and 685,000 deaths in 2020, with great differences between rich and poor countries, international media reported on the occasion of World Breast Cancer Day, Tuesday 19 October. , 2021.
This day is an opportunity to promote early detection of breast cancer in order to save lives. To this end, the AIP provides a profile on breast cancer.
Data reported in the media indicate that about 4% of breast cancer cases in the world are hereditary and early detection results in nine out of ten treatments.
In Côte d’Ivoire, out of an estimated population of 2,6378,275, there are 3,306 new cases of breast cancer, including 1,785 deaths, according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), dating back to 2020.
Breast cancer is cancer that forms in the cells of the breast. It can appear in women and rarely in men.
More than a third of all cancers detected in women are breast cancer. Hormone replacement therapy, deodorants, or even regular screening are often blamed for increasing the number of diagnoses. Extending breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer.
Symptoms should alert
A lump in the breast (a lump in the breast) is the most obvious symptom. But thanks to advances in screening, cancers can be detected at an increasingly early stage, on mammography, even before this mass appears. In rare cases, there are other symptoms, namely breast deformation, nipple shrinkage, breast discharge, discoloration of the skin around the nipple, and lymph nodes in the armpit.
When you feel a lump in your breast, it is normal to worry. However, a breast nodule is often not dangerous.
Regarding nipple secretions, except for pregnancy and lactation, they are abnormal in women and men. There are various causes, most of the time benign, but you should always go to the hospital for breast cancer screening.
Women often consult gynecologists because they have breast pain, feel something inside, and feel a lump. They immediately worry, and think of the worst which is breast cancer. However, you should know that in 90% of cases the balls inside the breast are benign.
Breast Cancer Screening
Breast cancer is checked by health authorities. All women over the age of 45 are advised to have a mammogram every two years. Mammography is the gold standard in breast cancer screening. This mammography is the subject of double radiological re-reading, in order to avoid missing cases.
Women at high risk of developing breast cancer may benefit from specific follow-up tailored to their individual situation. “Recommendations suggest that patients at risk from the age of 25 should be directed toward in-person examination.” Gynecological consultations are also an opportunity to examine yourself, thanks to breast palpation. A woman can also do a self-examination to detect a possible lump.
Breast self examination
Feeling the health of her breasts is an essential gesture that all women should know and practice regularly.
Self-examination is a gesture that is recommended to be performed every month after menstruation, in order to identify a possible breast lump. First stand in front of the mirror, and examine both breasts, checking for nipple discharge, cracks, abnormal folds, or peeling of the skin. Next, raise one arm, then with the fingers of the other hand, palpate the breast on the side of the raised arm: start with the outside, fingers flat, make small circles. Look for any lumps, dimples, or lumps on the skin. Also feel for the nipple and the area between the breast and the armpit, and press on the nipple and make sure there is no discharge.
Breast cancer treatments
Treatment depends on the stage of the cancer and may include chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery.
Surgery The first treatment offered to women with breast cancer is surgery. It is the standard treatment for breast cancer, and the only effective way to treat early-stage breast cancer. It consists in removing the tumor as well as the axillary lymph nodes(s) of the affected breast.
During the procedure to remove the breast (mastectomy), reconstructive surgery has evolved a lot now. Another regional local treatment, radiotherapy comes in addition to surgery.
This procedure almost always occurs when the breast is retained, in order to treat the rest of the breast, but it can also occur after a mastectomy.
Anti-hormonal therapy, adjunctive therapy is usually given to prevent recurrence and spread of metastatic cancer cells. Anti-hormonal therapy is prescribed in the form of tablets. This is to prevent the production of estrogen, given that two-thirds of breast cancers depend on hormones.
Chemotherapy may be necessary if the tumor is more aggressive, if there is no hormone receptor in the tumor, or if lymph nodes are involved. The side effects of chemotherapy are severe, including hair loss, decreased immunity, extreme tiredness, and early menopause.
It takes about 6 to 8 sessions spaced three weeks apart. In addition, chemotherapy may be given before surgery to reduce the size of the tumor to avoid removal of the breast, or for more serious tumors.
Finally, targeted therapies may be prescribed, in addition to chemotherapy, but they are only intended for women with breast cancer.
On the other hand, personalized treatments are the hope of modern medicine. But it is in full development and is mainly related to advanced forms of the disease. Immunotherapy is not well developed in breast cancer.
After breast cancer treatment
Physiotherapy sessions are an essential support tool for patients. These naturopathic sessions can really help women tolerate the side effects of breast cancer treatments, regain femininity and treat their bodies.
Breast reconstruction is also possible. Plastic and reconstructive surgery, which is often recommended after tumor removal, makes it possible to provide great assistance to patients by finding a breast that is close to the breast they had before the operation. Breast reconstruction allows the re-establishment of breast volume after cancer, by prosthetics, by flap or by fat injection.
World Breast Cancer Day, celebrated on October 19 every year, under the auspices of the World Health Organization (WHO), aims to support these women affected by the disease and to promote early detection of breast cancer. Regulation, it is most common in women.
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