Breast Cancer

One in ten women and rarely men will develop breast cancer. Early diagnosis means better prognosis, since almost 90% of women will manage to overcome their problem if they are treated properly

Early diagnosis is the result of a well informed woman for signs of the disease, a regularly tested patient and the use of the right diagnostic method.

A breast or armpit lump, breast irregularity, skin retraction, bloody nipple secretion and infection are the most common signs of breast cancer.

The breast surgeon should define the diagnostic tools and frequency of regular breast examination.

The decision make criteria are the existence of cancer risk factors, the age, the breast density, the findings of previous tests and some of the previous biopsies. The major breast cancer risk factor is heredity and the stronger it is, the regular breast examination should start in younger age and be performed more frequently and by all available tests.

Young age and great breast density necessitates on occasions the use of magnetic tomography of the breast together with ultrasound and digital mammography. Patients with previous biopsies for precancerous lesions need also more frequent testing. In case of a suspicious lesion found on regular tests the breast surgeon should decide which is the best form of biopsy between fine needle aspiration(FNA) -cytology, core biopsy, mammotome, breast lesion excision system biopsy(BLES) – histology examination at the outpatients department and an open biopsy in theatre.

It is the responsibility of the breast surgeon to offer the best management, which though will be decided at the multidisciplinary team meeting. In the MDT meetings, all breast surgeons, radiologists, oncologists, radiotherapists, pathologists and plastic surgeons participate. They decide for the right operation and the need for any adjuvant treatment.

Science is evolving rapidly and what we think is best today might change tomorrow. We should not consider permanent what we read today as indisputable. We should always seek the expert’s opinion, because it is his duty to be well informed and updated and this cannot be replaced by any magazine, newspaper or website information.