Ten keys about breast cancer
Ten keys about breast cancer, according to Kepa Amillano, assistant doctor of the Medical Oncology Service and coordinator of the breast and gynecological pathology section of the Hospital Universitari Sant Joan de Reus:
1. What is it?
Breast cancer appears when the cells of the mammary gland, instead of following their usual behavior -grow, divide and die-, grow and divide in an uncontrolled way, which can lead to the appearance of breast cancer.
It is one of the risk factors, in addition to age. Hereditary breast cancer -between 5% and 10% of cases- is generating a subspecialty in oncology, that is, as we can sequence DNA and RNA we can detect mutations in the genetic signature that are related to the breast and ovarian cancer.
It is estimated that one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. In this sense, the increase in life expectancy, and as a consequence cellular aging, is one of the main risk factors.
4. Higher prevalence:
The number of women currently suffering from breast cancer continues to grow, because treatments increase survival and the incidence also continues to rise.
5. Population screening:
The early breast cancer detection program invites all women over 50 years of age to undergo a mammogram every two years to diagnose breast cancer in its early stages.
It is multidisciplinary in nature. From local surgical treatment to radiotherapy, through chemotherapy and the use of new molecules, they contribute to increasing survival. In the initial stages, treatment is based on surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy; and when the disease is metastatic (advanced stages), the treatment is chemotherapy, radiotherapy and new molecular biology treatments. Thus, the future lies in targeted treatments such as molecular biology and immunotherapy.
7. Less is more:
At present, in the prescription of treatments, an attempt is made to reduce toxicity to the patient as much as possible.
8. Clinical trials:
It should be one more tool against the disease, because they offer the option of applying new treatments in necessary situations, since they are not accessible in routine clinical practice.
9. Preventive surgery:
They are useful when we talk about hereditary breast cancer. Although, there is also the option of doing a high-risk follow-up, that is, focused on finding the disease early.
10. Immediate Reconstruction:
After a mastectomy, there are ways for the patient to leave the operating room with the breast reconstruction done. In this sense, as of January 2023, the Department of Health intends to speed up the reconstruction derived from a total removal of the breast due to cancer and include them within the surgical interventions that have a guaranteed term of less than 180 days.