What are the most important risk factors in breast cancer?

Age is the most important absolute risk factor in breast cancer. Most of the breast cancers are seen in women over the age of 45, and this risk increases with age. However, it should be kept in mind that younger patients (including their twenties) may also have breast cancer.

Especially having breast and / or ovarian cancer in a first degree relative (mother, grandmother, aunt, sister) increases the risk of breast cancer. In recent years, other types of cancer such as breast, prostate, pancreatic and stomach cancer in other family members such as fathers, uncles and uncles may also cause an increase in risk. Therefore, it is important for women with a high cancer burden in their family to receive genetic counseling.

In addition, menstruation at an early age, late menopause, not having a child and not breastfeeding, taking hormone replacement therapy without control after menopause, having previously received radiation therapy to the chest wall for another reason, sedentary lifestyle and obesity are other important risk factors. Especially, weight gain after menopause significantly increases the risk of breast cancer.
The situation that should not be ignored in breast cancer: More than 75% of women with breast cancer do not have any of the known risk factors. Therefore, regular follow-up and early diagnosis is the only way to beat breast cancer.

Is every palpable lump in the breast cancer?

Not every palpable breast mass means you have cancer. Formations such as fibroadenoma, fibrocyst, and hamartoma can also be noticed as a mass. For a definitive diagnosis and appropriate treatment, it is important to apply to a breast surgeon immediately and to have the necessary tests done.

Does bloody nipple discharge mean cancer?

Nipple discharge can take various forms. Women with bloody nipple discharge should be evaluated very carefully. Sometimes bloody nipple discharge may be the first and only symptom of breast cancer. On the other hand, the most common cause of bloody nipple discharge is benign formations that we call intraductal papilloma.

Is breast cancer seen in women who do not have a family history of breast cancer?

More than 80% of women with breast cancer do not have a family history of cancer. Women who do not have a family history of breast cancer can also get breast cancer. For this reason, it is very important to perform screening, examination and tests even if there is no complaint.

Can the breast of every patient diagnosed with breast cancer be removed?

When the decision to perform mastectomy (surgery where the entire breast tissue is removed) or breast-conserving surgery, many details such as the size and location of the tumor, the number of foci of the tumor, hereditary risk factors, whether the patient can receive radiation therapy, cosmetic results, patient expectation and desire are evaluated. There are also surgical options such as removing the entire breast tissue by protecting the nipple and breast skin, and reconstructing the breast with the patient’s own tissue or silicone implants. The sooner breast cancer is detected, the greater the chance of protecting the breast and treatment options.

How is the treatment strategy determined in breast cancer?

Treatment planning is based on both “cancer treatment principles” and personal choices.

• Biological and molecular type of breast cancer
• Stage of the cancer
The patient’s general health, age, and other medical conditions
• Personal preferences are factors that play a role in treatment planning.

Breast cancer treatment is carried out with a multidisciplinary approach (the decision-making process by the doctors of different specialties involved in the treatment stages of breast cancer) and very successful results are obtained. The treatment recommended or given to another patient may therefore not be suitable for the other patient. Patients should therefore not compare their condition with other patients.

Is breast conserving surgery only applied to young patients?

Breast conserving surgery can be applied not only to young patients, but also to patients of all ages. The type of surgery to be performed on the breast is not decided by the age of the patient, but by other factors such as the size, location, tumor / breast ratio, unifocal and patient demand. The important thing is to treat the patient by performing the smallest surgical intervention that causes the least tissue damage, without compromising the principles of cancer treatment.

Should every patient undergoing surgery for breast cancer need chemotherapy?

Genomic testing may be recommended for selected patients with small tumors as a result of surgical staging together with detailed pathological and molecular examination of the tumor removed by surgery. As a result of these tests, patients with low risk can be followed up without chemotherapy.

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