Faced with the grim reality that one in eight women will suffer breast cancer in her lifetime, there is a glimmer of hope that we must take into account, but we must remain aware of this reality. Awareness on the part of women is the first weapon in the fight against the disease.
First of all, our fight is to learn how to avoid it. We know why cancer occurs, what the predisposing factors are, how we can avoid it and finally how we can beat it, leaving the least possible sequelae.
We know what the predisposing factors are, such as being overweight, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, a diet rich in fat, alcohol and, above all, smoking. Therefore, if we have a healthy diet, an active life, if we do sports frequently, if we also avoid a sedentary lifestyle and obesity by banishing tobacco, we will have gained a lot. Early pregnancies and breastfeeding are also factors that protect us and should be taken into account.
But it is also very important, in the event of cancer appearing, to make an early diagnosis with which we will be able to save the life, in the great majority of cases, and also the breast of the patient without even the need for hospitalization.
Early diagnosis based on awareness on the part of the woman begins at the age of 18 or 20 years with self-inspection standing in front of the mirror and changing the position of the arms, so that deformities can be observed, such as alterations of the nipple and skin and more anomalies that did not exist before, which put her on alert.
Then, lying down with a flat hand, she will compress the breast against the ribs over its entire surface, being able to detect pain, lumps, hardness, and even nipple discharge. All this is done after the period when the breast is softer. In case of any anomaly or in case of doubt, it is advisable to go to the Breast Unit, present in most public and private hospitals. The first visit is to the senologist, taking into account that 95% of the cases will be benign conditions that will be cured with treatment. There, mammography, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging and punctures, if necessary, will be performed. With the data obtained and in the daily clinical sessions, the problem will be treated and the same senologist will communicate it to the patient.
The treatment in the case of a cancer diagnosis can be solved by means of a very sophisticated surgery performed by experts of the unit and, using radioactive isotopes and markers, they will be able to remove the cancer with a minimally invasive surgery that leaves the breast, in most cases, as it was.
If the woman is aware of this reality, she will avoid other actions and will realize that awareness of the reality, in the measures to avoid the disease and the rules to be followed in the event that the cancer appears, it will be detected early.