Breast Cancer – Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment
14 Dec 2022
Breast cancer ranks first as the leading cause of death in women worldwide and it is the cause of 15% of deaths by disease. Every minute three women learn they have breast cancer. In Bulgaria, approximately 4 thousand women are diagnosed with breast cancer annually. We met with Dr. Yordan Spirdonov, a specialist - mammologist and imaging diagnostician, who explained in great detail what the disease means, what the symptoms are and what prevention measures are recommended for applying to reduce risk.
What is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer occurs when abnormal cells begin to grow and multiply uncontrollably. These cells form a tumor mass, which can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (carcinoma). Benign tumors are abnormal growths that do not spread outside the breast and are not dangerous to the health. Breast cancer, on the other hand, is a malignant tumor that starts in the ducts or lobules of the breast and has the potential to spread to other parts of the body (metastasize).
What are the Risk Factors That Increase the Likelihood of the Disease? Dr. Spirdonov emphasized that many factors contribute to the risk of disease development, and not all of them can be influenced by individuals. Among the main factors that have a direct impact on the increased risk of breast cancer are:
- Late pregnancy
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Increased alcohol consumption
- Excessive consumption of chicken and dairy products.
Worrying Symptoms to Look Out For
It is extremely important to observe and know our own body so that we can notice when there are changes in it. The mammologist shared that the changes we should pay attention to are not necessarily signs of the disease. Doctor Spirdonov advises watching for the appearance of a hard lump in one of the breasts or armpits, for changes in the shape or size of the breasts, redness or indentations, skin rashes in the nipple area or copious discharge.
How Often Should We See a Medical Professional?
In general, there is no family predisposition or other worrisome factors. Still, Dr. Spirdonov advises all ladies after reaching the age of 18 to visit a mammologist specialist at least once a year. Usually, an ultrasound examination is performed, and after age 40, the mammography examination is applied. In addition to regular visits to a specialist, the doctor advises you to check yourself at home every month for problematic body changes.
How is Digital Technology Facilitating Women’s Health Care?
The Medrec:M digital health mobile app enables ladies to store all their health documents such as lab tests, x-rays, epicrisis and more. This allows them to have all their health information one click away and share it with their doctor easily and quickly.
What are the other functionalities of the Medrec:M app, learn here.