Breast Cancer: Methods Used in Diagnosis
There are several different types of breast cancer treatment available today.
My Breast Cancer journey – 2022
Methods Used in Diagnosis
Tests performed by your doctor for a treatment program that will be applied in the direction of the signs are performed to determine whether the tumor is limited to the area where it started (local) or has spread to other areas of your body (metastasis).
- Mammography: A method based on the examination of breast tissue by X-rays. The first mammogram performed when the patient has no complaints is the main mammography. Mammography can be performed for screening or diagnostic purposes. While screening mammography is performed on people who have no complaints, diagnostic mammography has the potential for a more detailed examination of the suspected mass or area.
- Ultrasonography: It works on the basis of the reflection of sound waves before the tissues. Mammography is used to determine whether a suspicious mass or area found, or the mass in the patient’s hand, is liquid or solid. Fluid-filled masses, ie cysts, do not pose a significant threat to cancer. In contrast, “solid” masses are breast tumors. Discrimination, whether good or bad, must be done through regular persecution or other advanced methods.
- Galactography: The filming of the milk ducts by injecting medicine into the breast. It is most commonly used in those who complain of nipple discharge.
- Fine needle biopsy: A standard syringe needle is taken at the cellular level and examined under a microscope.
- Thick needle biopsy: This is an examination of a piece of tissue with a thick needle prepared for this purpose.
- Stereotaxic biopsy: The location of the mass is determined by a special device and a sample is taken from that point.
- Stereotaxic marking: The removal of a thin wire into the suspicious area seen with a special device.
- Surgical biopsy: The operation is performed in a cell and the entire mass is removed and examined under a microscope.
Breast Cancer Treatment
Depending on the stage of the disease, the characteristics of the patient, and the general health, treatment options may be one or more: such as surgical radiation therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, or targeted therapy.
Standard treatment methods:
- Surgical treatment
- Radiotherapy (Treatment of the case)
- Chemotherapy (Medication)
- Hormone therapy (Hormone therapy)
1- Surgical treatment
In general, it is the first stage of the fight against cancer. Most patients begin treatment with surgical removal of the cancerous tissue. Sentinel lymph (guard lymph node) is biopsied and, if necessary, the axillary lymph nodes are cleaned.
There are several different types of breast cancer treatment available today. These applications are basically divided into two main groups: those aimed at protecting the breast from removal and those aimed at removing the entire breast. In the light of recent medical developments, only by removing the cancerous area and protecting the breast, and by sampling the axillary lymph nodes, patients are able to achieve similarly successful results and go home the same day. In cases where the entire breast needs to be removed, it is possible to reconstruct the nipple with plastic surgery.
2- Radiotherapy (Work Treatment)
The treatment is performed by applying X-rays (X-rays) to the chest area and under the arm, in order to destroy the cancer cells that are likely to remain after surgery.
The most commonly used method is external beam radiation. It is applied for 4-6 weeks after the operation. Using a special linear accelerator, it is irradiated externally, targeting the entire mammary gland and sometimes the armpit. The work is usually given for 4-6 weeks, 5 days a week.
Side effects of radiotherapy; Most women who receive this treatment complain of weakness. Swelling and heaviness in the chest may occur. The skin in the treated area may become sunburned. This side effect disappears spontaneously in about a year. With Novalis-supported TrueBeam STX linear accelerator used in our center, these side effects are minimized by minimizing damage to healthy tissue.
3- Chemotherapy (Medication)
It is a treatment with drugs that kill cancer cells. These drugs are spread throughout the body after oral or intravenous administration. In general, they are given in different combinations, as they are more effective when given several drugs at the same time. Chemotherapy is given in the form of treatments. Planning is done as 4-6 Kur. Each interval is about 3 weeks. This means a total chemotherapy period of 3 to 5 months.
In some cases, in addition to surgical treatment, drug treatment may be needed.
Postoperative studies in patients, even if there is no cancer in any area, can be treated with medication as a precautionary measure. This treatment is called adjuvant chemotherapy.
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is performed in patients with Stage 3 cancer to reduce the size of the existing tumor and make it more suitable for surgery. Another benefit of neoadjuvant chemotherapy is the monitoring of the effect of chemotherapy on the tumor. Click for more information on chemotherapy.
4-Hormone Therapy (Hormone Treatment)
Some breast cancer cells may be sensitive to estrogens through the hormone receptors (receptors) they contain. That is, the hormone estrogen can cause these cancer cells to grow and multiply. The goal of hormone therapy is to prevent the development of cancer by eliminating the effects of estrogen in this type of cancer, which contains an estrogen receptor and is sensitive to this hormone.
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