Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, with an estimated one in ten women suffering from breast cancer in their lifetime. Moreover, due to longer life expectancy, the incidence of breast cancer is increasing significantly. Therefore, it is necessary to adopt control and prevention measures for breast cancer.
It is considered that between 5 and 10% of breast cancers are considered hereditary cancer, i.e. caused by an inherited predisposition to breast cancer that is passed on generation after generation in an autosomal dominant manner. However, most of the time they appear sporadically due to the interaction of multiple factors, including genetic predisposition to diseases and interaction with the environment.
Breast cancer and early detection
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the key point in the fight against breast cancer is early detection, which can improve the prognosis and survival of breast cancer cases.
In any disease, early detection is important in order to be able to treat it as soon as possible. However, in breast cancer its importance increases because, if detected at an early stage, the chances of cure are almost 100%.
The most widespread technique for the detection of breast cancer is mammography. It is considered the most effective in reducing breast cancer mortality. This early detection technique consists of an X-ray of the breasts, where lesions can be located in very early stages of the disease. However, mammograms are recommended for women over 40 years of age.
So, is there no early detection of breast cancer for women under 40? The answer is yes, in fact, there are different options.
The first is breast self-examination. Learning how to explore yourself is a first step so that, if any abnormality is detected, you can go to the doctor as soon as possible.
Another technique that is being increasingly used is genetic predisposition testing for the early detection of mutations in genes related to breast cancer. Genetic testing is recommended for the general population and, specifically, for people who have a family history of breast cancer. If mutations in the BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 genes, among others, are present, the patient can be monitored and checked regularly.
The advice to prevent the appearance of any cancer is to lead a healthy life, do sports regularly and control the consumption of alcohol. However, there are people who are more predisposed to a particular type of cancer, either because of their interaction with the environment (smoking) or because of their genetics.
Breast cancer is one of the best studied cancers and has the most specific treatments. Being able to detect through a DNA test it in its early stages is key to its treatment. Therefore, the importance of taking regular preventive and control measures is the first step towards a more effective detection of breast cancer.