October 20 is World Breast Cancer Day. In our country, this problem is especially acute: every year more than 16,000 Ukrainian women hear a disappointing diagnosis, and almost half of them die.
Why is there such a high death rate from breast cancer in Ukraine, what should be done to prevent the disease, what methods of early diagnosis and treatment exist?
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These and other important questions are answered by an oncosurgeon-mammologist, candidate of medical sciences,
head of the mammological center of the clinic INNOVATION
Khilko Dmitry Anatolievich.
How common is breast cancer in the world, and in Ukraine in particular?
According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer ranks first among oncological diseases in women: about 1,250,000 new cases of the disease are registered every year.
In our country, the statistics are even sadder: out of 16,000 Ukrainian women who are annually diagnosed with this disease, only half survive.
Whereas, for example, in the USA and EU countries, it is possible to defeat the disease in more than 80% of cases.
Why such a high death rate?
Modern medicine is capable of defeating cancer. However, only if it is diagnosed in the early stages.
In Ukraine, unfortunately, patients go to the doctor too late, at the third, fourth stage, when the treatment cannot give good results. If breast cancer is detected at an early stage, it is much easier to treat it, and it is also cheaper. At the same time, survival rates reach 80–90%.
It is generally accepted that there are fewer deaths from cancer abroad, because medicine is better there. It’s not about that. In the clinic of European oncology INNOVATION we work according to the same European standards using the most modern equipment. The reason is rather in relation to their health.
Europeans are more responsible, they regularly undergo examinations and go to the doctor at the first suspicion of malaise. In Ukraine, however, awareness of the disease, its consequences, methods of early diagnosis is very low. We need to work on this problem, conduct information campaigns about the need for systematic examinations, a more attentive attitude to one’s health.
What should be done to detect cancer in time? What methods of early diagnosis exist?
Breast cancer in the early stages is almost asymptomatic. This is the insidiousness of this disease.
It is possible to detect breast cancer at an early stage only with the help of ultrasound and mammography.
That is why it is so important to systematically undergo preventive examinations. Young women under 40 are recommended to do an ultrasound of the mammary glands once a year and consult a mammologist. Women from 40 to 50 years of age have a mammogram every two years and an ultrasound scan once a year. After age 50, when the risk of cancer increases, both ultrasound and mammography should be done annually.
Preventive examinations — screenings — are an effective and widely used method in developed countries for the early diagnosis of diseases, including cancer. They help to identify the risks of diseases to which a person is more or less predisposed. Screening includes a set of studies and specialist advice. European oncology clinic INNOVATSIA has two screening programs for breast cancer (“up to 40 years old” and “after 40 years old”). They are designed taking into account age-related changes in the breast. Such programs are very convenient, because they allow you to go through all the diagnostics within the walls of one institution within one day.
What to do if the diagnosis of breast cancer is confirmed?
First, do not fall into despair. Modern methods of treatment allow achieving good results, even a complete cure with preservation of the mammary gland. The main thing is not to waste time.
Remember: the chances of a cure are directly proportional to the speed at which treatment is sought.
The choice of clinic is important. It is better to contact specialized institutions. They have all the necessary modern equipment, advanced diagnostic and treatment methods, a team of professionals with extensive experience, and an individual approach to treatment.
Why is the breast center of the INNOVATION clinic called European?
In the clinic of European oncology INNOVATION we work in accordance with the standards and recommendations of the European Medical Society of Oncologists (ESMO) and in close contact with the leading oncological centers in Germany.
Since 2013, the breast center of the clinic has been part of the global network of breast centers Breast Centres Network. We use unique and modern technologies and equipment. This allows you to achieve maximum quality in the diagnosis and treatment of breast diseases.
Tell us more about the center and its benefits.
In the breast center of the INNOVATION clinic, we provide a closed cycle of assistance to a woman who has various problems with the mammary gland, from aesthetic to such serious ones as breast cancer. Without leaving the territory of the center, the patient can get a qualified consultation, undergo all the necessary examinations, undergo an operation, undergo all methods of conservative and radiation therapy.
Separately, I want to note that the treatment tactics are developed individually for each patient at an interdisciplinary medical consultation. This approach helps to avoid mistakes and develop the most effective treatment plan. We use unique for Ukraine technologies for the treatment of breast cancer, in particular, modern methods of organ-preserving operations. They allow you to remove only the tumor with the surrounding tissues, without affecting the entire organ. This is very important because it helps to improve the quality of life of a woman who has had breast cancer.
We do our best to provide a woman who is going through a difficult period of her life with maximum comfort and a high level of service. So, a plastic surgeon must take part in the preparation of the operation. Throughout the entire period of treatment and recovery, a psychologist works with her.
An important aspect of our work is also reconstructive surgery — the restoration of the breast. In this way, we help women who are planning a mastectomy or who have already undergone breast removal surgery to return to a full life, to feel attractive and desirable again.
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The opinion of the editors may not coincide with the opinion of the author of the article.