Breast cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the tissues responsible for milk production and is the most common type of cancer in women. Breast cancer affects 1 in every 8 women and constitutes 25% of cancers seen in women. Although developing technology offers the possibility of early diagnosis, unfortunately, breast cancer is common and ranks 2nd in cancer-related deaths as a result of people not having their controls.
Obesity, sedentary life, advanced age, not giving birth, poor breastfeeding and early menstruation are the main risk factors. The risk of breast cancer increases significantly, especially on the mother’s side.
Nipple discharge, deformity, pain in the armpit and breast, swelling and mass are the most common symptoms. Symptoms such as skin redness, flaking, colour and shape change, thickening, size difference between the two breasts, unexpected breast pain may also accompany.
Weight loss is the most important symptom and the patient should be evaluated with further examination without losing time.
Patients should be screened with mammography and breast ultrasound during routine breast control, especially after the age of 40. This period varies in individuals with family history and a personalised follow-up should be performed. In the presence of a suspicious lesion, a biopsy is taken from the lesion by Tru-cut, i.e. thick needle biopsy, and examined under a microscope. Again, both breasts are examined with Magnetic Resonance imaging according to the patient’s physical examination and examinations. Especially in lobular cancers, that is, cancers developing in the milk glands, the possibility of cancer in different areas and in the other breast is high. Therefore, treatment cannot be planned without imaging with MR and PET.
Treatment varies according to the number of lesions, size, axillary spread and other organ/lymph node spread. The main goal is to preserve breast tissue as much as possible. In some patients, the axillary lymph node is removed during surgery and a rapid microscopic examination called “frozen examination” is performed by the pathologist and the spread to the axillary lymph nodes is evaluated and the extent of lymph node removal is decided.
Breast is the most important marker for femininity and is sacred for us breast surgeons. Even if cancer surgery is performed, aesthetics should be at the highest level and the breast should be preserved as long as possible. Oncoplastic Breast Surgery is a discipline in which surgery is performed in line with these principles, and the main goal is to perform cancer surgery completely and provide an aesthetically acceptable breast tissue.