Diagnostics and treatment of breast cancer in Germany
The increase in the breast cancer incidence and mortality from this disease in a number of countries makes this problem one of the most important ones, requiring close attention of a number of doctors. However, a significant proportion of women are not aware of the basic facts regarding this disease: how often and why it occurs, what are the early signs and symptoms of the tumor, what treatment methods are used and how effective they are.
Breast cancer risk factors
According to the mechanism of development, breast cancer is divided into 3 groups:
Сlinical forms and symptoms of breast cancer
There are several clinical forms of breast cancer, including nodular, diffuse (edematous-infiltrative, erysipelas, mastitis-like and armor infiltration), as well as Paget's nipple cancer.
Nodular forms of cancer are the most common and are diagnosed in 75-80% of cases. The main clinical manifestation of this form is the presence of nodular formation in the breast tissue. It should be noted that in approximately 80% of cases, women reveal changes in the mammary gland by themselves.
Symptoms that are characteristic of more common forms of the tumor include:
Diagnostics of breast cancer
German specialists use the following diagnostic tests for the breast cancer detection:
Thanks to the experience of doctors in the best clinics of Germany, the diagnostics and treatment of breast cancer are as comfortable for the patient as possible. If you want to undergo breast cancer treatment in Germany, the most appropriate option is using help of Booking Health. Booking Health is the medical tourism provider with international ISO certification that offers mammological check-ups in the leading German hospitals.
Treatment of breast cancer
The choice of breast cancer treatment option is made taking into account the main prognostic factors. The clinical ones include age, ovarian-menstrual function state, size and localization of the primary tumor, the degree of tumor dissemination. The morphological ones include histological and immunohistochemical tumor type, the amount of metastases in the regional lymph nodes, degree of tumor malignancy, receptor status, expression of HER2/neu gene, proliferative activity of the tumor.
1. Surgical treatment. Operations of choice in breast cancer are radical mastectomy in various modifications, radical resection (sectoral resection with axillary lymph node dissection), lumpectomy, tumorectomy. Widespread breast cancer treatment in Germany in recent years includes organ-sparing interventions.
Cosmetic defects after radical surgery may lead to significant psycho-emotional trauma. That is why simultaneous or delayed reconstructive plastic surgeries are often carried out. The tissue defect is replaced by either patient’s own body tissues (autoplasty) or silicone implants or expanders (alloplasty).
2. Radiation therapy. Its main aims are the destruction of low-grade tumor cells and suppressing the growth of metastases in the lymph nodes. The postoperative radiation therapy is performed after breast-preserving surgery as well as in patients after mastectomy.
3. Chemotherapy is used for the secondary prevention and treatment of metastatic breast cancer. It also may serve as the neoadjuvant option for making the large tumors operable. Breast tumors are sensitive to the majority of modern anticancer drugs.
4. Hormone treatment. Breast cancer is a hormone-dependent and hormone-sensitive tumor. In 50-70% of patients, the tumor has the specific proteins on its surface. In these patients, hormone therapy demonstrates a pronounced effect. Currently, two types of hormonal drugs are used: antiestrogens (tamoxifen and its analogues), which block hormonal receptors, and aromatase inhibitors, which prevent the formation of estrogens due to the conversion of androgens to estrogens blockage (arimidex, letrozole, aromatazine, etc.).
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes.