Mammary gland cancer is a malignant tumor of glandular tissue of mammary gland which occupies the first place among all malignant new formations in women and has an expressed tendency to grow.
The reasons of mammary gland cancer.The cancer develops against the background ofthe pretumoral diseases: masthopathy and fibroadenoma.
Masthopathy is a pathological condition of mammary gland caused by the hormonal regulation disorder. When it emerges, in mammary glandsappear tumor-like small nodes which are a little denser than the mammary gland tissue, there occur painful sensations in the breast area, sometimes excretion from the nipples. They are especially noticeable (along with strengthening of painful sensations) in the premenstrual period, and after the menstruation they again decrease up to total disappearance. Girls and young women can have palpable abnormalities of benignant nature – fibroadenomas. These are clearly defined dense roundish small nodes with a smooth surface. They are freely displaced in the mammary gland tissue, sometimes they can be numerous. Diagnostics of mammary gland cancer is made by means of self-examination, examination by a specialist (physical examination) and biopsy, mammography (x-ray examination of the gland). Treatment of mammary gland cancer can include surgical removal of a part or the whole gland, chemotherapy, beam therapy. The treatment choice depends on the primary tumor size, the condition of regional lymph nodes, the presence of remote metastases, differentiation degree, receptor status. Chemotherapy is becoming more and more target-oriented and connected not only with morphological, but also with genetic features of cancer cells. Themost advanceddirectionin thetreatment istarget-therapy which considers cytogenetic status of the patient, and gives the chance to improve the treatment quality against the background of the possible complications decrease. Revealing of the disease at an early stage enhances the treatment possibilities: mastectomy gives way to organ-preserving operations; complete removal of regional lymph nodes becomes necessary only if they have metastases; irradiation amount is reduced; chemotherapy is selected on the basis of many individual factors.
In what case it is necessary to turn to the doctor?
It is recommended for every woman to turn to the specialist if after an independent examination the following changes have been found out:
- presence of indurations or tumor-like formations in one or both mammary glands;
- excretion of any kind from the nipple, not connected with pregnancy or lactation;
- erosion, crusts, furfur, ulcerations in the nipple or areola area;
- deformation, oedema, increase or reduction of the mammary glandsize which occurs without any reason;
- increaseof the axillary or supraclavicular lymph nodes size.
Regular self-examination of mammary glands will help to notice suspicious changes, which at the early stage of the disease revealing makes it possible to avoid serious operative intervention – it willincur only the removal of nodes, not of mammary gland as a whole.