Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Breast cancer is a disease whose cases are growing quite rapidly. Based on data from Globocan in 2020, there were 68,858 cases recorded in Indonesia with 22,000 deaths due to breast cancer.
This disease can occur in both men and women, but is much more common in women. Even though symptoms only really appear when the cancer has entered an advanced stage, it is important to be alert.
Characteristic symptoms of breast cancer
One of the most easily visible symptoms of breast cancer is the appearance of a lump in the breast tissue. This lump can only be felt, but cannot be seen directly.
Then there is an unnatural difference in size, a change in the skin texture of the breast, the nipple turns inward and strange colored fluid comes out of the nipple.
Breast Cancer Risk Factors
According to Dr See Hui Ti, Senior Consultant and Medical Oncologist at Parkway Cancer Center (PCC) Singapore, one of the factors that can increase the risk of exposure to breast cancer is obesity. In general, the greater the BMI (body mass index), the greater the risk.
To maintain a normal BMI, he recommends an optimal dietary strategy that combines higher protein intake, fiber for nutrition and carbohydrates for energy, as well as reduced sugar intake and moderate exercise.
“For patients undergoing cancer treatment, obesity can cause detrimental side effects or weaken the effects of chemotherapy. Therefore, it is important to maintain a healthy diet and do regular exercise to maintain a healthy body weight,” said Dr See Hui Ti in a broadcast press received by CNBC Indonesia, Saturday (21/10/2023).
Apart from obesity, other factors that increase the risk of developing breast cancer are having more than five children, being over 40 years old, being lazy about exercising, having a family member who has had breast cancer, not breastfeeding, and stress.
Meanwhile, factors that can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer are not only regular exercise and healthy living, but also hormone therapy, taking vitamin D, and having one to three children.
Breast Cancer Screening
Meanwhile, Dr Georgette Chan, who is a Breast Surgeon and General Surgeon at Mt Elizabeth Hospital, Singapore, shared tips on how to screen for breast cancer. Dr Chan said that screening or breast self-examination (BSE) can use a finger.
Think of the bust as a circle and move the fingers in a spiral motion from the outside to the inside of the circle. BSE can also be done by lying on your back.
According to Chan, most lumps detected during breast self-examination (BSE) are benign. However, he emphasized the importance of regular BSE to detect any changes in the breasts.
This screening can be done once a month and when you reach your 20s. If you feel a lump, pain, asymmetry and skin changes in the breast, and any discharge, retraction, rash on the nipple when doing BSE,
Triple screening is recommended to assess breast cancer growth.
The assessment includes clinical examination, imaging (mammogram, ultrasound, MRI, tomosynthesis), and Biopsy (core biopsy or fine needle aspiration, or mammography or image-guided biopsy for non-palpable lesions).
Dr Chan advises women to see a breast specialist when they are symptomatic, have imaging abnormalities, or are at high risk of developing the disease.
If breast cancer has been detected, one of the treatments performed is surgical surgery. Definitive breast cancer surgery focuses on management of the breast and axilla, and breast reconstruction.
Surgical surgery can be performed via mastectomy, which is a traditional surgical treatment for breast cancer, where the entire breast is removed.
However, in recent years, wide excision or breast-conserving surgery may be offered in certain cases, for example a small tumor occupying one aspect of the breast, in order to preserve as much of the normal breast as possible.
Apart from surgery, breast cancer can also be cured non-surgically. Radiotherapy can be used to control and kill malignant cells as a form of local treatment.
For systemic treatment of primary tumors and metastatic disease, chemotherapy can be used to inhibit tumor cell growth and reproduction. However, the limitation of chemotherapy is that it cannot differentiate cancer cells from normal cells, so it becomes toxic to other healthy organs.
“Chemotherapy is usually given for prevention or treatment purposes. Preventive chemotherapy involves giving chemotherapy to prevent tumors from settling in the blood, while treatment chemotherapy involves shrinking existing tumors,” said Dr See Hui Ti.
This is where new treatments such as targeted therapy can offer more precise cures. In hormonal therapy, estrogen and progesterone receptors can be targeted to cut off the supply of hormones that stimulate cancer growth.
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