Breast Screening

Breast screening is necessary

Breast cancer is the most common malignancy in women. Statistical studies show that in recent years there has been an increasing trend in its frequency. However, thanks to information, advances in technology and science, mortality from breast cancer is constantly decreasing. We therefore realize how necessary breast screening and early diagnosis are.

There are various guidelines from different countries on when and how breast screening should begin. At the moment in our country, from the entire scientific field, the line prevails that a girl should start breast examination from the age of 20. From the age of 20 to the age of 40, breast self-examination and ultrasound examination are the way to examine the breast.

At the age of 35 the woman can undergo a reference mammogram and after the age of 40 every year she must undergo a mammogram. Mammography under the age of 40 has no indication as the breasts are denser.  Mammography should always be accompanied by clinical examination as there is a chance that it alone may not detect a tumor.

When should breast screening be performed?

Breast screening should be performed in the first phase of a woman's menstrual cycle, i.e. after her period. During the self-examination, any palpable swelling by the woman herself or a change in the complexion and texture of the skin of the breast is a reason for visiting her doctor. Also, any color discharge of fluid from the nipple is a reason for reporting to the doctor.

In fact, when there is heredity for breast cancer, screening should be done more consistently. In addition, it is advisable to test for a mutation of the oncogenes BRCA-1 and BRCA-2.

Of course, depending on the results of the above tests, today we are able to have other tests, which the doctor may request for the best treatment of the case, such as MRI, digital mammography, elastography, biopsy, etc.

However, it seems that apart from heredity, the so-called "lifestyle" also plays a role in the occurrence of breast cancer. Some simple rules of prevention are proper nutrition (avoiding saturated fats, consuming fiber), exercising and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

We therefore conclude that it is very important for the woman herself to be informed and have a plan regarding breast screening, always in communication with her doctor.

Έλεγχος Μαστού

Athanasios G. Papanikolaou
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Athanasios Papanikolaou

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