Written by: Dr. Xavier González Farré
Edited by: Top Doctors®

In the following article, Dr. González Farré explains the keys of breast cancer: symptoms, extirpation, treatment, predisposition to suffer the disease and prevention.



In localized stages, the most frequent symptom of breast cancer is the palpation of a nodule in the chest. Less frequent discharge of fluid through the nipple, eczema on the nipple or swelling of the entire breast. Today, many are detected without any symptoms, simply on routine mammography.


If before going to the specialist we want to perform a self-exploration, the steps to follow are:


1) Stand in front of the mirror with straight shoulders and arms at the hip. Your breasts should have the normal appearance and size and should not present visible deformations or symptoms of pain, redness or itching.

2) If you see anomalies, raise your arms and see if they continue. Analyze if any of the nipples secretes any clear liquid, milky or yellowish or blood.

3) Lie down and palpate your breasts with your hands inverted, that is, the left hand with the right breast and vice versa. With the fingertips he makes a slow and circular movement the size of a coin.

4) Finally, feel the breasts standing or sitting or if you find more sensitivity in the skin after a shower, you can also do it in this way.


The most common symptom of breast cancer is the palpation of a chest nodule



Focused excision

It is tried, whenever possible, to preserve the breast by removing only the area where the tumor is, although this requires to administer radiotherapy afterwards; thus obtaining a much better cosmetic result.


As for axillary surgery, lymphadenectomies are also avoided. Often, we only search if the sentinel node is affected, which would be the first site where the tumor cells would go if they escaped the original tumor.


The postoperative period in case there is no lymphadenectomy and in which only the tumor has been removed (conservative surgery), the patient can go home even on the same day of the operation. Otherwise, the admissions are longer and immediate postoperative physiotherapy is recommended.



Chemotherapy treatment

Chemotherapy for breast cancer almost always causes hair loss and tiredness days after administration. Mucosal discomfort often occurs (dry mouth, small ulcerations, conjunctivitis, rhinitis, worsening of hemorrhoids, etc.), poor taste of food, lowered defenses, decreased fertility in young patients and even menopause, anemia Stomach upset, diarrhea or constipation. These effects may not appear or, if they do appear, do so in different forms and severities.




Less than 10% of breast cancers are due to the presence of a gene strongly linked to the development of breast cancer. Its presence confers a high risk of developing this pathology throughout life, more than 60-70%, and makes it frequent at young ages.


Even so, most breast cancers do not appear due to any known predisposing changes. Although possibly there may be an indeterminate set of genes that can modulate a person's sensitivity to breast cancer, along with exposure to some "toxic" or different factors related to hormones.




The relationship of obesity with the incidence of breast cancer is fully demonstrated. A healthy diet that allows to control the weight in a correct way will reduce the cases of this one. The performance of sports also reduces estrogen levels, also reducing this risk. The consumption of alcohol can also predispose to breast cancer, so avoiding it or reducing its consumption can also prevent it.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. Xavier González Farré
Medical Oncology

Dr. González Farré is a renowned specialist in Medical Oncology. She has extensive training in different fields of the specialty, being an expert in breast cancer and urological tumors. In addition, Dr. Gonzalez is a principal investigator in numerous clinical trials of breast cancer and other tumors. It works closely with the Oncology Laboratory to offer a molecular diagnosis and personalized treatments according to the genetic characteristics of each patient. He is currently clinical coordinator of Oncology at the Hospital General de Catalunya.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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