Why is breast cancer so important in oncology?
The breast cancer in Oncology is very important because it very often affects women. Approximately one in eight women will suffer from this disease throughout their lives and consequently every year we diagnose 22,000 cases. This tumor is more or less one third of all female tumors, therefore, we are talking about a frequent disease, a disease that is serious when it is diagnosed late and when it is not treated properly, which can affect women of different ranges of age, but it is concentrated mainly between 45 and 60 years of age and that if an early diagnosis is made and an adequate management is a highly curable disease.
Is the diagnosis of breast cancer complex?
No, not at all, it is not. It is very important that women are aware of the need to make an early diagnosis. This early diagnosis begins by learning to explore your own breast. It is also very important that you go to the doctor periodically so that it is he who will explore the breast. And you have to put into play additional explorations such as mammography or ultrasound, and if there is doubt the magnetic resonance. If there is any doubt, proceed to biopsy the breast tissue that seems unhealthy and make an accurate diagnosis that will directly start the therapeutic process.
How is breast cancer treatment done?
The treatment of breast cancer is done under two premises: one, it is treated as a team and two, it is tailor-made. It is very important, there are not two breast cancer the same. We have many treatment offers: surgery, chemotherapy, biological treatments, hormone therapy, radiotherapy ... But all this can go in different sequences, depends on how is the woman to be treated and depends on the type of tumor. Therefore two very clear ideas: teamwork and custom-made suit.
What is the prognosis of breast cancer in Spain?
Fortunately, the prognosis of breast cancer in Spain is at the same level as the most advanced countries in the world, even exceeding the European average. Specifically in Spain, 83% of our patients survive more than five years. This is a very important fact, but what is more, every year improves the forecast. Therefore, in our country we are at the forefront of breast cancer worldwide and we also do something better each year.
In recent years, what have been the most significant advances in your treatment?
I believe that there are many advances in different fields. For example, in the field of diagnosis, especially the most complex cases, the appearance of magnetic resonance has been very important. Likewise, there are special risk populations that have been favored by the use of certain drugs such as Exemestane, which clearly reduces the risk of breast cancer.. Likewise, in the field of surgery, immediate reconstruction has added value and above all quality of life and comfort to women. And, finally, in the field of therapy, personalized therapies are fundamental. The molecular signature of the tumors, well studied, means that we can selectively treat patients.
What advice would you give women to prevent breast cancer?
The first recommendation I would make is very general but very useful rules. That they maintain their stable weight, that they do not smoke, that they do physical exercise. All this decreases the incidence of breast cancer and is very important. Second, that they become aware of the value of early diagnosis. That they do self-examination and that they go to their doctor to do their check-ups periodically. And finally, if unfortunately the disease has appeared, look for, select and rely on a compact and coordinated team of medical oncologists, radiotherapists, surgeons and psychologists. It's very important.