Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women in Germany - about one third of all new cancers are in their care. Every year, about 70, 000 women are diagnosed with this condition, and nearly a quarter of a million are affected by breast cancer. The chances of a cure depend mainly on the type of cancer and the stage of cancer.
Breast cancer - an overview
The diagnosis breast cancer - or specialist breast cancer, Mamma-Ca for short - is initially a great shock for those affected. However, it is not unlikely that a woman will be confronted with breast cancer either herself or with acquaintances: On average, one out of every eight women will experience breast cancer during their lifetime. Most women are between 60 and 65 years old at first diagnosis. However, women under the age of 40 may well be affected, and almost one-third of breast cancer patients have not yet reached their 55th birthday.
Therefore, a regular provision is particularly important. Preventive examinations can be crucial, especially since the tumor especially at the beginning rarely causes typical breast symptoms. But the prognosis is better, the sooner the cancer is detected. The possibilities of treatment for breast cancer are manifold and the chances of recovery comparably high: at present, the 5-year survival rates - which in most cases can be equated with a cure - are around 88%.
Breast cancer: forms of this cancer
The doctors distinguish several forms of breast cancer that contain different cells. They grow more or less aggressively and spread different degrees of daughter tumors (metastases) - especially in the bones, lungs, liver and brain. In four out of five cases, the tumor starts from the milk ducts (ductal breast cancer), in about 5-15% of the cases from the glandular lobules (lobular mammary carcinoma).
The other forms such as the cancer of the lymph channels or the nipple are much rarer, but often also more aggressive. In addition, there are precancerous lesions that do not yet grow into the surrounding tissue or form metastases. They are therefore called non-invasive tumors ("carcinoma in situ", CIS). The division into the different forms of breast cancer is important for therapy and prognosis.
Prevent breast cancer
As with many diseases, there are also factors that can not be influenced in breast cancer (such as age or genes) and other factors that can specifically reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. These risk-reducing factors include:
- Reduce excess weight: fat stimulates estrogen production and thus the cell division of the mammary glands - the risk of degeneration increases. The high concentration of insulin in the blood, which is often elevated in obesity, also appears to increase the risk of breast cancer or recurrence.
- Doing regular physical activity, especially after menopause: This reduces the estrogen concentration and promotes normal weight.
- Rarely and drink little alcohol, do not smoke: Alcohol increases the estrogen concentration and is thus proven to be a strong risk factor for breast cancer (breast cancer).
- Healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables: Even if no specific influence on breast cancer has been proven so far, researchers assume that a diet with many antioxidants can in principle prevent cancer.
- Balancing stress and relaxation phases: Again, there is no direct link to breast cancer. But one knows that a balanced way of life is in principle an important condition, in order to remain healthy and thus also to be able to prevent breast cancer.
Incidentally, the above points also help to prevent the treated breast cancer from recurring.