Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in women and the first cause of cancer death among them. As with other types of cancer is perfectly curable if diagnosed and treated in early stages. For this reason, a blood test can detect tumor a year before symptoms and can significantly improve survival.
The test, announced at the annual meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research in Washington DC, set the level at which there is a particular protein, which increases as the tumor develops. Researchers have observed increased protein levels even 17 months before symptoms appear. The test could detect the disease before patients or doctors notice that something is wrong.
Scientists hope that, once developed this test, it may be adapted for the diagnosis of other cancers such as ovarian or prostate.
Currently, the most common method of diagnosing breast cancer is mammography. Mammography requires a series of images of breast tissue taken with X-rays. Experts recommend that women in the past 40 years, mammography has become a routine exam.
Ultrasound is another diagnostic method, but is not 100% sure method, very small nodules not being able to be discovered. MRI are a series of detailed pictures of internal organs by using a magnet, radio waves and a computer, but expensive methods fall into the category. It is a sensitive method for detecting tumors, but is used mainly to detect metastases.
What symptoms should you worry ?
Some symptoms of breast cancer include: pain, deformity, nipple discharge ( especially unilateral ), redness ( erythema ) or ulceration of skin, pruritus ( itching ), etc..
The main risk factors
Were identified a number of risk factors importance in breast cancer spreading:
- Advanced age ;
- High levels of serum estrogens in premenopausal women ;
- Genetic factors ( mother or sister with breast cancer ) ;
- The first full term pregnancy at an age of over 30 years ;
- Personal history of breast cancer in the other breast ;
- Personal history of benign proliferative breast lesions, changes in mammographic dysplasia ;
- High dose of ionizing irradiation to the chest for diagnostic or therapeutic ;
- Breast exposure to solar radiation ;
- Obesity in postmenopausal women ;
- History of endometrial or ovarian cancer ;
- Micro-traumatisms breast, especially repeated.