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Breast Cancer

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Breast cancer arises when an alteration allows breast cells to proliferate without regulation or restraint, resulting in the formation of a tumor.

About Breast Cancer

Breast cancer originates in breast tissue when mutated cells undergo uncontrolled growth, forming a mass or tumor. Normally, cells grow, divide, and replicate to replace old or abnormal cells. Cancerous cells deviate from this process, proliferating independently and forming increasingly abnormal cells, leading to tumor formation. Tumors can be benign or malignant, with benign tumors resembling normal cells and growing slowly without invading surrounding tissue.

Malignant tumors, if unchecked, can metastasize from the primary site to distant parts of the body. Breast cancer typically starts in milk-producing glandular cells (lobules) or ducts that transport milk to the nipple. It can also begin in adipose and fibrous connective tissues of the breast. Malignant cells may infiltrate nearby healthy breast tissue and spread to axillary lymph nodes. Lymph nodes filter foreign substances from the body, allowing cancer cells to spread via lymphatic fluid.

Breast cancer results from genetic abnormalities, with a small portion directly linked to inherited genetic mutations. Most cases are due to age-related genetic changes and the cumulative effects of environmental factors. Early detection through screening and genetic testing can improve outcomes by allowing for timely intervention and treatment.

What is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer symptoms encompass a broad spectrum, ranging from palpable lumps to localized swelling and alterations in skin texture, with many cases presenting no overt indicators.

According to the American Cancer Society, any of the following atypical alterations within the breast may signify breast cancer: localized or generalized breast swelling, skin inflammation or dimpling, breast tenderness, nipple discomfort or inversion, reddening, flaking, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin, nipple discharge, or a lump in the axillary region. While these changes may also indicate less severe conditions like infection or cysts, vigilance and timely medical evaluation are imperative.

Although breast cancer symptoms vary widely, some cases may manifest without discernible indicators. In such instances, a lump may be too small to evoke noticeable changes or palpation. Frequently, abnormal findings on screening mammograms prompt further diagnostic investigations, while in other scenarios, the initial manifestation of breast cancer may be the detection of a palpable lump or mass by the patient or their healthcare provider. Notably, cancerous lumps tend to be painless, firm, and characterized by irregular margins, although exceptions exist wherein tumors may present as soft, smooth, and spherical.

Regular monthly breast self-examinations represent the gold standard for detecting alterations in breast tissue, underscoring the importance of promptly seeking medical evaluation for any observed changes. Additionally, individuals aged 40 and above or deemed at elevated risk for breast cancer should undergo annual mammograms and physical examinations. Early detection and diagnosis significantly augment the prospects of successful treatment.

Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mutlu Ünver graduated from Ege University Faculty of Medicine. Mutlu Ünver, who completed his specialty training at Ege University Faculty of Medicine, Department of General Surgery, serves his patients in his own clinic.

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Assoc. Prof.

Mutlu Unver

Blog Posts

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Whether individuals have no prior history of breast cancer, seek to enhance early detection opportunities, have recently received a diagnosis, or are undergoing treatment and surveillance, breast cancer management invariably involves an array of medical tests.

The majority of breast cancer-related tests fall into the following categories:

Screening Tests: Screening tests, such as annual mammograms, are routinely administered to asymptomatic individuals to facilitate early detection of breast cancer, when treatment is often more efficacious.

Diagnostic Tests: Individuals presenting with suspected breast cancer undergo diagnostic tests, such as biopsies, either due to symptomatic manifestations or abnormal screening findings. These tests serve to confirm the presence of breast cancer and ascertain its extent, thus guiding treatment decisions.

Throughout and following breast cancer diagnosis, an array of tests is employed to monitor treatment efficacy and identify any signs of disease recurrence. These follow-up tests encompass a range of modalities, from imaging studies to molecular profiling assays, each playing a pivotal role in guiding patient management.

 

Screening, diagnostic and monitoring tests:

 

- Biopsy

- Blood Chemistry Tests

- Bone Scans

- Breast Cancer Index Test

- Breast MRG (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

- Chest Physical Examination

- Breast Self-Examination (BSE)

- Broad Molecular Profile Tests

- Chest X-ray

- Complete Blood Count (CBC)

- CT / CAT Scans (Computed Tomography)

- Digital Tomosynthesis

- Ductal Lavage

- Endopredict Test

- FISH (Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization) Test

- IHC (Immunohistochemistry) Tests

- MammaPrint Test

- Mammograms

- Molecular Breast Imaging

- Oncotype DX Tests

- PET Scans

- Prosigna Breast Cancer Prognostic Gene Signature Test

- Thermography

- Tumor Marker Tests

- Ultrasound

Breast Cancer Screening and Tests

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