The early diagnosis of breast cancer and the new treatments used to cope with it, have significantly reduced mortality from this pathology. However, its high incidence (one in nine women will have suffered breast cancer at the age of 85), continues to be a major health problem.
World Breast Cancer Day is celebrated on October 19, a neoplasm whose prognosis of survival ten years after diagnosis has improved markedly, since it has gone from 55% in the middle of the last century, to 86% at present.
Because the diagnosis of the disease in its initial stages is still the best way to combat it, the Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC) emphasizes the need for women to practice self-examination and request a mammogram ( who has the ability to detect non-palpable lesions up to two years before the onset of symptoms) when they are suspected of having cancer, and as prevention after 40 years.
A very frequent cancer
Specialists estimate that one in nine women will have gone through the experience of suffering from breast cancer at the age of 85. In Spain, about 20,000 new cases are diagnosed every year and more than 5,000 women die as a result of this disease, although there is a gradual decrease in mortality, thanks to early detection and advances in treatments.
Risk factors include longer exposure to estrogen (early menarche, late menopause and few pregnancies), age and genetic predisposition, along with external factors such as diet (eating lots of animal fats and little fiber increases the chances of developing cancer), sedentary lifestyle, and the consumption of tobacco and alcohol, among others.
Although all these factors, and especially the combination of several, influence the appearance of the disease, they are not determinant, and any woman is susceptible to breast cancer even without known risk factors, hence the importance of prevention.