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Breast Cancer: still a major cancer among women?


Breast cancer: a common form of cancer among women

Although the incidence of breast cancer among women is still high worldwide, the survival rate is greatly increased in the last few decades, thanks to the advances in treatment methods and the development of innovative techniques for early diagnosis. In fact it has been estimated that approximately 10 percent of women develop breast cancer in their lifetime. The survival rates are generally good if the treatment occurs early.

 The exact cause of breast cancer still remains to be clarified, several risk factors, both unmanageable and manageable, have been identified. Unmanageable risk factors include female sex, age over 40 years, a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, as well as early onset of puberty or late onset of menopause. Manageable risk factors are those that can be modified or controlled, thereby representing crucial aspects in the prevention of breast cancer. They are mainly related to lifestyle (alcohol use, obesity and overweight) and hormonal medication use (birth control pills and hormone replacement therapies). Not having children or having them after the age of 35 years is a known manageable risk factor as well.

The importance of early diagnostic for Breast cancer

Early diagnosis of breast cancer is crucial to maximize the chances of a successful cure and survival. The most reliable screening technique to detect breast cancer at a very early stage is mammography, which should be performed annually as routine screening in all women over 40 years of age. Breast self-exam is important as well. Although the diagnostic reliability of a breast self-exam is limited, any self-detected change in the appearance or consistency of breast tissue might be an alarm bell and should be reported to the health care provider, in order to confirm or rule out a diagnosis of breast cancer through mammography or clinical examination.


There are many treatment options available for women with breast cancer. These option must always be discussed carefully with your doctor to choose the most appropriate for you. Possible treatment include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and hormone therapy. Surgical treatment ranges from the simple removal of a cancerous lump (a surgical procedure known as lumpectomy) to the total removal of breast tissue (total mastectomy), with or without the dissection and removal of lymph nodes under the arm.

Some patients may require adjuvant therapy after surgery, in order to kill any cancer cells left after the tumor is removed. Radiation therapy, chemotherapy and hormone therapy are the standard adjuvant therapies for breast cancer, although they are often used as primary curative therapies as well.

Treatment options and prognosis (the chance of cure in the long-term) depend on the type  and the stage of breast cancer, as well as on the patient's age and general health. Generally women with stage I breast cancer have the greatest chance of survival after treatment (nearly a 100 percent of five-year survival rate), but prognosis is often good for patients with slightly more advanced stages of the disease, as well.

 This is the reason why it is important that screening tests (mammography) and breast self-exams are performed regularly: these are the best ways to detect breast cancer as early as possible, when curative chances are still high.

 Because breast cancer treatment and follow-up tests can place a great financial burden on patients and their families, we advise to choose an appropriate international health insurance plan in case a cancer occurs.

If you wish to receive a free quotation, please ask for a quote. You may as well contact one of our trained advisor.
*Always seek professional medical advise from a qualified doctor before undergoing any treatment.