Many women will avoid going for regular breast screening exams because they are afraid of that they will be maybe diagnosed with cancer. The first impression when a patient is diagnosed with breast cancer is: “Am I going to die?” Breast cancer does not mean death anymore. With early detection and new modalities and treatments, it’s totally curable and life can continue as normal as it was before, but only in one condition - if it was detected early.
Early detection means finding smaller cancer cells. When a cancer cell is found early, it is easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread to other parts of the body.
We are heading now towards personalized breast cancer screenings with multimodality approach. If you are in your twenties or thirties, it is important to do breast self-exam every month. If you are forty or above, you have to start to do annual mammograms, or ultrasounds depending on your breast density.
A mammogram can detect breast cancer up to 18 months before it is large enough to be felt either by the woman herself or by a doctor. The treatment of breast cancers is totally different and minimal when it is small. Many randomized controlled trials to investigate the efficiency of mass screening in reducing mortality from breast cancer were done, results showed a 31% reduction in mortality from breast cancer. A mammogram is still the Gold Standard for Breast Screening and it can save lives.
The five-year survival rate for women with breast cancer that has not spread to other locations in the body is 98%. The five-year cancer survival rate for women with breast cancer that has spread to other locations in the body is 27%.
We cannot prevent breast cancer but we can help by finding it as small as possible to be totally curable. You cannot control the circumstances you face, but you can help increase positive outcomes. Be positive, schedule regular breast screenings and save your life.
Dr. Kinda Douaidari, Specialist Radiology, Breast Interventional Radiologist and Head of Breast Care Department - HealthBay Polyclinic
Address: HealthBay Polyclinic, Al Wasl Road, Dubai
Telephone No: 800 HBPC (4272)