Today, every third woman meets some kind of breast pathology. Often, women themselves avoid routine examinations for fear of hearing bad news. This is a big mistake, since early diagnosis is the key to success in the treatment of any disease.
Self-examination should be carried out after menstruation, on the 5-7th day of the cycle:
- checking the bra for nipple discharge,
- examination in the mirror with hands down, assessment of the size and shape of the breast,
- examination of the skin and nipples for cracks, diaper rash, rashes, swelling,
- palpation of the mammary gland, moving from the base of the breast to the nipple;
- palpation of the axillary and supraclavicular cavities to check the lymph nodes,
- while lying down, carry out the same examination of the breast.
Clinical examination of the mammary glands includes: taking anamnesis, careful examination and palpation. When examining the mammary glands, the principle of oncological alertness is decisive.
If pathology is detected during screening, further examination and monitoring of the condition of the mammary gland is carried out.
The doctor may order an ultrasound or mammogram. In the presence of masses, fine-needle aspiration biopsy under ultrasound control followed by cytology.
Interpretation of fine-spine aspiration biopsy results is performed by a pathologist.
Indications for ultrasound examination:
- breast screening in young women (up to 40 years old);
- monitoring of the state of the mammary glands in women taking hormonal drugs (Gestagens, COCs, HRT)
- interpretation of mammographic data to determine the structure of masses;
- dynamic observation of the size of volumetric neoplasms in young women;
- control examination after puncture biopsy and surgical interventions on the mammary gland.
The “gold standard” of breast examination is bilateral mammography, which is due to:
- radioresistance of mature breast tissue,
- low-dose radiation of modern devices,
- high efficiency of diagnosis of asymptomatic malignant tumors of 85-90%.
The intake of exogenous estrogens and gestagens increases the density of the gland tissue on the mammogram, thereby reducing the diagnostic capabilities of mammography in detecting the early stages of breast cancer. This requires a more careful approach to the assessment of mammograms in the case of examining patients taking hormonal drugs.