Personal Experience: Why I Postponed Mammography Until The Last (don't Do That)

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Video: Personal Experience: Why I Postponed Mammography Until The Last (don't Do That)

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Video: The Truth About Mammography 2023, February
Personal Experience: Why I Postponed Mammography Until The Last (don't Do That)
Personal Experience: Why I Postponed Mammography Until The Last (don't Do That)
Anonim

In fact, I do not seem to enter the risk zone: I am 33 years old, I gave birth to a child and just turned off GW, breastfeeding my son for a full two years. It is believed that this is one of the most powerful preventive measures against tumors, but I was uneasy. A few months ago, a strange pain in the mammary glands appeared. Social networks threw up stories of friends who confirmed: you are not safe from anything, and prevention may not work at all.

Chasing such thoughts and internally shrinking with fear, I did not go to the doctor. I googled and made a self-diagnosis for myself, did not find any neoplasms. And he continued to hurt. I'm not alone: ​​there are statistics according to which a third of women in Russia avoid mammography, although regular screening helps to identify the disease at an early stage, when it can still be cured. One of the reasons is the fear of losing control of your life. Hell, it's very scary to find out the truth, because you have to do something about it!

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I don’t know how much I would still painfully decide on an appointment if I hadn’t met Irina Vasilyeva, the leading mammologist of the European Medical Center (EMC), on one of the work issues. I asked for an appointment, and at the same time asked the accumulated questions about breast cancer, which are important for every BeautyHack reader to clarify for themselves.

After describing my symptoms, I suddenly thought that I was distracting such a specialist because of some trifle. It seems to hurt, but not systemically, I got scared out of the blue! But the doctor cut short my confused apology.

- Whenever you come, it will be on time. And although you have not had any cases of breast and ovarian cancer in your family, that is, there is no predisposition, regular checks will definitely not be superfluous.

Irina Yakovlevna's hands are very warm and sensitive. After examining me, she found no abnormalities. I asked if I needed a mammogram. It turned out that this diagnostic method is far from the most reliable.

- In your case, this will not be very informative, because you have a high density of glands: such tissue is opaque to X-rays, there will be an effect of an exposed film. In this sense, MRI is a much more informative method.

We agreed that I would undergo the next examination in a year. And discussed the most important issues related to breast cancer.

avatar Irina Vasilyeva
avatar Irina Vasilyeva

Irina Vasilieva

Head of the EMC Breast Clinic

So how is mammography different from MRI?

- For me personally, MRI is the main method for diagnosing early breast cancer. When we see a small tumor, no matter how vicious it may be, we will most likely be able to cope with it, because it does not "sit" in this organism for too long. We have, for example, a protocol that lasts only seven minutes in the MRI room. It allows you to detect a small tumor in 99% of cases. This is the main difference. The results of mammography depend on the density of the glandular tissue in the breast, and the result of the disease identified with this method of examination is already 30%. But the glandular tissue itself is a risk factor for the development of cancer, since dense tissue is most likely associated with high levels of estrogen (female sex hormones). Hormone-dependent cancer is not a twentieth century discovery, in fact it is the most common cancer.which is very well studied and quite effectively treated. The most important thing is to find it early.

Why are regular check-ups recommended after 40, but more and more young women are dying of breast cancer?

- Breast cancer is a disease from which, unfortunately, women continue to die, including very young women. But most often cancer still occurs in the premenopausal period (according to statistics), that is, after 50 years, but no one claims that they cannot get sick even at 30.

It is absolutely not necessary to be checked every year, but there is a risk group for which this system of checks should be built. This group includes women who in family history (mother, grandmother, etc.) had genes responsible for the development of breast cancer or cases of its occurrence. The named gene was especially actively talked about after Angelina Jolie told her story, the story of her family in the female line and made a logical decision about a certain operation.

Therefore, I should advise to go to a medical geneticist and do a genetic test for those who have had breast or ovarian cancer in their family history.

Some people do not want to take the test because they are afraid to get answers, to hear that they have a high risk; some, on the contrary, seek to know as much reliable information as possible about themselves - in any case, the woman decides everything herself. So do men who also have breast cancer.

Angelina Jolie removed her breasts due to the risk of cancer. Is her example worth following?

- Jolie did not play it safe - she performed a genetic study with a geneticist who said that the risk of getting breast and ovarian cancer is very high due to her genetic mutation. In my opinion, she made a very reasonable decision. Women with a similar family history and genetic abnormality are advised to have tests between the ages of 18 and 20. For example, in Israel, such women are examined every six months. They have a program that plans their life, the birth of children. At about the age of 35, they discuss with gynecologists, oncologists, geneticists the question of removing the breast, ovaries - this is a very personal and professional decision, that is, the decision of a woman and her doctor. In my opinion, all such decisions should be made jointly. It is possible not to have an operation, but you need to clearly understand what this can threaten.

We also have such programs. If a woman has a genetic abnormality, we will of course examine her. Of course, in the event that a geneticist confirms the presence of an abnormal gene on some chromosome, you need to go to the mammologist and gynecologist to discuss further plans. If, for example, this woman has a high risk of developing cancer, the question of breast removal and implantation is raised.

Breastfeeding is considered to prevent breast cancer, but young mothers also get sick. Why?

- A woman who has not given birth or breastfeed is said to have a higher risk of developing breast cancer. In my practice, such women, of course, are found, but at the same time I have a lot of both giving birth and nursing patients.

The best thing we can do for ourselves is to have regular checkups. Now body check-ups are gaining popularity, they are offered by many clinics, and I, for example, are a supporter of such examinations.

Could the occurrence of the disease be associated with our hobby for cosmetology and the deteriorated ecology?

- Someone said that all diseases are from nerves. If you reread Solzhenitsyn's Cancer Ward, you can understand that stress leads to various grave conditions. So, during the war, women lost their menstruation, which indicates hormonal disruptions. I have heard different versions even from European doctors, and it is difficult for me to judge, since we do not know why cancer occurs. However, my patients often associate their long and difficult experiences with the onset of the disease. I cannot deny it, but I do not have to confirm it, it is very difficult.

Of course, the environmental factor also influences this condition to some extent.

As for the injection procedures: until they put the information on my table that it has been proven, I will not take it into account. For example, there is a prospective study: 10 thousand women are taken, half of them are given botox, mesotherapy, hyaluronic acid injections, and so on, the second half are not; and for twenty years, they have been monitoring each group, processing statistical data. When they prove that there is a direct relationship between an injection of Botox and breast cancer, like any other cancer, I will raise my hand and say: “That's it! It is a pity that we cannot be so beautiful, but we have to put up with it, because a direct relationship has been proven. " This is my example. So far, as far as I know, no one has proven this.

avatar Elena Sadykova
avatar Elena Sadykova

Elena Sadykova

Practicing psychologist

- Postponement of the examination is one of the variants of cancerophobia, fear of contracting cancer. Behind which, in turn, usually lies a more global fear - the fear of death. Finding out that you have cancer is tantamount to finding out the date of your death. Not everyone is ready to receive this information right now. The psyche is protected with the help of regression, because this postponement, especially if there are serious reasons for the examination, resembles a child's game "if I am in the house, then I cannot be seen" ("if you do not know about the disease, then it is not there"). It happens that carcinophobia is based on other problems: for example, it is not so scary to leave this world as to leave loved ones without support, because deep down you consider them helpless and unable to let go of control.

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