Malignant cancer that starts from the mammary glandular tissue in the breast.
The most common features of breast cancer:
Lump or unusual breast swelling
- Secretion of blood or other fluid
- Skin changes
- Chest pain: rarely
- Risk factors and heredity
Most common cancer in women.
1 in 9 Belgian women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime. Most breast cancers are not caused by (known) hereditary factors, this is only the case in +/- 5% of the cases. In 10-20% of the cases, there is a clear family burden (other family members with breast cancer), but no hereditary factor can be demonstrated.
Read more about hereditary breast cancer.
Here you will find a number of possible treatments for this condition. After diagnosis, your doctor, together with you and the other doctors on the team, will choose the best solution for you. Your treatment may, therefore, deviate from the therapy.
Treating breast cancer
There are now various treatments with which breast cancer can be accurately controlled. Several parameters need to be considered when choosing the most appropriate treatment. An understanding of the treatment options helps the patient, with the help of the physician, decide which treatment is most appropriate.
Choose the treatment together
Breast cancer treatment depends on the stage of development of the disease and the nature of the tumor. However, the age and general health of the patient also play a role. In most cases, there are several suitable treatment options, and it is not always easy for those involved to make the decision. Nevertheless, it is not mandatory to start treatment immediately. There is always time to study all available options together with the doctor, ask questions, and get information. Many of those involved feel relieved when they are accompanied by a confidential counselor during the consultations. It is essential that a patient not consent to treatment until well informed.
In most cases, women go to their gynecologist first. He or she can guide them in choosing the right clinic. There are also other points of contact, such as certified breast clinics with experienced multidisciplinary specialists.
Dealing with side effects
In order to choose an appropriate treatment, it is essential to analyze the chances of a cure and the risks of side effects. A precautionary measure that particularly concerns patients with advanced breast cancer. The patients can and have the right to refuse treatment at any time.
The possibility and extent of side effects related to breast cancer treatment vary from case to case and are unpredictable. The cancer drugs that have been developed in recent years have fewer side effects. In addition, the doctor has effective medicines to prevent or reduce side effects. This is why those involved are asked to speak openly of any side effects to their doctor.