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October 19, International Day to fight breast cancer

October 19, International Day to fight breast cancer
In Mexican women, starting in 2006, breast carcinoma became the leading cause of death from cancer. According to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), in 2009 there were 4,964 deaths attributable to breast cancer, which represents 2% of the total deaths that occurred in women. This means that in that last year almost 14 women died from breast cancer every day.

International Breast Cancer Day is celebrated on October 19, its objective is to raise awareness among the general population about the importance that this disease has in the industrialized world.

The incidence of breast cancer is increasing in the developing world due to increased life expectancy, increased urbanization and the adoption of Western lifestyles.

On this special day, the WHO promotes early detection in order to improve the prognosis and survival of breast cancer cases remains the cornerstone of the fight against this cancer.

During the month of October, activities are carried out throughout the Mexican Republic that seek social participation aimed at raising awareness, promoting the co-responsibility of women, their family and their community in caring for their health and identifying and assessing risk factors. as well as promoting healthy lifestyles that are fundamental in this fight.

What is breast cancer?

What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is the abnormal growth of malignant cells in the breast tissue. There are two main types of breast cancer, ductal carcinoma - the most common - which begins in the ducts that carry milk from the breast to the nipple and lobular carcinoma which begins in parts of the breasts, called lobules, that produce milk. maternal.

The main risk factors for developing breast cancer include older age, early first menstruation, older age at first birth or never having given birth, family history of breast cancer, taking hormones such as such as estrogen and progesterone, consuming liquor and being white.

In 5 to 10% of cases, breast cancer is caused by inherited genetic mutations.

Studies on self-examination and clinical breast examination and their impact on mortality have not shown consistent evidence of their benefit, however recent research points towards the effectiveness of both interventions when an organized program for early diagnosis in women is guaranteed. from 25 to 39 years of age. On the other hand, the World Health Organization recommends education about breast cancer aimed at raising women's awareness about the importance of knowing the normal characteristics of their breasts and seeking medical attention if they discover any abnormality, as well as clinical examination before the absence of mammography screening services, accompanied by education programs for the population and emphasizes that only organized mammography screening programs can reduce mortality rates from this malignant neoplasm.


Any person with suspicion of malignant breast pathology due to clinical examination or screening mammography, must receive a diagnostic evaluation that includes clinical evaluation, imaging studies and, where appropriate, biopsy, in a specialized breast pathology service that complies with the corresponding regulations and with the following minimum characteristics:

Mastograph with the accessories for diagnosis (fenestrated grid, magnifier, compression paddles) and in case of performing a biopsy, digital or calibrated analog stereotaxy.

High-resolution ultrasound with a high-frequency linear transducer, equal to or greater than 7.5 MHz.

Developers, image digitizers and negatoscopes with the characteristics referred to in NOM-229-SSA1-2002 and specific configuration for mammography.

Treatment and Control

Therapeutic decisions for breast cancer must be formulated in accordance with the clinical stage, histopathological report, general health conditions of the patient, her hormonal status, considering respect for her rights and her free decision, having informed her in a clear and adequate manner. to their sociocultural conditions and emotional state.

*Once the treatment plan is available, the diagnosis and treatment plan must be reported. To guarantee the patient's right to a second opinion, the medical team must deliver a medical summary, complete pathology and imaging material, if the patient requests it, within a period of no more than five business days. Medical staff should ensure that women are informed about treatment options and are aware that conservative surgery is the treatment of choice for most screening-detected cancers.

The therapeutic methods currently used to treat breast cancer are:

a) Surgery.

b) Radiotherapy.

c) Chemotherapy.

d) Hormonotherapy.

e) Biological.

How to detect it?

One way to find breast cancer is with self-examination.

This means that the woman should check her breasts frequently to look for:

  • Changes in size and shape in one of the breasts
  • Appearance of a lump in the breast
  • Appearance of a lump in the armpit
  • Changes in the skin of the breast or armpit such as swelling, redness, or depression
  • Changes in the shape or direction in which the nipple points or inverts or pulls inward
  • Redness around the nipple
  • Liquid leakage from one or both nipples
  • Pain or discomfort in a breast or armpit that is not caused by menstruation
  • Swelling in the armpit

These changes may indicate benign or malignant abnormality in the breast. If you have any of them, go to the doctor immediately to get checked.

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"Because prevention is better than cure"

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