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Breast Cancer Screening 
November 6th, 2014 | 6:47 pm 
Breast cancer is the most common cancerous condition causing death among women 
Breast cancer is really common among women and proves 
to have a considerably high fatality rate. However, with the 
help of screening methods, breast cancer can be detected 
and treated with positive outcomes. 
1 
According to relevant statistics, in 
2012, there were roughly over 1 
million breast cancer cases 
throughout the world. In America, 
the rate of breast cancer in 1998 
was twice higher than that in 1940. 
As the main causes of breast cancer have remained unknown to this day and most women are 
exposed to a lot of threats in their life, early screening methods have proved to be ineffective. In this 
day and age, a proper screening session needs not only the modern techniques and equipment but 
also the mutual cooperation between the patient and the physician. More importantly, the 
physician needs to be skillful in his/her job to be able to detect any abnormalities. 
Risk factors 
There are many risk factors leading to breast cancer: 
Age and gender 
These factors are really critical. Women have 100% higher risk of developing breast cancer than 
men. The risk is high when women are at the age of 4 – 50 due to hormonal changes, and 
significantly decreases when they are 75 – 80 years old. 
Race 
Breast cancer rate is quite high in Europe and North America. However, the reasons for this are 
seemingly the differences in lifestyle, economy wealth and society. 
Benign breast diseases 
Some benign breast diseases can lead to higher risk of developing breast cancer. The risk increases 
if accompanied by family medical history. 
Personal history of breast cancer 
Women who have had breast cancer face an increased risk (5%) of getting breast cancer in the other 
breast within 10 years. In the case of invasive breast cancer, the risk grows by 0.5 – 1% every year. 
Lifestyle and dietary factors 
Financial situation, habits and nutrition are also amongst the factors leading to breast cancer. A diet 
in high animal fat, alcohol and cholesterol can also increase breast cancer risk. 
Estrogen 
Age of menarche, menopause and the first pregnancy as well as breastfeeding etc. can also affect 
the risk of developing breast cancer. Women who have experienced menopause are advised to take 
hormone replacement therapy which can raise their estrogen level leading to a higher risk of getting 
breast cancer.
Family history and generic alterations 
A family history of breast cancer is another critical factor. A woman’s risk of getting breast cancer 
increase by 1.5 times if her mother or sister(s) had breast cancer. Also, changes in certain genes 
(BRCA1, BRCA2) increases the risk of breast cancer by 5- 10% 
Radiation therapy 
Women whose breast were exposed to radiation are at an increased risk for developing breast 
cancer. Prolonged exposure to X-ray, nuclear bombs etc. will lead to a higher breast cancer risk. 
Breast Cancer Screening methods 
Mammography 
The effectiveness of mammography in breast cancer screening has been proven in lots of studies 
and researches. It was firstly used in 1913 on a removed breast, then used on a patient in 1930. 
Between 150 and 1960, it was reported that mammography could detect cancerous breast lumps 
which couldn’t be clinically diagnosed. After that, a series of researches confirmed the effectiveness 
of mammography in breast cancer screening. Ever since the year of 1965, constant innovations 
have been made to ensure the accuracy of mammography and minimize the radiation exposure. 
Mammography is helpful in detecting breast calcification. 
Breast Ultrasound 
Initially, breast ultrasound was used to analyze breast anomalies detected by mammography or 
clinical examinations. Breast ultrasound not only detects cysts or tumors but also provide 
information about the nature of the tumors and other breast anomalies. Also, breast ultrasound is 
utterly helpful during breast biopsy. The effectiveness of breast ultrasound depends on the 
physician’s experience & the ultrasound equipment. One drawback of breast ultrasound is that it 
makes it hard for physicians to compare the current result to the preceding ones. 
MRI 
MRI assists mammography in breast cancer screening among women exposed to a higher risk for 
developing breast cancer. MRI has proved to be a highly effective tool supporting mammography in 
the cases of generic alteration (BRCA). However, it can be costly. 
Clinical examination 
Clinical examinations are carried out by physicians. The patients shall be examined when sitting and 
lying on their back. The physician will examine and compare between the breasts. Clinical 
examination can detect tumors of the size of over 1 cm. It is effective during the early stages of 
breast cancer and is usually carried out in developing countries where breast cancer is on the rise 
and mammography is not common. 
Self-examination 
This is the least expensive method and can be done by the patients themselves. It raises awareness 
about personal health condition and help women detect any breast anomalies before consulting 
specialists. 
In short, breast cancer is a fatal disease and is on a rise. However, with proper screening methods, it 
can be detected before it’s too late 
2
The benefits of breast cancer screening has long been proven by astounding works. The successful 
rate depends on the patients’ risks, the medical capacity of the nation and the decisions of 
physicians. Always keep in mind the effectiveness of each screening method for better results. 
Despite some challenges along the way, the overall picture of breast cancer in Vietnam has 
significantly improved thanks to some medical advancements in the field of surgery, radiotherapy, 
chemotherapy and targeted therapy. 
3

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[TMMC Healthcare] Breast cancer screening

  • 1. Breast Cancer Screening November 6th, 2014 | 6:47 pm Breast cancer is the most common cancerous condition causing death among women Breast cancer is really common among women and proves to have a considerably high fatality rate. However, with the help of screening methods, breast cancer can be detected and treated with positive outcomes. 1 According to relevant statistics, in 2012, there were roughly over 1 million breast cancer cases throughout the world. In America, the rate of breast cancer in 1998 was twice higher than that in 1940. As the main causes of breast cancer have remained unknown to this day and most women are exposed to a lot of threats in their life, early screening methods have proved to be ineffective. In this day and age, a proper screening session needs not only the modern techniques and equipment but also the mutual cooperation between the patient and the physician. More importantly, the physician needs to be skillful in his/her job to be able to detect any abnormalities. Risk factors There are many risk factors leading to breast cancer: Age and gender These factors are really critical. Women have 100% higher risk of developing breast cancer than men. The risk is high when women are at the age of 4 – 50 due to hormonal changes, and significantly decreases when they are 75 – 80 years old. Race Breast cancer rate is quite high in Europe and North America. However, the reasons for this are seemingly the differences in lifestyle, economy wealth and society. Benign breast diseases Some benign breast diseases can lead to higher risk of developing breast cancer. The risk increases if accompanied by family medical history. Personal history of breast cancer Women who have had breast cancer face an increased risk (5%) of getting breast cancer in the other breast within 10 years. In the case of invasive breast cancer, the risk grows by 0.5 – 1% every year. Lifestyle and dietary factors Financial situation, habits and nutrition are also amongst the factors leading to breast cancer. A diet in high animal fat, alcohol and cholesterol can also increase breast cancer risk. Estrogen Age of menarche, menopause and the first pregnancy as well as breastfeeding etc. can also affect the risk of developing breast cancer. Women who have experienced menopause are advised to take hormone replacement therapy which can raise their estrogen level leading to a higher risk of getting breast cancer.
  • 2. Family history and generic alterations A family history of breast cancer is another critical factor. A woman’s risk of getting breast cancer increase by 1.5 times if her mother or sister(s) had breast cancer. Also, changes in certain genes (BRCA1, BRCA2) increases the risk of breast cancer by 5- 10% Radiation therapy Women whose breast were exposed to radiation are at an increased risk for developing breast cancer. Prolonged exposure to X-ray, nuclear bombs etc. will lead to a higher breast cancer risk. Breast Cancer Screening methods Mammography The effectiveness of mammography in breast cancer screening has been proven in lots of studies and researches. It was firstly used in 1913 on a removed breast, then used on a patient in 1930. Between 150 and 1960, it was reported that mammography could detect cancerous breast lumps which couldn’t be clinically diagnosed. After that, a series of researches confirmed the effectiveness of mammography in breast cancer screening. Ever since the year of 1965, constant innovations have been made to ensure the accuracy of mammography and minimize the radiation exposure. Mammography is helpful in detecting breast calcification. Breast Ultrasound Initially, breast ultrasound was used to analyze breast anomalies detected by mammography or clinical examinations. Breast ultrasound not only detects cysts or tumors but also provide information about the nature of the tumors and other breast anomalies. Also, breast ultrasound is utterly helpful during breast biopsy. The effectiveness of breast ultrasound depends on the physician’s experience & the ultrasound equipment. One drawback of breast ultrasound is that it makes it hard for physicians to compare the current result to the preceding ones. MRI MRI assists mammography in breast cancer screening among women exposed to a higher risk for developing breast cancer. MRI has proved to be a highly effective tool supporting mammography in the cases of generic alteration (BRCA). However, it can be costly. Clinical examination Clinical examinations are carried out by physicians. The patients shall be examined when sitting and lying on their back. The physician will examine and compare between the breasts. Clinical examination can detect tumors of the size of over 1 cm. It is effective during the early stages of breast cancer and is usually carried out in developing countries where breast cancer is on the rise and mammography is not common. Self-examination This is the least expensive method and can be done by the patients themselves. It raises awareness about personal health condition and help women detect any breast anomalies before consulting specialists. In short, breast cancer is a fatal disease and is on a rise. However, with proper screening methods, it can be detected before it’s too late 2
  • 3. The benefits of breast cancer screening has long been proven by astounding works. The successful rate depends on the patients’ risks, the medical capacity of the nation and the decisions of physicians. Always keep in mind the effectiveness of each screening method for better results. Despite some challenges along the way, the overall picture of breast cancer in Vietnam has significantly improved thanks to some medical advancements in the field of surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapy. 3