Recommendations

If you are in the increased breast cancer risk group


Visit your doctor and examine your breasts carefully – preferably according to the following recommendations*:

Regularly

Observe your breasts

You know them best. Look at your breasts as often as possible. Examine for any small changes, such as thickening, puckering, or skin reddening. If you see them, visit a specialist physician immediately. The sooner the better!

Every month

Palpate your breasts

Check your breasts using your hands. This is very simple. Sit or lie down, then slowly move your fingertips over each breast, thoroughly examining each part of the breast.

Pay special attention to:

  • breast symmetry,

  • appearance of the skin,

  • appearance of the nipple and its surrounding area, and

  • lymph nodes in the armpit area and above and below your clavicle (check for any thickening in these areas).

Palpation should be performed between days 5 and 10 of the menstrual cycle. If you use oral contraceptives, perform the examination “in between pills”.

Examine your breasts with Braster

While growing, malignant tumors emit more heat than the surrounding healthy tissues. Braster is an innovative thermographic device that can detect an extra source of heat by registering the thermal image of the breast. During a short examination, Braster sends the registered thermographic image of the breasts to the Braster telemedical center, where it is interpreted and compared to previous images. The user can check the results by logging in to myaccount.braster.eu.

Braster is a method that is:

  • safe,
  • non-invasive,
  • painless,
  • comfortable, and
  • and most importantly – reliable, as confirmed by clinical trials.

Braster can help detect lesions at an early stage!

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Every 6 months

Gynecological examination with transvaginal ultrasound

Regular gynecological examination should be accompanied by prophylactic transvaginal ultrasound. It consists of examining the female genitals using an ultrasound transducer generating ultrasound waves. If the waves encounter an obstacle (e.g., calcification or foreign matter), they reflect off it. This allows for the detection of various anatomical defects or lesions at an early stage.

Determination of CA-125 marker level in the blood

Cancer antigen CA-125 is one of the so-called tumor markers. The determination of its level in blood serum may help detect and control the treatment of various types of cancer, such as ovarian cancer. The CA-125 marker test is in addition to regular gynecological examinations. It is also performed on women with a family history of cancer – i.e., in the case of breast/ovarian cancer cases in the family.

Have your breasts examined by a doctor

Palpation performed by a gynecologist is a more professional version of the examination that you should perform regularly at home. The doctor performs it in two stages. First, the doctor examines the breasts carefully, searching for alarming changes in shape or skin color. Then, the doctor palpates the breasts and regional lymph nodes.

Get an MRI with additional mammography

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an examination method that uses a specially generated magnetic field and radio waves to allow for the detection of changes as small as 2 mm in size. An MRI cannot be performed on individuals suffering from urinary system disorders with a significantly elevated level of creatinine.

Alternate mammography and MRI

Mammography is a radiological breast examination performed in cases where breast disease is suspected and as a screening test. It consists of taking a series of mammary gland pictures using X-rays. The examination is recommended in cases of various thickenings, skin puckering, non-typical nipple discharge, changes in the nipples, or lumps in the armpits. Digital mammographs allow the detection of changes as small as just 1 mm in size.

Every 12 months

Breast ultrasound

Breast ultrasounds allow for rapid detection of changes that may lead to tumor development. The examination is recommended in the case of various thickenings, skin puckering, non-typical nipple discharge, changes in the nipples, or lumps in the armpits. The examination is harmless and painless. Doctors recommend performing it in the first half of the menstrual cycle.

Additional recommendations

Test for BRCA gene mutations

Mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes lead to excessive cell division. These two genes may be a cause of breast cancer or ovarian cancer development. It is worth remembering that contrary to popular belief, 3%–5% of breast cancers may be hereditary. The majority of women diagnosed with breast cancer are not carriers of gene mutations and do not transfer them further. In women with BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 gene mutations, cancer will not necessarily develop in the future.

*Source:

1. Krzakowski M., Warzocha K., Onkologia w Praktyce Klinicznej. Zalecenia postępowania diagnostyczno-terapeutycznego w nowotworach złośliwych [Oncology in Clinical Practice. Recommendations for diagnostic procedure and treatment of malignant tumors], Volume I, Via Medica, Gdańsk, 2013.

2. Jassem J., Krzakowski M., Rak piersi. Praktyczny przewodnik dla lekarzy [Breast Cancer. Practical guide for physicians], 2nd edition, Via Medica, Gdańsk, 2014.

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