Nowadays, the first screening program for breast cancer is running, which even has the name of the Greek politician who bravely fought the disease, never hiding or avoiding, as a public figure, to talk about it.
The politician “gone” but the example of her open attitude remained to help, as the first step in dealing with the disease is exactly such an attitude, which is certainly not easy. It includes things like getting informed, discussing and getting tested bearing in mind that the possibility of the disease is about us personally, that breast cancer can happen to us. It is not easy for any woman to accept such a possibility, let alone act on it as a motivation. Therefore, it would be good for every woman to keep in mind her four great allies, which are:
“One thing that every woman should be aware of is that: From the age of 40 and over, she should undergo a mammogram every year, and in some cases also a breast ultrasound and/or breast MRI, if this is deemed necessary, such as in cases of heavy history/genetic predisposition. Every time this phrase is written, spoken, aired, discussed, emphasized, it is a gain for all women.
Of course, after any examination there should be a proper discussion with the specialist physician, the oncologist, preferably in a specialized center, where the results of the examinations will be properly evaluated and the correct diagnosis will be made,” points out Mrs. Zenia Saridaki-Zora, MD, PhD, Pathologist-Oncologist, President of the Society of Oncologists of Greece (EOPE), Director of the First Oncology Clinic of the Metropolitan Hospital.
Early diagnosis means the detection of the disease in its initial stages, those in which we characterize it as “early”. Then, we can aim for complete healing, which, in fact, can be achieved with fewer therapeutic interventions. The huge success rates recorded show that early diagnosis is what leads to cure and complete cure in the majority of cases.
Excluding heredity where the burden is genetic, if we adopted some habits in our life such as maintaining a healthy weight, eating healthy, exercising/sports, and at the same time avoiding some others such as smoking (completely, meaning that people who smoke must stop), alcohol (and that completely if possible), excessive sun exposure, hormone replacement therapies, then we would be giving ourselves a good chance of avoiding encountering the disease in general.
It has been calculated that adopting a lifestyle like the one above can reduce by up to 50% the numbers related to new cancer diagnoses such as breast, lung, colon, prostate, melanoma, pancreatic cancer.
The new treatments
“Every woman should know how, in addition to the successes in treating early disease, we now have exciting new drugs and innovative treatments at our fingertips that can help at all stages of the disease. There are many women now who have been cured of breast cancer that was detected in later than early stages, as well as many women living with breast cancer having an excellent quality of life.
Finally, what every woman should know is that in any case, we doctors who deal with the disease every day will be by her side to fight together”, concludes Ms. Saridaki-Zora.
Ms. Zenia Saridaki-Zora, MD, PhD, Pathologist-Oncologist,
President of the Association of Oncological Pathologists of Greece (EOPE), Director of the First Oncology Clinic of the Metropolitan Hospital
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