Breast Cancer


Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the breast tissue of women and, in rare cases, men.

Although the exact cause of breast cancer is unknown, certain risk factors can increase the risk of developing cancer.

Family history, genetic factors, menstrual cycle, age at menopause, pregnancy and childbirth history, hormone therapy can increase the risk of breast cancer.

Symptoms of breast cancer may include a mass in the breast, changes in breast shape, nipple discharge, breast deformity, swelling of the axillary lymph nodes. Symptoms of breast cancer are not always obvious and sometimes breast cancer can progress without any symptoms.

Early diagnosis is important. In the early stages of breast cancer, the cancer is limited to the breast, while in later stages it can spread to other organs. This is why regular breast examinations, screening mammograms and self-examination are so important.

It is a type of cancer that occurs when cells in your breast multiply uncontrollably and form tumors. A lump you feel in your breast, a change in the size of your breast, and changes in the skin are among the symptoms. Mammograms can be critical for early detection.

Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer. Breast cancer is usually diagnosed in women over the age of 50. However, breast cancer can occur in younger women. One in seven women is diagnosed with breast cancer. Early diagnosis increases the chance of treatment.

In this article, we focus on breast cancer. In the first part, you can read about the symptoms of breast cancer and stages of breast cancer, progression, and prognosis. In the second part, you will find information about breast cancer treatment options and supportive care for breast cancer patients, coping, and survivorship.

Symptoms of Breast Cancer

The most common symptom of breast cancer is a lump or thickened breast tissue. Most breast lumps are not cancerous, but regular checkups are always essential. Some of the most common symptoms of breast cancer can be lined up as below:

  • If you have a change in the shape or size of your breasts
  • If you have a bloody discharge from your nipples
  • If you have noticed a lump in your armpits
  • If you have pitting in the skin of your breasts
  • If you have a rash on your nipple
  • If you have a change in the appearance of your nipple

The causes of breast cancer have not been fully elucidated.

However, there are risk factors that are known to affect your odds of developing breast cancer. Some of these are age, family history, and whether you have ever had breast cancer.

Stages of Breast Cancer: Progression and Prognosis

The extent of cancer in your body is determined by staging. Staging steps are created according to factors such as size and prevalence. The main breast cancer stages  can be lined up as below:

  • Stage one: The disease is non-invasive. Cancer has spread to breast tissue.
  • Stage two : The tumor is smaller than two centimeters and has spread to the axillary lymph nodes. In cases where the tumor is larger than 5 centimeters but has not spread to the axillary lymph nodes, it also meant the cancer is in the second stage.
  • Stage III: Cancer may have invaded nearby tissue and lymph nodes. This stage is commonly known as locally advanced breast cancer.
  • Stage IV: Cancer has spread to the bones, liver, lungs, and brain, that is, to distant areas. This is called metastatic breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Treatment Options

There are different treatment options for breast cancer depending on the stage of the breast cancer and other factors. For the treatment options, factors like the location and size of the tumor, the results of your lab tests, and whether the cancer has spread to other parts of your body are taken into account  Your doctor will determine your treatment based on your needs. You may also get a combination of different treatments.


The type of breast cancer you have determines the type of surgery you have. It is usually the first line of treatment. Surgery is usually followed by steps such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Your surgeon will explain the details. He or she later will tell you about progression and prognosis of your condition.


Radiation or radiotherapy is usually administered in the hospital. It is usually possible to return home immediately after external radiotherapy. In cases such as implants or radioisotope therapy, you may need to stay in the hospital.


Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment in which drugs are used to destroy cancer cells. It is a treatment that stops cancer cells from multiplying, ultimately growing and spreading in the body.

Supportive Care for Breast Cancer Patients: Coping and Survivorship

Supportive care is a key factor during or after the treatment of breast cancer for breast cancer patients. The road to survivorship passes through only with solidarity. Your loved ones and friends will exhibit their love for you and take care of you during that period of your life.

You can also ask for professional support from an expert. An expert can take care of all your needs when family members are not available and as they are professional, they may help you more, while you receive emotional support from your family and friends. Talking to your loved ones will improve your health and get a fast recovery.


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ogün Erşen Date of birth 10.11.1987 Education and Expertise Karadeniz Technical University Faculty of Medicine Kocatepe University Ankara University Faculty of Medicine Konya Health Sciences University Professional Interests: Obesity (fatness) surgery and metabolic surgery Laparoscopic reflux surgery Laparoscopic gallbladder surgeries Gastric balloon application ERCP, EMR, ESD (Advanced Endoscopic procedures) Laparoscopic pancreatic cancer surgery Laparoscopic gastric and intestinal cancer surgeries Hemorrhoid surgeries Perianal fistula surgeries Laparoscopic abdominal and inguinal hernia surgeries Oncoplastic Breast cancer surgeries Natural cancer surgery (NOSE) Thyroid cancer and goiter surgeries. Memberships to Scientific Organizations Turkish Surgery Association Turkish Obesity Surgery Association Surgical Oncology Association National Society of Endoscopic Laparoscopic Surgery He is a member of the Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery Association. Courses and Certificates: Turkish surgical association proficiency exam (Board) certificate of achievement in 2018 He has more than 100 papers presented in national and international congresses and more than 50 articles published in international journals. Foreign language English
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