Breast cancer: the risk factors

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Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women in Italy.
According to recent studies, breast cancer affects one out of nine women throughout their life. It’s the most frequently diagnosed cancer. In 2022, 55’700 cases of breast cancer were recorded, +0.5% compared to 2020.

Breast cancer: the risk factors

The main risk factors of breast cancer are:

  • Age (breast cancer mainly affects women that are over 50 years old).
  • Reproductive and hormonal factors (a short fertile window, such as a late first menstrual period and early menopause or early pregnancy are protective, just like breastfeeding).
  • Dietary and metabolic factors.
  • Previous chest radiotherapy.
  • Previous breast dysplasia or breast cancer.
  • Family history and heredity.
  • Genetic and constitutional factors.

The hereditary origins

7% of breast cancers have a hereditary origin. They originate from the presence of mutations in the DNA, which in some cases affect the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 genes. Research has identified other factors which instead are modifiable, such as the lifestyle. For instance, the possible harmful lifestyles include diets low in fruit and vegetables and rich in animal fats, plus the habit of smoking and a particularly sedentary lifestyle.

Essential screenings for breast cancer

Thanks to the screenings used for early diagnosis and the latest discoveries in the medical field, among which we must mention that of the researcher from Salerno Ersilio Trapanese, President of Nefrocenter Research, the healthcare research group specializing in nephrology and dialysis, diabetes, cardiology, neurology, rehabilitation, imaging and laboratory diagnostics, and molecular biology and genetics, published in Translational Medicine Communications & Springer Nature, breast cancer can be detected at an increasingly early stage, paving the way for a new era in disease diagnosis, therapy and resolution.

The statistics

Today, less and less people die of breast cancer compared to the past, thanks to prevention. All thanks to the early diagnosis that allows to identify the disease at an early stage. The advanced research for signals that allow to diagnose increasingly curable tumors becomes the essential condition for decreasing the mortality rate linked to breast cancer. Mammography, together with ultrasound, remains the best tool to intercept the disease. The mammography, the ultrasound and the magnetic resonance are all diagnostic tools that allow to reach the diagnosis of breast cancer, even before detectable symptoms and signs.

Mammography in Naples with Nefrocenter

At Nefrocenter Diagnostica the digital mammography allows to perform periodical tests. This test manages to identify nodules or other pre-cancerous “signs”, through irregular, nuanced or spiculated opacities, polymorphic microcalcifications, glandular distortion, density asymmetries. Digital mammography is performed with equipment that exposes the patient to a reduced dose of ionizing radiation, eliminating 97% of them. Thanks to its great sensitivity, it also allows to obtain more detailed clinical results. Its ergonomic and heated stand makes the test less uncomfortable. It also has a higher graphic resolution which also allows to compensate for any exposure errors, with an objective volumetric measurement of the breast’s density for a more precise evaluation. It also reduces examination times and allows for a teleconsultation between the specialist and the patient, making the process quick and effective. (How to prepare for the exam).

Fundamental prevention

Thanks to mammography, most breast tumors get diagnosed at an early stage. This occurs when surgical treatment can be more conservative and the therapy more effective, managing to increase the number of 5 years survivals. According to AIRC, the Italian Association for Cancer Research, breast cancer prevention must begin from the age of 20. Annual breast check-ups and tests by a specialist are then required. These tests must be associated with biennial mammography after the age of 50, or ultrasounds, if necessary, for younger women.



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