Ana Rosa Quintana has breast cancer. The 65-year-old journalist and presenter made the diagnosis public this Tuesday in her program: a localized carcinoma without metastasis. A circumstance that forces him to temporarily withdraw from television to undergo “intense treatment.”
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women: one in eight worldwide will suffer from it in their lifetime. And it is, since the end of 2020, the most diagnosed tumor in the world, according to estimates by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). In our country alone, it is estimated that 33,375 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2021, according to the SEOM report “Cancer figures in Spain”.
Being a woman and old age are the main risk factors for the development of this disease. In fact, most breast cancers are found in women 50 years of age and older. Prevention is especially important and early diagnosis substantially improves the chances of successful treatment. That is why it is important to know how to recognize alarm signals of this type of cancer and go to a specialist if it is detected:
-A new lump in the breast or armpit (under the arm).
-Increased thickness or swelling of a part of the breast.
-Irritation or sinking in the skin of the breast.
-Redness or peeling in the area of the nipple or breast.
– Sinking of the nipple or pain in that area.
-Nipple secretion, other than milk, even blood.
-Any change in the size or shape of the breast.
-Pain in any part of the breast.
A lump does not always mean cancer, it can be a cyst or another medical pathology, but it is important to put yourself in the hands of a specialist who will confirm the diagnosis.
To detect any changes, breast self-examination is recommended. The right time is after menstruation, once a month, and in case of menopause, always on a fixed day. It is very important to be alert to any changes.
To perform a correct self-examination, you have to extend your hand and with your fingers, make circular movements from the areola to the outside of the breast, trying to distinguish any changes or symptoms. Then, lying down, with the arm behind the neck, the right hand palpates the left breast and vice versa. Also standing up, raising the arms in search of some asymmetry in the breasts or pressing the hips hard so that the pectoral is contracted.
The mammography it is the only test recognized as valid screening for breast cancer because it detects lesions even before they can be palpated. This allows early treatment that increases therapeutic effectiveness and chances of success.
In breast cancer, in addition to non-modifiable risk factors (age, sex, genetics), there are others linked to lifestyle that we can act on. Taking into account lifestyle habits alone, one in three breast cancers could be prevented each year. Avoiding alcohol, leading a physically active life, and a balanced diet to maintain a healthy weight, and quitting tobacco are protective measures.