On the occasion of October Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Anadolu Health Center Medical Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Serdar Turhal talked about new scientific studies and developments on breast cancer treatments in the scientific world.
According to current statistics, breast cancer is now the most common type of cancer. Stating that the World Health Organization recently announced that the most common type of cancer is no longer lung cancer, but breast cancer, Anadolu Health Center Medical Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Serdar Turhal said, “Of course, in addition to the real numerical increase, more breast cancer is diagnosed with successful screening programs. In breast cancer, on which the most scientific research is conducted, each new research finding paves the way for treatments with more effective results.
On the occasion of October Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Anadolu Health Center Medical Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Serdar Turhal explained the new scientific studies and developments on breast cancer treatments in the scientific world as follows:
“No chemotherapy” treatment for breast cancer that has spread to the lymph node
Stating that the effectiveness of giving only anti-hormonal therapy without chemotherapy to breast cancer patients who have spread to a small number of axillary lymph nodes (metastasis), Prof. Dr. Serdar Turhal said, “In the study, the results of which were announced recently, it was shown that a good result can be obtained with the same effectiveness with only anti-hormonal treatments without chemotherapy in this group of patients. Within the scope of the study, genetic risk calculations were made in 3 female patients in whom cancer spread to the maximum 9383 axillary lymph nodes. Two-thirds of the patients were in menopause, and one-third were not yet menopausal. Some of the patients, whose genetic recurrence risk was calculated as low, were given only hormone therapy, and some received both chemotherapy and hormone therapy. At five-year follow-up, chemotherapy had an additional contribution of 3 percent in non-menopausal women with a low genetic recurrence score, while no such additional benefit of chemotherapy was demonstrated in menopausal women. As a result, it has been shown that only anti-hormone therapy can be as effective as chemotherapy in patients with hormone receptor-positive menopause.
It is possible to reduce the risk of depression in breast cancer with awareness training.
Pointing out that the diagnosis of breast cancer and the treatments applied after it can cause depression in patients, Prof. Dr. Serdar Turhal said, “According to a recent study, it is possible to reduce the risk of depression with awareness and meditation training in patients. According to the results of the study, which includes 247 patients and presented at the breast cancer symposium held every year in San Antonio, USA, the risk of depression can decrease from 50 percent to 6 percent after 20 months of support. In the awareness training given to the patients by the oncology nurses; What awareness is, how to live with pain and difficult emotions, and ways to cope with difficulties were explained. In the survival training, basic information about quality of life, physical activity, healthy diet, familial cancer risk, life and work balance, menopause, sexual life and body image were given as basic information about breast cancer. At the end of all these trainings, it was observed that while 50 percent of the patients had depression complaints at the beginning, these rates decreased to 20 percent in both the group that received mindfulness training and the group that received survival training. In short, as awareness of the disease increases, the risk of depression decreases when psychological support is also received.
Diets compatible with diabetes also reduce cancer risk
Underlining that Type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for breast cancer, Prof. Dr. Serdar Turhal said, “In addition, the probability of developing Type 2 diabetes after breast cancer is quite high. According to a new study, supervised by Harvard University School of Medicine and evaluating 8320 breast cancer patients, the diet applied in Type 2 diabetes patients after cancer diagnosis reduces both the occurrence of breast cancer and the risk of death from breast cancer. The risk of death due to breast cancer regresses to 20% in those who make changes in their diet after the diagnosis of breast cancer. According to the study, dietary change has the power to reduce the risk of death from all cancers by 31%. In diets compatible with diabetes, more bran is consumed, coffee, nuts, fresh vegetables and fruits are consumed, saturated fats are consumed less, red meat is eaten less, diet drinks and fruit juices are consumed less. We can say that this type of diet reduces the development of diabetes by 40 percent in the general population.
Breast cancer patients over 60 can regain their health with 'ice cream treatment'
Emphasizing that at the Congress of the Association of Breast Surgeons in the USA, it was reported that in breast cancer patients over the age of 60, similar results were obtained with freezing treatment (cryoablation) applied to the surgery site if their tumors are small, and that no additional treatment is needed. Dr. Serdar Turhal said, “According to the statement, the cosmetic results of the treatment are also very satisfactory. In the study, which evaluated 194 patients, the slow-growing tumors examined were less than 1,5 cm in size. Freezing treatment was applied to the patients with a needle inserted into the skin, which lasted between 20 and 40 minutes. After treatment, 27 of the patients received radiotherapy, 148 received anti-hormone therapy and only one received chemotherapy. Only 2 percent of patients followed for five years had a tumor recurrence," he said.
People who have had breast cancer over the age of 75 may not have a mammogram
Stating that the monitoring of individuals who have had breast cancer has an important role in the treatment, Prof. Dr. Serdar Turhal, “However, in a recent study led by Harvard University, it was reported that individuals over the age of 75 who survived breast cancer may not need mammography. Individuals in this situation may not have a mammogram by consulting their doctor. More than 30 cancer centers in the USA and Europe gathered the information they had and evaluated the need for mammography in individuals over the age of 75 who had survived breast cancer and concluded that there was no need for it. So why might women over the age of 75 not need a mammogram? There are two reasons for this: First, there may be a slight decrease in the risk of cancer after the age of 75. The second is that other diseases that occur after the age of 75 and cause death reduce or even eliminate the possibility of early diagnosis of breast cancer in these patients and benefiting from it. This is because deaths due to cardiovascular diseases and stroke increase with advancing age. This reduces the life expectancy of patients. If the life expectancy is less than 10 years, then mammography does not make an additional contribution to the life expectancy of the patients.
Underlining that mammography is a necessary examination for all women and that it should be taken from the age of 40, Prof. Dr. Serdar Turhal said, “A shooting frequency can be considered annually or every 2 years. This frequency is decided by considering the familial risk, the structure of the breast tissue and the patient's complaints. However, since the radiation dose given by modern mammography is very low, it has been demonstrated by strong scientific data that annual mammography does not accelerate the formation of cancer in patients.