There have been great developments in breast cancer treatment techniques in Iran. Iranian oncologists use the most advanced methods to treat breast cancers of all stages. Modern hospitals in Iran provide cancer treatments, including breast cancer treatments, to patients at a much more affordable cost than other countries.
Breast cancer treatment in Iran
- Surgery (lumpectomy, mastectomy, lymph node removal)
Surgery is a treatment method to get rid of a breast tumor. If the breast tumor is removed surgically, along with a small margin of the surrounding healthy tissue, it is technically called ‘lumpectomy’. If a tumor is too big, it can be shrunken with chemotherapy before a lumpectomy. However, sometimes the cancer is too advanced to be cut out with a small incision in the breast, thus the entire breast needs to be removed surgically, which is called ‘mastectomy’. In most mastectomy surgeries, all of the breast tissue — fatty tissue, the lobules, ducts, and some skin, including the nipple and areola – are removed, but new techniques allow for a mastectomy without removing the nipple and areola (skin-sparing mastectomy and nipple-sparing mastectomy).
Mastectomy can be done on both breasts even if one of them is healthy. This is sometimes recommended for patients who have a very high risk of getting cancer in the other breast because of a family history or genetic predisposition. Most patients, however, will never get cancer in the other breast.
Sometimes a breast cancer patient needs to have one or several of her lymph nodes removed when the cancer has already spread to the nodes or there is a high chance that this happens in the future.
Just like other types of cancers, breast cancer can be treated using chemotherapy. Chemo is one of the most commonly used cancer treatments in Iran. Chemotherapy may be recommended for a breast cancer after the surgery if it has a high risk of returning or spreading to other parts of the body. Sometimes chemotherapy is applied before surgery in patients with large breast tumors to reduce the tumor to a size that makes it easier to be removed with a lumpectomy. In patients whose cancer has already spread to other parts of the body, chemotherapy can be used to alleviate the symptoms that the cancer is producing.
There are other types of breast cancer treatments such as radiotherapy, hormone therapy and targeted therapy (biological therapy), each of which has their own benefits and disadvantages. If you are suffering from a breast cancer and plan to have an effective treatment at an affordable price, do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation and free quote for a mastectomy in Iran or other types of breast cancer treatments. Our medical consultants will get back to you as soon as possible to provide you with all the information you need.
Do I have a breast cancer?
If you already know you have a breast cancer, you can skip this part. But what about those of you who are unaware of the dormant monster inside your body? We are going to first elaborate on breast cancer and its symptoms and then enumerate the risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing this widespread disease.
It’s been for years now that ‘breast cancer’ has become one of the most often heard types of cancers, to the point that even most ordinary people have heard about it at least a few times in their lives. No matter where you are from. Women from all corners of the world are increasingly hearing the footsteps of a common threat called breast cancer getting closer and closer to them.
Although it can also happen in men too, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women (one in every 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer), but this doesn’t mean that it is not curable. Breast cancer can be treated using different methods.
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is the result of an abnormal growth of cancerous cells in the breasts. These cells often form a tumor that can be detected by an x-ray of the breasts or be felt as a lump. If the tumor is malignant, it typically spreads (metastasize) to surrounding areas.
What are symptoms of breast cancer?
Having a lump or mass in your breast is a common sign indicating you probably have a breast cancer. In most cases, the mass is a painless one with irregular edges, but they also can be soft, round, and tender. It is then highly recommended that you take any sign in your breasts seriously and have it checked by a specialist.
A breast cancer has other possible symptoms. They include:
- Swelling of a breast (even if no visible lump is felt)
- Pain in a breast or nipple
- Skin irritation or dimpling (sometimes looking like an orange peel)
- Inverted nipple(s) (nipple retraction)
- Nipple discharge (milk or other fluids leaking from nipples when you are not pregnant or breastfeeding)
- Redness, scaliness, or thickening of the breast skin or nipple
Sometimes before the original tumor in the breast gets large enough to be felt, it spreads to lymph nodes under the arm or around the collarbone, causing a lump or swelling in that area. So it’s important to have your lymph nodes checked by an oncologist in case of noticing such a symptom.
That being said, although most types of breast cancers usually cause a lump in the breast, not all do. Mammography is one of the best imaging methods for breast cancer detection. It uses low-dose x-rays to detect cancer in breasts before visible symptoms develop. Although mammograms cannot detect all cancers, they are very helpful as they can find cancers at a very early stage when treatments are approximately 100 percent successful.
This is not meant to underestimate the high risk of cancer, but it is important to know that many lumps noticed in the breasts are benign, which means that they do not spread to other parts and are not life-threatening, though some of them might increase the chance of a woman getting breast cancer.
What are the causes of breast cancer?
The exact causes of breast cancer are unclear, but there are some risk factors that influence the likelihood of developing it. The following risk factors may increase the chance of getting a breast cancer, but this doesn’t mean that people having them will get a breast cancer. Most women with these factors never get a breast cancer and 60-70% of breast cancer patients have no connection to these risk factors.
Genetic risk factors
Gender: The chance of developing a breast cancer in women is 100 times greater than men
- Age: Two-thirds of breast cancer cases are diagnosed with the disease after 55.
- Race: Women of some races have a greater chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer (Caucasian women are more at risk, for example)
- Family history and genetic factors: If a close relative in your family has had breast cancer, especially before the age of 50, you will be more likely to develop a breast cancer too.
- Personal health history: The chance of getting breast cancer increases if you have been diagnosed with cancer in the other breast before. Also, if you have had abnormal breast cells such as atypical hyperplasia, lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) or ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) on your breasts, you will be at a higher risk of developing a breast cancer.
- Menstrual and reproductive history: Women who have begun their first menstruation at an early age (before 12), women with late menopause (after 55), women who have never given birth, and women who have had their first child at an older age have a higher risk of getting a breast cancer.
- Certain genome changes: Mutations in certain genes, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2, may heighten the risk of getting a breast cancer. If you have a family history of breast cancer, you should consider taking a genetic test to find out whether this is the case with you. Gene mutations can be passed to the children too.
- Dense breast tissue: If you have dense breast tissue, you are at a higher risk of getting a breast cancer. This also makes lumps harder to detect. Mammograms can be used to find out whether you have dense breast tissues.
Lifestyle and Environmental Risk Factors
Lack of Physical Activity: If you have a sedentary lifestyle with little physical activity, you are more likely to develop a breast cancer than a person who does regular exercise.
- Being obese or overweight: Excess weight can increase the risk for breast cancer. The risk increases after menopause.
- Poor diet: Having an Unhealthy diet high in saturated fat and low in fruits and vegetables increases the risk for breast cancer.
- Drinking alcohol: Regular consumption of alcoholic beverages increases the likelihood of developing a breast cancer.
- Radiation to the Chest: Radiotherapy on the chest before the age of 30 may increase the chance of getting a breast cancer.
- Combined hormone replacement therapy (HRT): Women who take combined HRT for their menopause are at greater risk of breast cancer and their cancer is more likely to be detected at a more advanced stage.