Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a disease resulting from the mutation or abnormality in the genes that regulate the cells in the breast. This type of cancer occurs not only in women but also in men who have breast tissue too. The same treatments apply to breast cancers in men and women.

Breast cancer can form from any of these different parts of the breast.

Anatomy of normal female or male breasts:

  1. Lobules or the milk-producing glands.
  2. Milk ducts that connect the lobules to the nipple.
  3. The nipple surrounded by a darkened area or areola.
  4. Stroma – the fatty and connecting tissue around the lobules and ducts.
  5. Lymphatic vessels
  6. Blood vessels

At puberty, female hormones cause the female breast and its parts to grow. On the other hand, male hormones limit the growth of the male breast. Some less-developed ducts and a few lobules remain in men’s breast making it less prone to breast cancer.

Signs and Symptoms

See a doctor if you notice any of the following changes in the breast and surrounding areas:

  1. A lump, thickening of breast tissue.
  2. Redness, swelling or changes in the size, shape or appearance
  3. Dimpling, ulcer or other changes on the skin
  4. Fluid discharge from the nipple that usually includes some blood.
  5. Changes in the shape and color of the nipple.
  6. Retracted or inverted nipple (nipple turning inwards}
  7. Small bumps or lumps in the armpit.
  8. Other changes

Types of Breast Cancer

Breast cancers are named from the breast tissue or cells where they started and whether they have spread or not as shown in the following:

  1. Ductal carcinoma in situ(DCIS) is breast cancer that developed from the cells of the milk ducts. In situ means it is a non-invasive type or at the pre-invasive stage.
  2. Lobular carcinoma in situ(LCIS) or lobular neoplasia. In this condition, cancer-like or abnormal cells are forming in the lobules, the breast’s milk-producing glands. The name includes the term “carcinoma” but it is not a cancerous stage yet. The abnormal cells remain within the lobules but a person with LCIS has a high risk of developing breast cancer.
  3. Invasive lobular carcinoma and Invasive ductal carcinomaare infiltrating breast cancers that have spread from where they started in the lobules and milk ducts respectively to the surrounding tissues.
  4. Other types of breast cancer
  • Inflammatory breast cancer
  • Paget’s Disease of the Nipple
  • Phyllodes Tumors of the Breast
  • Angiosarcoma
  • Male Breast Cancer
  • Medullary Carcinoma
  • Tubular Carcinoma
  • Mucinous Carcinoma (Colloid)

Stages of breast cancer

Cancer stage is the common or standard way to describe the breast cancer based on the result of tests and other diagnostic procedures. It’s a standard reference point.

The stage is usually expressed in 2ways.

  • Stages 0 – IV

The stage is identified by a number or number and letter on a scale of 0 to 4 or 0 – IV — with stage 0 describing non-invasive cancers and stage IV (4) describing invasive cancers that have spread outside the breast to other parts of the body.

The stage description includes these four characteristics: size of the tumor, whether it is invasive or non-invasive, if it has spread to the lymph nodes and whether it has spread beyond the breast to other parts of the body.

So, stage IIIB describes an invasive breast cancer where the tumor of any size has reached the chest wall and/or breast skin and ulcer or swelling was observed, cancer has spread to no more than 9 axillary lymph nodes or up to the lymph nodes close to the breastbone.

  • TNM (tumor, node, metastasis) staging system

The stage is based on the tumor’s size, spread to the lymph nodes and whether cancer has metastasized or spread beyond the breast area.

The cancer stage as a common reference makes it easier for all involved to understand and compare treatment results.

Why people would like to have breast cancer treatment in Turkey?

Turkey maintains its status as a top medical tourism destination because it has established the capability of its healthcare facilities and personnel to provide outstanding healthcare services at more affordable cost.

  1. Turkey has good hospitals and surgeons/ oncologists

The best breast cancer treatment is personalized based on the correct diagnosis of the disease. Cancer patients will be happy to know that healthcare facilities in Turkey have the required modern equipment and professionals to carry out an accurate diagnosis.

Then, based on the diagnosis, your medical specialists will prepare your personalized or unique treatment plan that may include any of the following:

  • Surgery (Lumpectomy, Mastectomy, Lymph node removal, Breast reconstruction, Prophylactic mastectomy)
  • Cryotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Hormonal Therapy
  • Targeted Therapy

There are many JCI- and / or ISO 9001-certified hospitals in Turkey with the facilities and expertise to perform various cancer treatments.

  1. It is more affordable in Turkey compared to most countries, especially Europe and US.

The cost of Breast Cancer Treatment Turkey averages at € 9.000. It costs $90,000 or € 72, 423.00 in the USA, €90.000 in the U.K. and €25.000 in Germany.