Calcification means cancer

Frequently asked questions


How many women have breast cancer?

In Germany, it is estimated that around 46,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year.
For statutory health insurance, that's around 42,000 new cases per year. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the western world and accounts for around 18 percent of all malignant diseases in women.
In Germany around ten percent of women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives. Breast cancer is most commonly found in women between the ages of 60 and 65.

Does a woman's alcohol use affect her risk of breast cancer?

Women who drink alcohol frequently are more likely than others to develop breast cancer. A UK study found that six alcoholic drinks a day increased a woman's risk of breast cancer by 46 percent. Excessive alcohol consumption is particularly dangerous among young people. Older women who drink alcohol more often have elevated levels of estrogen. This in turn promotes breast cancer. Women who already have breast cancer should drink alcohol very moderately. It can cause water to accumulate in the tissue. Among other things, this increases the pain in the chest.

How do antibodies against breast cancer work?

Antibodies are molecules that the body forms in response to foreign substances (anti-genes) entering. They are part of the body's immune system. Artificial antibodies are used in breast cancer therapy. Certain, particularly aggressive types of breast cancer have a large number of receptors for so-called growth factors. These promote the growth of the tumor. The artificial antibodies slow down the cancer by occupying its receptors. In doing so, they block these recipient molecules. If the receptor is blocked, the growth factors cannot attach and the tumor grows less.

What types of radiation therapy are there?

The treatment of diseases with high-energy radiation is called radiation therapy or radiotherapy. Depending on the type of radiation, there are X-ray, telecobalt and neutron therapy.
Doctors mainly irradiate breast cancer with neutrons at a much higher dose than an X-ray. However, they damage the skin much less than X-ray therapy, which was used more frequently in the past. The doctor can irradiate a tumor therapeutically (primary radiation therapy) without operating at all. But he also uses the rays to accompany a breast-conserving operation (adjuvant radiation therapy). In this way, he can prevent any cancer cells that may have remained in the breast from starting to proliferate again.

What are the side effects of radiation therapy?

Acute side effects occur immediately with treatment. They disappear again after a few weeks. These include, for example, reddened or slightly sore skin, difficulty swallowing, tiredness and, rarely, nausea. However, permanent side effects often occur after the end of therapy. For example, the breast can shrink and tighten. The skin can develop a tan and blue veins. Parts of the lungs that have also been irradiated can scar. Radiation very rarely affects the axillary lymph nodes. The lymph then drains more poorly.

How can I actively prevent breast cancer through my diet?

This helps prevent breast cancer in women who eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Especially those who belong to a risk group can influence this with the rule "5 a day". This means eating fruit at least three times a day and vegetables twice a day. It is also helpful not to eat more than the body needs. Diet should be in proportion to physical activity. A high body weight promotes breast cancer as well as other chronic diseases. Women who want to prevent should largely avoid animal fats and instead use olive oil, for example. You should also drink as little alcohol as possible.

Why can a swollen arm develop after therapy?

An operation-related arm edema has its peak after 2 to 3 years. If the arm swells now, it does not have to have anything to do with the tumor or a new lymph node growth.
Such a thing should of course be z.M. exclude by means of an ultrasound examination. But there is probably nothing serious behind it, although the swollen arm is of course uncomfortable (lymphatic drainage!)

Why is there more calcium in the breast?

Lime is very common in the breast, it is mostly benign and harmless. Calcifications are possible in vessel walls, in thickened secretions of the milk ducts, on cells and in connective tissue.
In most cases, a good radiologist can distinguish benign from malignant calcifications. However, there remains a "gray area" where this is not possible or only possible to a limited extent. In these cases, surgery or a targeted puncture must be performed