Why is early detection important?

Since the development of the breast cancer until this is detectable, several years pass. TO as the tumor grows, the cells acquire a potential increasingly aggressive, with greater ability to metastasize and to become resistant to treatments. For this reason, we are certain that detecting cancer breast in a precocious phase Multiple benefits:

First of all because it significantly increases the possibilities of healing. You can consider the size of the tumor and the presence of axillary adenopathies. I, the more precocious, until the IV, the most advanced. There is irrefutable scientific evidence that the smaller the stage, the greater the chances of cure.

Secondly because the treatments that the patient will receive they will be possibly less aggressive: The smaller the tumor, the greater the possibility of conservative surgery. The smaller the stadium, the less likely it is to need chemotherapy and other aggressive treatments

Should you go to calls of the early detection campaigns?

Yes, without a doubt. Campaigns of early detection of breast cancer through periodic mammography. Studies have already shown that the group of women without symptoms no signs of suspicion of breast cancer that are diagnosed in These campaigns show a notable increase of the possibilities of healing.

It is believed that one of the factors that are influencing the decrease in the detection of earlier tumors thanks to these campaigns.

What methods of prevention exist for women under 35 years of age, since mammography is not conclusive evidence?

The recommended image test in all age groups there is an early diagnosis of breast cancer and it is mammography. However, in younger women, the density and amount of Breast tissue make mammographic assessment difficult. In these cases you can use other techniques such as Magnetic Resonance Nuclear (NMR).

MRI is a radiological examination in which the contrast used (gadolinium) is set more intensely in the carcinoma against normal breast tissue Although you can see carcinomas that the mammography has not detected, sometimes it gives as positive lesions that are not (false positives), so its sensitivity and specificity in the distinction of malignant and benign pathology are by decide. In addition, it is a expensive technique and that generates claustrophobia in some patients.

The main indications for the study by MRI of the breast are the breast with prosthesis and breasts that appear very dense on mammography, as can occur in young patients or in breasts that have undergone surgery or have been irradiated. Another technique that may have its indication in this age group is ultrasound, although its contribution is much more modest than that of NMR


Detecting breast cancer at an early stage provides multiple benefits:   Significantly increases the chances of healing.   The treatments that the patient will receive will possibly be less.   The recommended image test in all groups of age for early diagnosis of breast cancer is the mammography.

What is the best method to detect How soon will breast cancer?

A good quality mammogram, with a Medical examination of the breasts (examination by a qualified health professional), are the most effective method to detect breast cancer at an early stage. Like any diagnostic test, the mammograms have both benefits limitations. For example, some tumors they can not be detected by mammography, but they can be discovered by the physical examination of the breast.

When a woman has a breast exam, looking for herself bulges or abnormal changes, it is called self-examination. Until now, studies have not shown that self-examination, by itself, reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer. Therefore, the breast self-examination should not replace formal medical examination or mammography. However, mammograms can detect breast tumors that can not be felt. Mammography is today the diagnostic method of choice in campaigns of screening and its ability to reduce breast cancer mortality has been demonstrated. It must be recognized that there are several types of mammography.

What is a screening mammogram or screening?

It is an x-ray of the breast that is used to detect changes in the same, in women who do not show signs or symptoms of cancer. Two x-rays of each breast are usually required. With the mammography it is possible to detect microcalcifications (small calcium deposits in the breasts, which are sometimes an indication of the presence of cancer) or a tumor that can not be felt. Mammography has a sensitivity of 85-95%.

What is a diagnostic mammogram?

It is an x-ray of the breast that is used to diagnose changes abnormal, such as lumps, pain, thickening or nipple discharge, you can also say that there is a change in the size or shape of the breast. Mammography of Diagnosis is also used to evaluate the changes that are seen in a screening mammogram. Diagnostic mammography can be necessary if it is difficult to obtain a clear image with a mammogram screening or screening, because of special circumstances, how is the presence of breast prosthesis. A diagnostic mammogram takes more time because it requires more x-rays to get views of the breast from various angles. The technician can expand an area suspicious to obtain a detailed image that helps the doctor to make an accurate diagnosis.

What are microcalcifications?

Microcalcifications are the calcium deposits that appear in mammary glands and are detected in mammography as small white spots. Its importance lies in which approximately 50% of the palpable and non-palpable breast cancers present this type of images.

Depending on the characteristics that they present may be more or less suspicious of malignancy. He they associate more often to the carcinoma those that are small (rarely those greater than 2 mm are malignant), of irregular morphology and density, when they are grouped in large number in a small area and when they are presented forming molds of the mammary ducts. 

Con frecuencia las calcificaciones son el único hallazgo anormal y no se asocian a lesión palpable. En estos casos, gracias a la guía que ofrece la mamografía, se procede a colocar una aguja especial denominada arpón en el área sospechosa para su biopsia. Posteriormente se realizará también mamografía en la pieza extirpada para confirmar que la zona sospechosa (microcalcificaciones) ha sido incluida para su análisis

When it is recommended that women be Do screening or screening mammograms?

The woman over 40 years old should have mammograms every one or two years. Women who have risk factors greater than the average of developing breast cancer should assess with their medical services the need to have mammograms before age 40 and how often to perform them. 

Should young women be made Mammograms? If yes, on what situations or assumptions would be recommended?

Since we do not know the cause of breast cancer, we do not currently have measures to make a correct prevention primary (such as not smoking to prevent lung cancer). Therefore, early diagnosis (secondary prevention) is the weapon more effective in order to increase the healing of this neoplasm.

After years of clinical research, the radiological exploration that has demonstrated greater efficacy in the early diagnosis of cancer Mamma is mammography. Different studies have proven that non-symptomatic women diagnosed by mammography they showed an increase in survival compared to those diagnosed after the onset of symptoms. This has led to generalized in developed countries so-called campaigns of screening (screening, sifting).

The main international organizations advise for the breast cancer screening annual mammography of both moms from 40 years. In those women who are at high risk of suffering from this tumor (with family history young people of first degree or carriers of genetic alterations like BRCA1 and BRCA2), screening should begin at age 25 or at a ten years younger than the family member affected when he was diagnosed

What is more reliable when performing a breast examination: a mammogram or an ultrasound?

For the revision of the breasts the technique that is most useful is. The study and diagnosis of palpable lesions or in the presence of suspicious symptoms. It also evaluates the contralateral breast. Can detect cancers years before they manifest as clinical masses.

Ultrasound or ultrasonography is a technique that does not use ionizing radiation, but has disadvantages compared to mammography, such as that is not able to detect microcalcifications, is a slower exploration and also can not assess the breast as a whole. Its fundamental indication is the study of mammographic or palpable mass lesions not visualized on mammography to determine if are solid or cystic, what provides information about his, her nature. It also serves as a guide for biopsy procedures. It is the method of election in the study of women under 30 years with palpable nodule, since the density of breast tissue often prevents the visualization of injuries in mammography

What should women who have prosthesis in the breast with respect to selective screening mammograms?

Women with prostheses should continue to get mammograms. ask the doctor if a mammogram of the reconstructed breast is necessary. Is important to let the service know rays the existence of prostheses mom when the appointment is made for mammography It is possible that the prostheses hide some tissue from the breast, which makes it difficult for the radiologist the detection of some abnormality in mammography. If the technician who performs the procedure knows that the woman has a prosthesis in the mom, you can take some steps to make sure it looks as much tissue as possible on mammography. In patients who have had breast cancer and have undergone surgery reconstructive, the diagnostic test of choice is resonance magnetic

In addition to imaging technologies, scientists and clinicians are looking for methods to detect cancer markers breast in the blood, urine or aspirations of the nipple, which can serve as an early sign of breast cancer.


Mammography of good quality, with a medical examination of the breasts are the most effective method to detect the breast cancer early. Mammography is today the diagnostic method of choice in the screening campaigns. Its importance is that approximately 50% of The palpable and non-palpable breast cancers present this type of images. The 40-year-old woman should have mammograms every one or two years. In those women who are at high risk of suffering This tumor, screening should begin at age 25 or an age ten years younger than the family member affected when he was diagnosed. For the revision of the breasts the technique that is most useful It's mammography. Ultrasound is the method of choice in the study of women under 30 with a palpable nodule.