Advantages of breast cancer diagnosis in Germany
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women. The prognosis depends on the stage of the disease. Women with early stages of breast cancer have the highest chance of recovery. Fortunately, modern diagnostics help to detect breast cancer even at its earliest stage.
Screening of breast cancer
Regular screening plays the main role in breast cancer prevention. Women of 30-49 years should visit mammologist (or gynecologist) every year. During the examination, the doctor palpates the mammary gland and lymph nodes. If the doctor notices worrying signs, he will advise undergoing diagnostic tests.
Breast cancer incidence increases in women over 45-50 years. That’s why they should undergo annual screening and mammography every two years.
Women with genetic mutations BRCA1 or BRCA2 should start screening earlier because of a higher risk of gynecological malignant diseases. From the age of 25, they should undergo an ultrasound every six months and an MRI every year. From the age of 40 mammographies are performed every 2 years.
Breast cancer diagnostic tests
Every year thousands of women from different countries apply for diagnostic of breast cancer in Germany. Diagnostic in Germany is especially valuable in difficult cases. Main diagnostic procedures that are used for breast cancer-detecting:
Mammography is the type of X-ray examination. Currently, it’s a gold standard of breast cancer diagnostics. It is used for screening and diagnostic purposes.
Main advantages of mammography:
- It is a high sensitivity test, which detects 90% of breast cancer cases.
- It helps to detect even very small tumors.
- It helps to detect tumors long before that moment when it will be palpated.
Ultrasound is based on the use of ultrasonic waves to produce images of organ structure. This is a non-invasive and safe diagnostic test. Ultrasound helps to detect dense formations, fluid-filled cysts, and other pathologies.
Ultrasound can’t replace mammography. These diagnostic methods are highly effective in combination.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is based on the use of a magnetic field. With MRI the organ is divided into visual layers. Currently, this method is used increasingly in the diagnostic of breast cancer.
The main advantages of MRI are high sensitivity of the method and lack of radiation. But MRI also has disadvantages such as insufficient specificity and technical complexity. This diagnostic test is usually recommended for detecting small tumors that are invisible on mammograms.
Mammography and ultrasound help to detect a tumor in the mammary gland. But it is not always possible to differ a benign tumor from a malignant one. In those cases the doctor conducts a biopsy.
A biopsy means the removal of a tissue sample for examination under a microscope. Only histological examination of tissues helps to establish a definite diagnosis.
There are different types of biopsy:
- Fine needle aspiration biopsy is the removal of a small sample of cells with the help of a thin needle.
- Core needle biopsy in which a doctor uses a wide needle for removal of a larger amount of tissue.
- Open (excisional) biopsy which includes surgical removal of tissue for histological examination.
Many women are worried about the upcoming biopsy. A biopsy is performed under local anesthesia which reduces pain. For better control, a needle biopsy is performed under the visual guidance of imaging tests, such as ultrasound. Histological examination of tissues is used to determine the cancer type, which is necessary for further treatment planning.
Ductography is an X-ray examination of the milk ducts. It is used in cases when digital mammography and ultrasound have not detected any tumors, but the doctor suspects the tumor inside milk ducts (for example when a woman has bloody discharge from the nipple). Ductography allows visualization of even the smallest ducts.
How to undergo diagnostics and treatment in Germany?
German clinics are open not only for the country residents but also for foreign patients. Women come here hoping to get the most reliable diagnostics.
Booking Health can help patients to undergo diagnostic of breast cancer in Germany. If it is necessary, the company will arrange treatment in a German clinic, which includes surgical therapy, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and rehabilitation. You may find prices for diagnostics and treatment in German clinics on the website of Booking Health.
Booking Health also provides such services, as preparing documents, booking air tickets and accommodation, transfer from an airport, translation services, etc.