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Preventive

Women who are worried about a change in the breast area or who just want further examination and do not dare to go to the doctor to get a referral, can be seen directly in the Breast Care Centre for preventive breast examination through an ultrasound of the breasts.

Just like mammography, the ultrasound examination can detect abnormalities early, so that the consequences can be limited. Ultrasound works well in the presence of mammary gland tissue, which makes good research possible in young women aged under 50. This is important because even under the age of 50 deviations occur.

Read more about this examination here.

To investigate

Your doctor can refer you to the Breast Care Centre for various reasons: for instance (benign) breast disorders, hereditary predisposition, familial increased risk, follow-up programs from the population screening or a 2nd opinion.

For all of the above reasons you can go to the Breast Care Centre. You will be seen in a woman-friendly environment outside the hospital atmosphere. In addition to medical care, the WHC specialists and employees are used to seeing the patient as the centre of attention, where attention and involvement are of great value. We take plenty of time for every consultation and investigation.

(Benign) breast disorders

Almost half of all women have benign breast disease. Usually it is a lump in the breast that causes a different structure in the breast. The majority of women feel a change around menstruation or pregnancy. Swollen and sore breasts often occur.

For the minority of women a benign condition that has nothing to do with menstruation or pregnancy appears.

Examples of this are:

  • A fibroadenoma, also known as a connective tissue lump.
  • A cyst, a vesicle filled with fluid.
  • A lipoma, a benign tumor of adipose tissue cells.
  • Mastopathy, a collective name for painful glandular tissue and / or strained breasts. Sometimes in combination with nipple fluid or cysts. Mastopathy is more common in premenopausal women with a peak between 35 and 40 years and around the transition.

Research is always important

It is highly recommended to visit your doctor for any breast changes that have occurred. This applies to both men and women. If you are on your period and you have painful, tense breasts, you can wait to see if it has disappeared the week after menstruation. If the abnormalities have not yet disappeared, you are advised to go to the doctor. In the vast majority of cases it is a benign breast disease. However, it is important to have this determined with certainty.

Genetic predisposition

Some women have a greatly increased risk of breast cancer because of their genes: there may be a hereditary form, which means that breast cancer is more common in the family. If you are inherited, it is especially important to know your breasts well and to watch out for any changes.

Breast cancer has a hereditary cause if there is a congenital predisposition, a mutation in the hereditary material. Women with such a genetic predisposition have a greatly increased risk of developing breast cancer. The most important genetic cause for breast cancer is a predisposition to the BRCA1 gene or the BRCA2 gene. BRCA comes from the English word breast cancer. This predisposition gives a greatly increased risk of breast cancer and also increases the risk of ovarian cancer.

The following factors may indicate that heredity plays a role:

  • breast cancer at a young age (under 40);
  • breast cancer or ovarian cancer in the family;
  • a male family member with breast cancer;
  • breast cancer in both breasts, even without it occurring in the family.

If one of these factors occurs in your situation, it is always advisable to have further research done, including a heredity test. Ask your doctor about this.

Familial increased risk

Some women are aware of a greatly increased risk of breast cancer because:

  • breast cancer or ovarian cancer often occur in their families and therefore you undergo periodic check-ups on the advice of a clinical genetic centre
  • they are carriers of a defect in a gene (mutation) that increases the risk of breast cancer, such as BRCA or CHEK2

About 15% of all breast cancer patients have a first or second-degree family member with breast cancer. This does not mean that breast cancer is therefore caused by mutations in the genes. This is only the case in 5-10%.

Not all hereditary causes of breast cancer are known yet. If no predisposition is found in heredity testing but many women in the family have had breast cancer, this is referred to as familial breast cancer.

Follow-up processes from the population screening

All women aged 50 up to and including 75 receive an invitation to the breast cancer screening program every 2 years. After the mammography examination you will receive the results of the examination. If a suspicious abnormality is found, you can discuss with your doctor the possibility of going to the Breast Care Centre for further examination, that usually will take place quickly after you referral.

Second opinion

If a treatment proposal has already been discussed with you, you may need a second expert opinion. This can sometimes provide more clarity and more certainty about everything you have to undergo. That's why it's important to ask your doctor questions if you don't understand certain parts of the explanation or the further plan of examinations. In case of doubts about the choices of your medical team you can request a second opinion. You can request a second opinion from your doctor or medical specialist. The Breast Care Centre does not have a waiting list for second opinions.