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Primary and secondary prevention of breast cancer

Agnieszka Kolak 1  ,  
St. John’s Cancer Center, Department of Radiotherapy, Lublin, Poland
St. John’s Cancer Center, Department of Oncology, Lublin, Poland
University of Szczecin, Faculty of Physical Education and Health Promotion, Szczecin, Poland
Human Anatomy Department, Medical Univeristy of Lublin, Poland
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women and is the second cancer frequently occurring worldwide of newly-diagnosed cancers. There is much evidence showing the influence of life style and environmental factors on the development of mammary gland cancer (high-fat diet, alcohol consumption, lack of physical exercise), the elimination of which (primary prevention) may contribute to a decrease in morbidity and mortality. Secondary prevention, comprising diagnostic tests (e.g. mammography, ultrasonography, magnetic resonance imaging, breast self-examination, as well as modern and more precise imaging methods) help the early detection of tumours or lesions predisposing to tumours.

The aim of this study paper is to review current knowledge and reports regarding primary and secondary prevention of breast cancer.

State of knowledge:
It is estimated that nearly 70% of malign tumours are caused by environmental factors, whereas in breast cancer this percentage reaches 90–95%. There are national programmes established in many countries to fight cancer, where both types of prevention are stressed as serving to decrease morbidity and mortality due to cancers.

Cancer prevention is currently playing a key role in the fight against the disease. Behaviour modification, as well as greater awareness among women regarding breast cancer, may significantly contribute towards reducing the incidence of this cancer. Another important aspect is the number of women undergoing diagnostic tests, which still remains at an unsatisfactory level.

Agnieszka Kolak   
St. John’s Cancer Center, Department of Radiotherapy, Lublin, Poland
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