In the last seven months, gynecological consultations decreased more than 55%, 48% in mastology and 65% in mammograms, according to figures from the Argentine Society of Mastology. To remember the importance of periodic check-ups and early diagnosis, tomorrow is the international day of the Fight against Breast Cancer, determined by the WHO to raise awareness and promote that more and more women access timely controls and treatments.
According to data from the same organization, this type of cancer is the most common in women, and increases in incidence as age advances. In countries with fewer resources, diagnosis is usually later and in more advanced stages. “The pandemic caused by Covid-19 has had an indirect but important influence on the routine management of this disease,” says Manuel Molina Pico, Vittal’s medical director. “The main intervention to improve the prognosis and survival of breast cancer cases continues to be early detection,” he adds.
According to the gynecologist and obstetrician Estela Pristupin, being overweight, sedentary, alcohol and tobacco are risk factors, although gender -it is higher in women-, age and genetic influences. “There is no doubt that mammography reduces mortality from breast cancer when it is done by control from the age of 50,” he explains. And before? “A British study showed a 25% reduction in mortality in women between 40 and 49 years old. In Argentina, some institutions recommend doing it annually from the age of 40 ”.
Self-examination is another of the strengths of prevention campaigns. “The current recommendation is simply to touch and become familiar with our breasts. It is not necessary to do it in a special way or following any rules. This self-knowledge will allow us to perceive if there is any change to be able to make the consultation on time ”, adds Pristupin.
Investigation. Within the Cancer with Science program, of the Sales Foundation, Conicet researcher Mariana Salatino studies the way in which the immune system can give a better response to the appearance of breast cancer. “We seek to improve the recognition by the immune system of the breast tumor and how we can make patients benefit from immunotherapy, a treatment that activates the immune system itself so that the tumor and metastases are recognized and destroyed”, he details.
Her colleague Estrella Levy works on the use of immunotherapy as a method for Triple Negative and Her 2 positive breast cancer. “These tumors affect more young women who, although they respond in principle to chemotherapy, in many cases relapse after a relatively quick time. The objective of the work is to strengthen the immune system of the patients, focusing on cells of our defenses called natural killers (natural killers), so that the body can face them with its own resources ”, he explains.