Breast cancer: Little knowledge in early detection

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Many women are not adequately informed about breast cancer screening

Although about one in eight women will develop breast cancer in the course of their lives, around one in two is wrongly or insufficiently informed when it comes to early detection or mammography screening. The benefits of the study are generally overestimated.

Most common type of cancer in women Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women in Germany and is now quite easy to treat. The earlier a tumor is discovered in the breast, the greater the chances of recovery. But according to a survey, there are terrifying gaps in knowledge in Germany about breast cancer prevention. Every second woman is therefore incorrectly or insufficiently informed about early detection or mammography screening.

The benefits of the examination are overestimated As the health monitor published by the Barmer GEK and the Bertelsmann Foundation says on Thursday, 30 percent of women believed that participation in mammography screening already prevented them from developing breast cancer. A total of 1,852 women aged 44 to 63 years were interviewed. On the one hand, the benefit of the study is overestimated, while on the other hand, little is known about risks such as false positive findings.

Around 80 percent of women can be treated According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), breast cancer is diagnosed in more than 70,000 women in Germany every year. About 17,000 women die of it every year. The RKI is expecting more than 75,000 new cases this year. About 80 percent of women who are ill can be successfully treated today, according to the German Society for Senology (DGS). Breast cancer is no longer synonymous with a death sentence. A lot depends on an early diagnosis. Doctors could resort to various treatment options with which the breast can often be preserved. There are also alternatives to breast amputation for women with hereditary disorders.

Fear of wrong decisions Nationwide there were over 100,000 breast removals in 2011. According to the current health monitor, a majority of women are afraid to make wrong decisions when it comes to cancer. Knowledge of the benefits and risks of mammography screening has not improved in recent years. One of the authors of the health monitor, the Bremen professor Norbert Schmacke, considers the extent of the information deficits to be a cause for concern: "In particular, the invitation to the screening lacks understandable and evidence-based information and there is not enough time and opportunity to form your own opinion" the university professor.

Cancer despite preventive care Prof. Marie-Luise Dierks, director of the patient university at the Hannover Medical School, also underlines this: “We have the obligation to explain the benefits, but also the risks of screening, in a balanced and understandable manner, and to enable women to make a good decision . ”The cancer information service of the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg also knows that knowledge about screening is more than patchy. Even if many callers are pre-informed, according to Birgit Hiller, the cancer information service would hear the phrase again and again: "I always went to preventive care and still get cancer." (Sb)

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Video: The Myth of Early Detection of Breast Cancer

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