29 March, 2023
barnaclinic+ incorporates early diagnosis programmes for prostate and breast cancer
Cancer is one of the most common diseases. The great advances in medicine in recent years have made it possible to improve the survival rate of this disease. However, it is still the leading cause of death in the world today. One of the decisive factors for a good prognosis is the stage of development of the tumour. Many cases can be cured if detected early and treated effectively. For this reason, early cancer diagnosis programmes are a very important tool. barnaclinic+ currently has a new Medical Screening unit, which offers early diagnosis programmes for colon and rectal cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer and melanoma. This offer is now being extended to include the early diagnosis of prostate cancer, the most common tumour among men, and breast cancer, the most common among women. While the programmes themselves already existed, an updated portfolio of services has been defined. In these new programmes, as in those that already existed, patients will receive care from the best specialists in these areas, who have proven experience and are international benchmarks. Likewise, the most advanced and precise technology is available, which allows the identification of tumour lesions in their earliest stages.
WHAT IS EARLY DIAGNOSIS OF PROSTATE CANCER?
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, as Dr Antonio Alcaraz, head of the Urology and Kidney Transplant Service at the Clínic and barnaclinic+ professional, points out. “Up to 15% of men will be diagnosed with this type of cancer, with very similar figures to breast cancer in women”.
It is a disease that usually does not present symptoms until it is very advanced. However, thanks to recent advances, it is possible to make progress in its diagnosis. “Early diagnosis of prostate cancer is very important because we know that it improves the survival of patients,” explains Dr Antoni Vilaseca, urologist specialising in uro-oncology at barnaclinic+.
“Early diagnosis of prostate cancer is very important because we know that it improves the survival of patients”
Dr Antoni Vilaseca, urologist specialising in uro-oncology at barnaclinic+
YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN…
Blood markers and prostate examination are the main tools used to detect prostate cancer. In the first phase, a urologist specialising in the diagnosis of prostate pathologies will visit you and, if necessary, perform a digital rectal examination and request a biochemical diagnosis. From the age of 50 onwards – and in some cases earlier – it is advisable to have blood tests in which certain values are measured. One of the most relevant is the prostate-specific antigen or PSA. This marker helps to predict the risk of prostate cancer and serves to adapt the visits and the diagnostic process.
Subsequently, in a second phase, the prostate is examined, which is in turn divided into two processes: imaging tests and biopsy. Imaging tests can accurately identify lesions in the prostate and, in some cases on their own and in others in conjunction with biopsy, help to differentiate between high-risk and low-risk lesions. Thus, prostate examination can diagnose lesions, but also identify the degree of severity and help to define the subsequent treatment.
“Imaging tests have improved in recent years, making them much more accurate. Thanks to these advances, we are doing fewer and fewer biopsies”
“Imaging tests have improved in recent years, becoming much more accurate. Thanks to these advances, we are doing fewer and fewer biopsies,” adds Dr Antonio Alcaraz. There are two imaging tests. On the one hand, transrectal ultrasound of the prostate is an ultrasound test that allows us to verify the size and morphology of the prostate gland. On the other hand, magnetic resonance imaging is used to study the shape, size and signal of the prostate. With the latter, it is possible to diagnose around 85% of prostate cancers, especially the most aggressive and largest ones, and allows us to perform targeted biopsies and fusion biopsies.
Fusion prostate biopsy is an outpatient procedure that allows prostate tissue samples to be obtained by combining magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound. As Dr Ignacio Asiaín, urologist at barnaclínic+, clearly states: “Fusion biopsy is the most advanced tool available for the early, precise and advanced diagnosis of prostate cancer”.
“Fusion biopsy is the most advanced tool available for the early, accurate and advanced diagnosis of prostate cancer“
Dr Ignacio Asiaín, urologist at barnaclínic+
By combining the images from these tests, a three-dimensional model of the prostate is created, which offers the greatest possible precision in sample collection, a more accurate diagnosis, better identification and analysis of the lesions and, given that it is performed under local anaesthesia and sedation, greater comfort for the patient. The main advantage of this type of biopsy is the high accuracy in the puncture of suspicious areas, with a higher percentage of diagnoses compared to other techniques. It also allows access to prostate areas that are difficult to reach with the usual classic technique, and 30% more aggressive tumours are diagnosed with this technique than with the classic transrectal biopsy.
DO YOU WANT TO REQUEST AN EARLY DIAGNOSIS OF PROSTATE CANCER?
WHAT ABOUT EARLY DIAGNOSIS OF BREAST CANCER?
Breast cancer is a very common type of tumour, the second most diagnosed in Spain, only behind colon and rectal cancer. It is a tumour that can affect both women and men, although it is much more common in women. In fact, 29% of all cancers in women are breast tumours and it is the leading cause of cancer-related death among women in Spain.
Breast cancer has an unspecific origin and chance plays an important role. Only 5-10% of breast tumours are hereditary in origin. However, there are a series of risk factors that must be taken into account, including being overweight or obese, excessive alcohol intake or the presence of a mutation which means that, in these women, the risk of suffering from breast cancer is between 50 and 85%.
As Dr Isaac Cebrecos, gynaecologist at barnaclínic+, says: “Early diagnosis of breast cancer is very important because, the earlier the disease is diagnosed, the greater the chances of being cured, the greater the chances of being cured”. When we talk about early diagnosis, we are referring to the detection of breast cancer in its initial phase, when symptoms or signs have not yet appeared and there is a greater chance of a cure.
“Early diagnosis of breast cancer is very important because, to the extent that we diagnose the disease earlier, the chances of being cured increase exponentially”
Dr Isaac Cebrecos, gynaecologist at barnaclínic+
YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN…
It is possible to detect a change suspected of being a breast cancer mainly by two means:
- Breast self-examination:
- Despite having a low sensitivity, both when performed by the patients themselves and by professionals, it is recommended to perform concentric palpation after menstruation to detect any alteration in consistency, pain or lumps. If any symptoms appear, the gynaecologist should be consulted.
- Mammograms in screening programmes: Depending on their results and breast density, further screening is necessary.
When any suspicious alteration is detected, it is necessary to access other types of tests that can help in the diagnosis. The most common are:
- Ultrasound: This is a very useful complementary technique in the diagnosis of breast cancer. It is especially useful for assessing the state of the lymph nodes.
- Magnetic resonance imaging: This is a mandatory technique when breast cancer is suspected. It is a highly sensitive test which, through the use of gadolinium as contrast, allows a complete assessment of the breast and the discovery of lesions that may have gone unnoticed in mammography. It is especially useful in patients with dense breasts. It should be performed in any patient with suspected breast cancer and in all patients who are going to undergo chemotherapy treatment before surgery.
A biopsy of the tissue is necessary to confirm the diagnosis. All the results obtained from the different tests carried out will help in the decision to prescribe one treatment or another. This treatment is multimodal in the case of breast cancer and is based on surgery, radiotherapy and systemic treatments.
The chances of a cure for breast cancers detected at the earliest stage are almost 100%. In infiltrative disease, the extent or stage at diagnosis is a very important prognostic factor. In general, the earlier the diagnosis is made, the more likely it is that the disease will be cured.