Breast cancer prevention plan

Here at DKV, we stand for promoting good health

  • Mammogram, the early detection test that helps prevent the disease. 

  • The prevention plan is aimed at all women between 50 and 69 years of age. 

  • You will receive an invitation to participate by email. 


What is the breast?

The breast is the organ that contains the mammary gland, and it is the part of the human body that experiences the most changes from birth to adulthood. Due to female hormones, breasts grow during puberty and are affected by menstrual cycles. 

The breast is formed by lobes, in which breast milk is produced during pregnancy. These are linked by ducts, which take the milk to the nipple. It also contains blood and lymph vessels that end in lymph nodes. Everything is supported and connected by connective tissue, made up of fibrous tissue and body fat.

What is breast cancer?

It is a disease that almost exclusively affects women, and it is the most common malignant tumour and the first cause of death due to cancer in women.

It begins when the breast cells start to grow in an abnormal, uncontrolled way and build up to form a lump (also known as a tumour).

There are different types of tumours, which depend on the characteristics of these cells. As the cancer grows, the cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body, which can be life-threatening.

What are the symptoms of breast cancer?

Breast cancer has few symptoms in many cases.

The most frequent manifestation is a palpable lump or thickening in the breast, which becomes irregular, has a hard consistency, and is usually not painful.

It can also manifest as a change in the nipple's appearance or by the secretion of blood or other fluid through the nipple.

Other symptoms: changes in the breast's colour or appearance, changes in size or shape, pain or discomfort in the breast or armpit, or lump in the armpit.

What are the causes?

The cause of breast cancer is unknown, but some risk factors have been identified, which increase the likelihood of suffering it.

Among those which cannot be changed and are the best known are being a woman; age (the older, the higher the risk); some prior breast injuries, such as atypical ductal hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma in situ; and family history of breast and ovarian cancer.

To a lesser extent are not having had children or having the first one after 30 years old, early menarche, late menopause, replacement hormone therapy and very dense breasts. Other risk factors that have to do with lifestyle are called modifiable.

How can we prevent it?

Primary prevention consists in avoiding the disease's risk factors and preventing them from appearing. Alcohol consumption and obesity as risk factors and physical exercise as a preventive factor show the highest degree of evidence. 

Pregnancy is one of the main protective factors of breast cancer. Studies show that the first pregnancy at an early age provides greater protection, reducing the risk of developing breast cancer in menopause by 12% for each pregnancy to term and 3% for each pregnancy in pre-menopausal women. Breastfeeding and its duration are directly related to this protective effect.

We recommended frequent manual palpation, and in the event of an abnormality, visit a specialist. If there is a family history of breast cancer, it is important to take regular check-ups.

Secondary prevention consists in the early detection of the disease, which increases the likelihood of cure. Screening is the most common method of secondary prevention. There are multiple breast cancer screening tests, with mammograms and ultrasound scans being the most common.

What does the early detection plan for breast cancer consist in?

The breast cancer screening programme consists in all female mutual society members between 50 and 69 years of age, due to a higher risk of breast cancer at this age, undergoing a mammogram every two years. 

All women between 50 and 69 years of age receive an invitation to participate in the plan to take the mammogram. After it has been studied, they are communicated the result and informed of the next check-up's date.

Women with personal or family risk factors or in risk of familial or hereditary cancer should visit their general practitioner.

The aim of the plan is to detect breast cancer early in order to reduce mortality and increase the quality of life of those affected. This is achieved by carrying out a greater number of conservative treatments.

Province 2024                      
Cadiz X
Málaga X
Tarragona X
Zaragoza X

Who is this plan aimed at?

For female mutual society members between 50 and 69 years of age.

How can I adhere to the plan?

Female mutual society members that are part of the target population will receive an electronic invitation to participate every two years while they remain within the age range. 

Make sure to update your contact details. 

What does the test consist in?

A digital mammogram is the most effective test for detecting breast cancer. It consists in a chest X-ray that, with very low radiation and adverse effect, is able to detect suspicious lesions smaller than 100 μm two years before they become palpable.

There is practically no risk involved, it is fast and it is usually not painful. You may notice some discomfort during the test due to the compression needed to obtain a quality image.

What should I wear to the test?

Wear clothes that are easy to take off and put on, as you must undress from the waist up in the booth for this purpose. Do not apply Talcum powder, cream or deodorant on your breasts, and take your Medicard with you.

What can the result be?

  • If the mammogram shows nothing abnormal: we will contact you to inform you of the test's result, and we will invite you back to the plan two years later. 

  • If the result of the mammogram was normal, but within the two-year period up to the new invitation, you feel any change when carrying out a self-examination: go to your general practitioner. 

  • If further tests are required: we will contact you to inform you that the initial mammogram is not sufficient to reach a diagnosis and that the radiologist needs to carry out complementary tests, such as an ultrasound scan. Don't worry, it doesn't mean you have a breast lesion. When you go to take the new tests, the radiologist will explain the reason in person. 

  • If the mammogram shows images that must be controlled: we will get in touch with you to inform you, and you will receive a new invitation to undergo a mammogram in a shorter period than the habitual two years. You should not worry about this result, it simply means that you will be monitored more closely.

How can I carry out a self-examination?

Breast self-examination is a technique based on observing and palpating one's breasts. It is carried out to detect the appearance of any alteration in the breasts and to treat it early. 

It is advisable you do so from a young age, so this practice becomes a habit throughout your life. 

What treatment does it require?

Breast cancer diagnosis has experienced a constant evolution, which, in conjunction with the detection of smaller tumours, has significantly increased the disease's cure rate. Most women undergo breast cancer surgery and also receive additional treatment before or after surgery, such as chemotherapy, hormonal therapy or radiotherapy. 

Treatment plans are generally based on the type of breast cancer, its stage and any special situation. Your treatment plan will also depend on other factors, your general health condition and your personal preferences.

Useful links:
Bowel cancer is one of the few types of cancer that can be diagnosed in advance
Colorectal cancer prevention plan

Bowel cancer screening is aimed at medium-risk people, that, is men and women between 50 and 69 who have no personal or family history of the disease. 

This consists in a faecal blood test every two years. If no blood is detected in this test, it's unlikely to be a case of bowel cancer. After two years, you will be invited to join the programme again.

Early detection tests help prevent the disease
Cervical cancer prevention programme

The cervical cancer prevention plan is aimed at all women between 25 and 65 years of age.

The cervical smear test is a simple and easy procedure that takes less than five minutes and is usually painless. A sample of the cervix is taken using a speculum at the gynaecologist's consultation, and this is delivered to the lab to study. Once there, it is prepared for a smear test or to check for HPV.

You are a DKV customer

Please call us on:

900 810 072

Exclusive mutual society members

Please call us on:

900 810 073

You aren't a DKV customer