Breast Cancer woman

Causes and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

The abnormal growth of breast tissue cells is the reason for the occurrence of breast cancer. Breast cancer is also caused by an abnormal increase in the growth of cells in the ducts and lobules of the region. There are several types of breast cancer and treatment varies according to the type and physiological profile of the patient.

Breast cancer occurs both in men and women though it is rare in men. The prevalence of breast cancer is high with the latest estimates claiming that one in every 14 girl children become susceptible to the problem as they grow older.

The most common types of breast cancer are (a) Ductal carcinoma – cancer that occurs in the milk ducts and (b) Lobular carcinoma – occurring in the lobules that secrete the milk. When the cancer cells in the breast do not spread to other parts of the body and are confined to the breast, the condition is called In-situ breast cancer.

There are several other types of breast cancer. Given below are their names and prevalence

Invasive Ductal carcinoma: When the cancer cells of the breast spread to other parts of the body (Prevalence: 70% of breast cancers are of this type)

  1. Invasive Lobular carcinoma: Prevalence: 10% of breast cancers are of this type
  2. Adenocystic breast cancer: Prevalence 4%
  3. Cancer of the nipple/areola called Paget’s disease: Prevalence  3%
  4. Mucinous breast cancer: prevalence 3%
  5. Medullary carcinoma: Prevalence 3%
  6. Papillary breast cancer: Prevalence 1%
  7. Tubular breast cancer: Prevalence 1%
  8. Carsinosarcoma: Prevalence 0.1%

Studies reveal that breast cancer (especially ductal carcinoma) is the second-highest reason for cancer deaths among women. It is prudent for women to go in for breast cancer detection tests once in three years.

 Causes of Breast Cancer

  1. Gender: A woman stands a very high risk of being afflicted by breast cancer as compared to a man
  2. Familial and genetic factors
  3. Environmental reasons
  4. Studies indicate that older woman are at a higher risk of breast cancer
  5. White-skinned women are more at risk for breast cancer than Afro American women

Breast Cancer

Risk factors of breast cancer

  1. Women who are already afflicted with breast cancer stand at a higher risk than other women to develop cancer in the other breast or for a relapse
  2. A history of breast cancer running in the family
  3. Certain specific hormonal factors that put a woman at risk for the illness
  4. Not having children or having children after they are more than 30 years old increases breast cancer risk
  5. Radiation therapy in the upper regions of the body for various health issues increases breast cancer risk
  6. High intake of alcohol and a diet rich in fats and synthetically processed food additives increase the risk of breast cancer

Symptoms of Breast Cancer

  1. There are no symptoms in the initial stages
  2. A persistent lump above the collar bone area, or in the armpit
  3. Painlessness, hardening of the breast, and difficulty in its movement
  4. Change in size of the breast
  5. Inversion of the nipple and/or pain in the nipple
  6. Discernible changes in the skin on the breast
  7. Discharge from the breast
  8. Mammography showing a lump in the breast region

Treatment of Breast Cancer

Treatment of breast cancer varies and depends on the following factors

  1. Age
  2. Menstruation factors of the woman
  3. The type of breast cancer

The types of treatment are

  1. Mastectomy: Removal of the affected breast
  2. Lumpectomy: Removal of the malignant tumor in the breast
  3. Hormone therapy: Improves hormonal profile of the patient in  order to combat breast cancer
  4. Radiation therapy
  5. Chemotherapy

The good news is that with increased levels of awareness among women about the risks of breast cancer occurrence, there has been a proportionate increase in healthy lifestyles and keeping away from avoidable risk factors. There have also been great improvements in diagnostic and treatment techniques that have also increased the success rates of treatment for breast cancer.

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