A Comprehensive Guide to Breast Cancer

Definition of Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer may be defined as a disease in which the cells in the breasts of the woman grow and become out of control. There are at least four different types of breast cancer. The breast cancers mostly start growing in the lobules or in the ducts.

However, cancer in the breast is not restricted to the breasts and may sometimes spread to the other parts of the body outside the breasts through the lymph vessels and blood vessels. After understanding the real definition of breast cancer, let’s have a look at other factors such as causes and symptoms.

What are the Causes of Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and is the second leading causes of death in a woman.

Following are the causes of breast cancer or reasons for breast cancer:

  • Age

Age is not necessarily a cause but with growing after puberty, risk of breast cancer increases many folds. When females are 20 years of age, their chance of developing breast cancer is about 0.6 percent. By the time they become as old as 70 years; their chance of developing breast cancer symptoms also increases and goes up to 3.84 percent.

  • History of Breast lumps or Breast cancer

Women who have earlier in their life had breast cancer or simply have had lumps in their breasts are more likely to have breast cancer again as compared to women who have not had any such problems in their life before. Having the non-cancerous or benign type of lumps in the breast may become the cause of the disease in the later years of life. The examples can be the lobular carcinoma in the situ or the atypical ductal hyperplasia.

  • Genetics

Breast cancer may more likely be diagnosed in a woman who has a close relative or someone in the immediate family who had breast cancer. In this case, when genetics comes into consideration, the risk is always higher in such women. Another important point is that women who carry the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 are more likely to develop ovarian cancer or breast cancer or even both. These genes can easily be inherited by girls and may create a problem after puberty. Another gene that is linked to cancer in the breast is the TP53.

  • Breast feeding and Estrogen exposure

Long exposure to the hormone estrogen is responsible for the increase in the risk of breast cancer. This exposure may be due to the early start of periods and also in case, the menopause has happened at a later age than the average. It is during these times that the levels of estrogen are usually very high. Breastfeeding for more than one year helps in the reduction of the chances of developing breast cancer. This is because pregnancy that is followed by breastfeeding is responsible for a reduction in the exposure to the estrogen hormone.

  • Body Weight and Alcohol Consumption

Obesity or being overweight after menopause is one of the causes of women for the development of cancer in the breast. This is possible because of the high levels of the hormone estrogen in the body. This is higher in women who are obese or overweight as compared to others. An increase or in general high intake of sugar may also be one of the factors. Another major risk factor or cause of breast cancer is an increased consumption or regular consumption of alcohol at a very high rate. Several studies have suggested who take more than three drinks per day are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer in the breast.

  • Cosmetic Implants

Women who have had cosmetic implants of their breasts and have been diagnosed with breast cancer earlier are more likely to develop breast cancer at a later stage in life as compared to women who have not had an implant done. This could be because of the implant masking cancer during screening. This could also be because often the implants bring about alterations in the tissues of the breasts.

  • Hormone Treatment

Using the HRT or the Hormone Replacement Therapy and the use of certain birth control pills that are taken orally have been considered responsible for the development of breast carcinoma. This is because of an increased level of the estrogen hormone.

Once you have understood what the causes of breast cancer are, it is important to make oneself aware of this and get tested from time to time to keep yourself safe.

What are the symptoms of Breast Cancer?

The basic and the first symptoms that are associated with breast cancer are lumps in the breasts or in the armpits and an area of the breast that has very thick tissues. The other breast cancer symptoms have been mentioned below. It is really important to be aware of what are the breast cancer symptoms?

  • One may experience pain in the breasts or in the armpits and this may remain the same even after changes in the menstrual cycle of the women. Such pain may often be confused with a normal effect of the monthly cycle but it is to be attended to properly. If the pain does not go away one needs to consult to the doctor right away.
  • The skin of the breast and especially around the nipple may become red and it may be pitting. This is similar to the skin of an orange.
  • Another symptom is the development of a rash on or around one of the nipples. These rashes are very clear symptoms of and if one notices it, she needs to seek medical advice immediately.
  • The next symptom is also a very evident one. If there is a discharge from the nipples and this discharge may possibly contain blood then one needs to be alert and see a cancer specialist as soon as possible.
  • Another symptom is when a nipple may appear to be inverted or sunken and not the way it usually is. There may also be a change in the shape or the size of either both the breasts or one of them.
  • One of the symptoms is the flaking, scaling, or peeling of the skin on the nipples or on the breasts.

Most of the lumps that get formed in the breasts or in the armpits are non-cancerous but it is still advised that in case of any such lump, one should surely get it checked by a healthcare specialist.

Useful Links:
Healthy Lifestyle – Healthy Key to a Long Life
Top 10 Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
A Ketogenic Diet for Beginners
A Mediterranean Diet

Some Recommended Products:
1. The Mayo Clinic Breast Cancer Book
2. Triumph Over Breast Cancer: Odysseys Of Phenomenal Women
3. Sona Women’s Perfecto Full Coverage Non-Padded Plus Size Cotton Bra White
4. Breast Cancer Husband: How to Help Your Wife (and Yourself) during Diagnosis, Treatment and Beyond

Please leave your suggestions on this article so that we can improve and be more informative in our next article.

Kushal Parekh

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