Breast cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the breast cells. Breast cancer can strike both men and women, although it affects women significantly more frequently. Breast cancer is the most prevalent invasive cancer in women and, after lung cancer, the second largest cause of cancer death in women. When cells in the breast tissue change and divide fast, breast cancer develops. Because the tumour consumes nutrition and energy, it deprives the cells around it, resulting in cancer.
Breast cancer usually develops in either the lobules or the ducts of the breast. The glands that create milk are known as lobules, and the ducts that transport the milk from the glands to the nipple are known as ducts. Breast cancer can also develop in the fatty tissue or fibrous connective tissue. Breast cancer can spread to other parts of the body via blood and lymph vessels. Breast cancer is said to have metastasized when it spreads to other regions of the body.
- A lump in the breast or a thickening of the tissue
- A breast’s size, shape, or appearance changes.
- Dimpling, for example, is a change in the skin around the breast.
- Skin that is pigmented, peeling, scaling, or flaking around the nipple
- A nipple that has recently inverted
- Inflammation of the armpits or breasts
- Other than breast milk, nipple discharge
- Swelling or a bump beneath the arm
Risk Factors for Breast Cancer
Gender: Breast cancer is more common in women than it is in men.
As you become older, your chances of getting breast cancer increase. Women above the age of 55 are more likely to develop invasive breast cancer.
Personal experience with breast cancer: If a woman has had breast cancer in one breast, she is more likely to develop it in the other breast or in a different part of the previously affected breast.
If a close female relative has had breast cancer, you’re at a higher chance of getting it yourself.
Genes: Breast cancer-causing gene mutations can be handed on from parents to their offspring. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are two of the most well-known gene mutations.
Early menstruation: Having your first period before the age of 12 raises your chances of developing breast cancer.
Women who do not begin menopause until they are 55 years old are more likely to develop breast cancer.
Having a first kid later in life: Women who wait until after the age of 35 to have their first child have a higher risk of breast cancer. Women who have never been pregnant or who have never carried a pregnancy to term are more likely to develop breast cancer.
Hormone therapy: Women who take oestrogen and progesterone-based hormone therapy medicines to address the signs and symptoms of menopause have a higher risk of breast cancer.
Breast Tissue Density: Women with thick breast tissue are more prone to get breast cancer.
Radiation Treatment: Receiving radiation treatment may raise your chances of getting breast cancer.
Tips to reduce the risk the chances of breast cancer
- Breast cancer screening, such as clinical breast exams and mammography, should be discussed with your doctor.
- Breast self-examination for breast awareness is an option for women who want to get to know their breasts.
- Limit your alcohol consumption to one drink each day.
- Most days of the week, you should exercise.
- Postmenopausal hormone therapy should be used with caution because it may raise the risk of breast cancer.
- Maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI).
- Make a conscious effort to eat a balanced diet.
Breast cancer is diagnosed in a variety of ways.
- A variety of diagnostic tests and procedures, such as those listed below, can help confirm a diagnosis.
- Breast examination: The doctor will examine your breasts for lumps and other symptoms.
- Mammogram: A sort of X-ray that aids in the detection of lumps or abnormalities in the breast by the doctor.
- Ultrasound: Aids the clinician in distinguishing between a solid mass and a cyst filled with fluid.
- MRI: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a type of imaging that combines many images of the breast to assist a doctor detect cancer or other abnormalities.
- A fine-gauge needle is used to collect fluid from the breast tissue for microscopic assessment using FNAC (fine needle aspiration cytology).