Cancer is a disease in which body cells grow exponentially. Breast cancer is a type of cancer that mostly occurs in women. According to the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Though deaths related to breast cancer have reduced, it remains the second most leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States.
About 22,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women and about 2,000 in men according to the CDC.
Breast cancer occurs when the cells in the breast area grow out of control. There are different types of breast cancer, and that depends on which cells in the breast turn into cancer.
Breast cancer can start from different parts of the breast not necessarily from the nipple first. The breast is made up of three major sections: ducts, connective tissue, and lobules. The lobule is responsible for producing milk, and the ducts are tiny tube likes that carry this milk to the nipple. Everything is held together by the connective tissue.
It is possible for breast cancer to spread even outside the breast through blood vessels. When this happens, it is said to have metastasized.
2 Major Types of Breast Of Cancer
- Ductal carcinoma
This happens when the cancer-causing cells grow out of the duct into another part of the breast. Ductal cancer can also spread or metastasized to another part of the body
- Lobular Carcinoma
This happens when the cancer-causing cells move from the lobules to other breast tissue.
Symptoms of Breast Cancer
Though people experience different warning signs for breast cancer and some, don’t even have any symptoms at all. Here are some symptoms of breast cancer.
- Lump in the breast or the armpit
- Pain in and around the breast
- Blood discharge from the nipple instead of milk.
- Swelling of part of the breast
- Abnormal changes in the size of the breast
- Irritation or frequent itching of the breast.
If you have any of these signs of anything related to it, please do not hesitate to consult your doctor right way.
There is no typical breast. What is normal for me may not be normal for you. You might feel your breast is lumpy or uneven, but various factors could lead to such instance such as during your period, gaining or losing weight or taking certain medications. Also, your breast tends to change in shape as you age. Please see the National Cancer of Institute for a guide to understanding breast changes.
Associated Risk of Breast Cancer
Your risk of breast cancer could be due to various factors. Here are some of them:
- Getting Older:Most breast cancer occurs among women above the age of 50.
- Genetics: Genetic mutations to certain genes in women can result in breast cancer. Though this is hereditary, it causes a large number of breast cancer cases
- Early Menstrual Period: girls who see their period before the age of 12 are likely to develop breast cancer.
- Late Menopause: being exposed to oestrogen for a longer time in life can raise the risk for breast cancer.
- Having dense breast: Most dense breasts make it harder to see fatty tissue using a mammogram. Women with dense breast are more likely to develop breast cancer
- Combination hormone therapy: When you try to replace missing oestrogen and progesterone in menopause by using hormones for a longer period can increase your risk of developing breast cancer.
- Radiation therapy: Women who had frequent radiation to the chest have a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
How to Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer
Most factors such as getting older or being born a woman cannot be changed, but there are some other ways by which you can lower your risk of breast cancer.
- Keep a healthy weight and exercise regularly.
- Get enough sleep at night and resist from alcohol or limit your consumption
- Avoid chemicals such as carcinogens and any chemical that interfere with the normal function of the body
- Limit your exposure to medical test radiation such as X-rays, CT scans, and PET scans.
Staying healthy and imbibing a healthy lifestyle will lower your risk of developing cancer and even improve your chance of surviving cancer if it occurs.