Breast Cancer- Types, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis.

A human being is fragile and sensitive, but also he is strong and is able to adapt and adjust according to different conditions.

Human body is sensitive and reacts to its environment and surroundings, the surroundings and even little germs, viruses and a bit if carelessness can affect the human body, just like  a  tongue , that is surrounded with 32 teeth has to stay in carefully,  in the similar way  human body is just the same, surrounded by different species and in direct contact with different conditions with  direct exposure to different environmental conditions can lead to dangerous and chronic diseases.  Out of the many fatal diseases today we will talk about breast cancer, what is breast cancer? Breast cancer symptoms, breast cancer risk factor, how to prevent breast cancer?

What Are Breasts?

Breasts are the organs located on the upper region and form the part of the upper abdomen. They are round in shape and has nipple the pointed round part brown in colour and areola the area that surrounds the nipple. Both male and female breast develops from similar embryonical tissues. Female breasts develop more in their puberty age, the estrogens and the growth hormones cause their breast development.

A network of ducts is covered by fat which is termed as subcutaneous fat, these fats envelop the ducts the converge on the nipple, giving the breast its shape and size. The lobules and alveoli are the part where milk is produced and stored, responding to the hormonal signals.

The major function of the breast is to provide nutrition to the infant, through breastfeeding but along with that breasts also have some sexual and even some social characteristics.

What Is Cancer?

Cancer is a disease that leads to excessive cell growth which is not normal. It can also invade or spread to other organs or parts of the body. There are around 100 types of cancer that can affect our body. Cancer is one of the most dangerous and fatal diseases, and even treatment does not assure complete cure and the survival rate is also less.

What Is Breast Cancer?

breast cancer facts

As the name suggests, breast cancer definition is as following, breast cancer is cancer that develops in the breast from breast tissue. This cancer usually develops in cells from the linings of milk ducts and lobules, the supplier of milk to the ducts. This cancer is further divided into two different cancers, ductal carcinomas and lobular carcinomas. Ductal carcinomas is a form of breast cancer that develops in ducts whereas lobular carcinomas is breast cancer that develops in lobules. Apart from this, there are 18 other subtypes of breast cancer.  Breast cancer though is a fatal disease but yet it has high survival rates in developed countries and poorer in developing countries. This cancer is mostly found in women, It is also quite common undeveloped countries.

Risk Factors of Breast Cancer.

Today we will discuss what are the breast cancer risk factors. Some of the risk factors of breast cancer are as follows.

Now the risk factors are divided into two categories i. E modified risk factors and fixed risk factors, as the name suggests modified risk factors can be changed, improved or modified by a person for e.g. habits and lifestyle and the fixed risk factors are those which are not in our control and cannot be helped with like our gender or our age.

The main or primary factors, that increase the risk of breast cancer are as follows

  • Being a female
  • Old Age
  • Genetic
  • Lack of childbearing
  • Lack of breastfeeding
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Diet patterns
  • Obesity
  • Exposure to light pollution etc.

Are major of primary causes of breast cancer however  some other causes like

  • Lifestyle (obesity, drinking alcohol, smoking, lack of physical activity, diet that is deficient in iodine and increases bad cholesterol full of fat may also increase the risk rate of breast cancer, exposure to radiation, shift-work),
  • Genetics (Family history or the ones with the first degree relative to the risk of breast cancer in the age of 40 to 50 is double than that of a normal population. Genetic mutation is also a risk factor of breast cancer.)
  • Medical conditions ( medical conditions such as fibrocystic breast changes, diabetes mellitus and lupus erythematosus, also might increase the risk of breast cancer).

Signs and Symptoms and types of cancer

Yes, there are some early signs that signals towards the probability of having breast cancer.

we had this important question in mind, that is the signs and symptoms of breast cancer,  about the lump in the breast, about symptoms of stages of 2 of breast cancer or breast cancer stage 3 or stage 4 breast cancer etc. Do not worry we are here to help you and possibly provide you with all the basic knowledge required for you to keep yourself, healthy and fit.

The first noted sign of this disease is lump formation, a lump in the breast that you can feel different from other breast tissue. This is the major symptom, and 80% of women with lump have been found with breast cancer.

Other symptoms are thickening of breasts other than the breast tissues,  uneven breast size (one larger than the other),  changes in the size and shape or position of nipples, pain in breast, nipples or armpits,  swelling around the collarbone or below the armpit.

Pain may or may not be a sign of breast cancer in specific, there may be a possibility of some other breast health issues as well.

Some other types of breast cancer can cause some other symptoms like inflammatory breast cancer   can have symptoms like pain, itching, swelling, warmth, nipple inversion, redness all over the breast, a different texture of breasts skin similar to an orange peel known as

Peau d’orange.   There are possibilities of delay in the diagnosis of inflammatory breast cancer because no lump is found in the breasts.

Metastatic breast cancer. When the breast cancer represents or shows itself as a metastatic disease then that type of cancer is known as metastatic breast cancer because in this case cancer does not pertain to one organ but spread ls beyond the original organ. The symptoms of this kind of cancer will depend on the region or location of metastasis. Some organs, where usually metastasis are found includes bone, liver, lung and brain.

Weight loss without reason or with no explanation, fever and chills may signal towards breast cancer.  Bone and joint pain could also be a reason of metastasis breast cancer. Some non-specific symptoms or symptoms that may be the result of some other diseases are jaundice or neurological symptoms.

There may be a possibility, that your body may show no signs of breast cancer before being diagnosed. You should visit a doctor if you find any of these symptoms present in your body or your near ones so the basic and some common signs of breast cancer are, lumps in breast, swelling in breast, increase in size, fluid discharge from breast apart from milk and flakes of skin found near nipple area, etc.

However these symptoms may not specifically signal towards breast cancer, sometimes these signs and symptoms may also be seen due to some other disorder like a cyst or an infection.

Diagnosis

Usually, all types of breast cancer can be diagnosed by microscopic analysis of a sample or breast biopsy or biopsy of the affected part or organ.

The two extremely common types of breast cancer screening methods are the physical examination of the breast, you can also do the breast self-examination or by a doctor or Healthcare provider and the other is mammography.  Apart from lump being diagnosed as cancer may have some chances of being a cyst rather than cancer. FNAC- fine needle aspiration and cytology can also help clear the doubts and diagnose the disease in which the sample of the fluid of the lump is removed by the doctor. So physical examination, FNAC and mammography like techniques helps in the diagnosis of breast cancer quite accurately.

Other biopsy includes, vacuum-assisted breast biopsy or core biopsy where a section of the lump is removed while in excisional biopsy, complete lump is removed.

Detection

Mammograms

There is advice of having a breast cancer screening or mammography that is the X-ray of the breast every two years for early breast cancer diagnosis.  However early mammograms lead to overdiagnosis or false positive result, and women should concern the doctor especially between the age of 40-49 about when to start mammograms.

Breast MRI scans are another way of detecting cancer in the breasts.

Breast Ultrasounds

Breast ultrasounds also help in detecting breast cancer. Which provide some internal breast cancer images which helps doctor to have a look at the potential breast mass.

Biopsy

There are biopsies in which some cells are removed from the lumps through needles or at the time of surgery to exam the type of cancer.

Detecting the cause and type of cancer

Doctors also confirm if the cause of breast cancer is genetic mutations or due to some hormonal issue so that they can provide the treatment accordingly.

During the early stage of breast cancer, cancer or their cancer cells are limited to the milk ducts of the breast, this form of cancer is called ductal carcinomas in situ and the patient has maximum chances of being cured.  If the cancer cells have reached to other breast tissues as well then it is known as infiltrating ductal carcinomas. And could spread to other parts of the body as well.

breast cancer treatment

Treatments

As discussed above, the treatment of cancer depends on the type and the cause of cancer.  A lot of people have received more than one treatment.  Either cancer on the exact location or its cells all over the body are targeted.

Treatment includes radiation and breast cancer surgery which tends to destroy the cancer present in the breast. Without any affect on the body.

The surgery includes

Lumpectomy in which the breast is conserved and only the tumour and the surrounding tissues are removed from the body.

Mastectomy in which the entire breast is removed and is taken up in more advanced cases. As said by the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Treatments which the whole body also known as systematic treatment are given orally by mouth or through the bloodstream that aims at the cancer cells throughout the body, those treatments include

Chemotherapy which uses toxic drugs like Cytoxan. Cancer caused by hormones like oestrogen and progesterone can be treated by using hormone suppressors such as Evista.

Some recent systematic cure and treatments are biological therapy,  which stimulates the immune system to fight cancer,  targeting cells that contain high level of some particular proteins. Some common biologics are Avastin and Herceptin.

The patient would have to visit surgeons, radiation oncologist and medical oncologist for their treatment.

Prevention

Though this is an unfortunate disease that can happen to anyone, even if try our best, yet there are some preventions the does and don’ts that can help us prevent till some extent from this fatal or chronic disease..

Here are some do’s and don’t we should take care of

  • Say no to smoking

Yes avoid tobacco smoking or smoking at all as smoking can become a cause if your breast cancer, so learn to love your life by quitting smoking and prevent yourself as much as you can from smoking.

  • UV protection

Protect yourself from exposure to the UV rays, where shirts and hat when you move out,  Stay in shade as much as possible and don’t forget to use a sunscreen when you move out.

  • Diet

Your unhealthy diet can cause you great trouble so stay healthy and fit, by consuming a low-fat diet which must also be rich in nutrition and whole grain. Fruits and Fresh vegetables are recommended.

  • Avoid hormonal pills

Avoid having hormonal pills, or postmenopausal hormonal pills and contraceptive pills.. As it increases the risk of breast cancer.

  • Exercise

Exercise as much as you can physical activity is very important for your health as physical inactivity is another factor that increases the risk of breast cancer.

So here was basic information about breast cancer if you find any of these symptoms in you or your near ones, please contact your health care provider as soon as possible for complete guidance and treatment.

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