Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer

What is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is a disease where cells in the breast area grow uncontrolled. There are different kinds of breast cancer. The kind of breast cancer depends on which part or cells in the breast turn into cancer.

It could be starting in one or both breasts. It occurs almost entirely in women, but men have a chance to get breast cancer, too.

Breast cancer can start in different parts of the breast. The breast has different parts in the body:

  • Lobules: They are the glands in women that make breast milk. Cancers that start in lobules are called lobular cancers.
  • Ducts: They are small canals that come out from the lobules and transfer the milk to the nipple. It is the most common place for begin. Cancers that start from ducts are called ductal cancers.
  • The nipple is the opening in the skin of the breast where the ducts come together and turn into larger ducts so the breast milk can leave the breast. The nipple is bounded by slightly darker thicker skin called the areola. A less common type of this cancer is called Paget disease of the breast which is started in the nipple.
  • Fat and connective tissue (stroma): This surrounds the ducts and lobules and help keep them in place. This type of called phyllodes tumor which is start in the stroma.
  • Blood vessels and lymph vessels are in each breast. Angiosarcoma is a type of breast cancer that starts in the lining of these vessels.
  • Most breast cancers start in the ducts or lobules of breast.
  • Breast cancer may spread outside the breast via blood vessels and lymph vessels.
  • When cancer spreads to other parts of the body, which is called metastasized.

Inherited breast cancer

  • It was estimated that about 5 -10% percent of breast cancers are related to gene mutations passed through generations of a family.
  • A number of inborn mutated genes that could increase the possibility of breast cancer have been identified. The most recognized are breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1) and breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2), both of which meaningfully increase the risk of both breast and ovarian cancer.
  • If you have a strong family history of cancer or other cancers, you may recommend a blood test to help identify specific mutations in BRCA or other genes.

Symptoms of Breast Cancer:

The initial symptom of breast cancer is usually an area of thickened tissue in the breast or a lump in the breast or an armpit.

Other symptoms include:

  • Armpit or breast pain that not changed with the monthly cycle
  • Color variations such as redness in the skin of the breast
  • A rash around or on one nipple area.
  • Discharge from a nipple, which may contain blood
  • A sunken or inverted nipple
  • A modification in the shape or size of the breast
  • Loss of the upper layer of your skin, flaking, or scaling of the skin of the breast or nipple

Risk Factors:

This are some risk factors (For information only):

  1. Being female : Women are much more likely than men are to develop breast cancer.
  2. Increasing age
  3. A personal history of breast conditions.
  4. A family history of cancer.
  5. Inherited genes that increase cancer risk. 
  6. Radiation exposure. 
  7. Beginning your period at a younger age: Beginning your period before age 12 increases the risk.
  8. Beginning menopause at an older age.


  1. Drinking alcohol: Drinking alcohol is directly linked to an increased risk. The amount of alcohol is also associated with the risk meter.
  2. Being overweight or obese: Being overweight or obese after menopause increases the risk.

Possibility Reason of Breast Cancer:

  1. Before menopause, a woman’s ovaries make most of her Estrogen, and fat tissue makes only a small part of the total amount. After menopause (when the ovaries stop making estrogen), the majority of Estrogen in the body is received from fat tissue. More body fat tissue after menopause may lead to a rise in Estrogen levels and increase the chances of getting cancer.
  2. Women overweight also tend to have increased blood insulin levels. Higher insulin levels are associated with some cancers, including BC.

For example:

  • Breast cancer after menopause for overweight or on high diets women is higher who gained weight as an adult.
  • For women who are weighty or obese before menopause, the risk is actually lower. The reasons for this aren’t exactly clear. Weight might also have diverse effects on different types of breast cancer.

For example: Being overweight after menopause is more strongly linked with an increased chance of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. Some research suggests that being overweight before menopause leads to an increase in risk of the less common triple-negative breast cancer.

3. Not being physically active: Routine physical activity reduces its risk, especially in women past menopause.

Perfectly how physical activity may reduce the risk isn’t clear, but it could be due to effects on body weight, inflammation, and hormone levels in body.

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that adults get 150 to 300 min. of moderate-intensity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous or high-intensity activity each week (or a together of these). Getting to or going over the upper limit of 300 min. is perfect.

4. Not having children: Women who have not had children or who had their first child after 30’s has more chances. Many pregnancies and becoming pregnant at an early age period may reduce risk.

5. Not breastfeeding: Most research recommends that breastfeeding could lead to slightly lower the risk, especially if it continues for a year or more.

A possible reason for this effect might be breastfeeding reduces a woman’s total number of lifetime menstrual cycles.

6. Birth control: Many birth control methods use hormones for it, which might increase risk.

7. Oral contraceptives & Birth control implants, intrauterine devices (IUDs), skin patches, vaginal rings.

8. Birth control shots: Some studies have suggested that taking long-acting progesterone shots (such as Depo-Provera) every 3 months for birth control might rise its cancer chances, but not all studies have found it.

(Note: Depo-Provera is a well-known brand name for medroxyprogesterone acetate, a contraceptive injection that contains a hormone called Progestin. Depo-Provera is injected every three months. Depo-Provera typically stops ovulation, keeping ovaries from releasing an egg. It also thickens cervical mucus to retain/away sperm from reaching the egg.)

9. Menopausal hormone therapy: Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) with estrogen (often combined with progesterone) has been used to relieve symptoms of menopause and help prevent osteoporosis (thinning of the bones). These treatment names, such as

Post-menopausal hormone therapy (PHT)

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

10. Combined hormone therapy (HT)

11. Bioidentical hormone therapy: The use of these hormones has been promoted as a safe way to treat the symptoms and signs of menopause. But because lack of studies comparing “bioidentical” or “natural” hormones to synthetic versions of hormones, no firm proof that therapy is safer or more effective.

12. Estrogen therapy (ET)

13. Breast implants: Breast implants have not been connected with an increased risk of the most common types of BC.

Yet, they have been connected to a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma called breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), which can form in the scar tissue around the implant.

Diagnosis :

  1. Breast exam
  2. Imaging tests:

This includes:

  1. Mammogram: 
    1. Ultrasound: This scan uses sound waves to help a doctor differentiate between a solid mass and a fluid-filled cyst.
    1. MRI
  2. Biopsy: Extracting a sample of tissue and sending it to a laboratory for analysis.

Treatment :

The most effective method depends on several aspects, including:

  • Type and stage of cancer in the body.
  • The sensitivity to hormones
  • The person’s age, overall health, and preferences

The main treatment options:

  • Radiation therapy
  • Surgery

A. Lumpectomy: This involves removing the tumor and a small amount of healthy tissue around it.

B. Mastectomy: A modest mastectomy includes removing the breast’s lobules, ducts, fatty tissue, nipple, areola, and some skin. In some types, a surgeon may removes affected lymph nodes and muscles in the chest wall.

  • Biological therapy, or targeted drug therapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Chemotherapy

Survival rates of Breast Cancer:

The NCI currently estimates that about 90% of females with can survive for at least 5 years after the diagnosis.

However, much successful surgery leads to long and health life.


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