Breast cancer is a disease in which cells in the breast tissue grow briskly forming malignant tumours. A malignant tumour can multiply rapidly and can spread to other parts of the body. The type of cancer can be classified based on the type of breast tissue affected. A breast consists of three main parts; the lobules, ducts and connective tissue. The most common types are
- Invasive ductal carcinoma: The cells enlarge swiftly around the ducts in other parts of breast tissue. The tumours can reach other sites in the body as well.
- Invasive lobular carcinoma: The cancer cells spread from milk-producing lobules to the nearby tissues. These invasive cells can spread to different parts of the body.
The symptoms can differ from person to person, and It is also possible that some might not notice any of the mentioned symptoms. Following are some of the warning signs you shouldn’t ignore.
- A new lump in the breast or the armpit area.
- Swelling in the breast skin
- Irritation or dint in the breast tissue.
- Pain in the nipple area
- Alteration in shape or size of the breast.
- Oozing out of discharge or blood from the nipple area.
Women over 50 years are at a higher risk as it is found mostly in older women. That doesn’t mean younger women cannot contract the disease. You might be at risk of breast cancer due to one or a combination of the following factors:
- Inherited genetic mutations to BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.
- Early menstruation before the age of 12 and late menopause after 55 can will expose you to hormones for an extended period. This phenomenon can increase the risk of breast cancer.
- Dense breasts with more connective tissue and less fat tissue can make it harder for tumours to appear on a mammogram. Women who have dense breasts are at risk.
- Family history of breast cancer.
- Women who undergo radiation therapy before the age of 30 can acquire breast cancer later in life.
- Pregnancy after 30, avoiding breastfeeding and a lack of full-term pregnancy can increase your risk.
- Hormone replacement therapy(with progesterone and estrogen) taken during menopause can increase the risk if consumed for five years or more.
The treatment can depend upon the type and size of the tumour. Also, if you have gone through menopause, other health conditions can play a vital role in the process.
- Chemotherapy is used to eliminate the cancer cells and is even used to reduce the size before surgical removal.
- Radiation therapy makes use of radiation to contribute towards these cancerous cells; hormone therapy eliminates, adds or stops these hormones.