Breast cancer is only one of 200 different types of cancer. It is considered a woman’s disease but both men and women have the disease.
Every year, more than 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer. Twelve percent of all women will get the disease and 3.5% of them will die. Breast cancer is the leading cause of death among women who are 40 to 55 years old.
Cancer occurs when cells divide uncontrollably. Cells keep dividing even though new cells are not needed. Change from normal to cancerous cells requires gene alterations. Altered genes and uncontrolled growth may lead to tumors. These tumors can be benign (NOT cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). ...view middle of the document...
Family members with breast cancer - A family history of breast cancer may increase your risk of breast cancer. But just because someone in your family has breast cancer does not mean you will have it too. About 75% of patients with breast cancer do not have a family history of breast cancer
Early menstruation, late menopause - Menstruation before the age of 12 and menopause after the age of 50 can increase your risk of cancer.
Age - Women who are older have a higher risk than women who are younger. Also, women who have their first pregnancy after the age of 40 may get the disease.
diet/food - Food with less fat and more fiber are safer. Being obese may also increase your risk.
chemicals - Researchers in the New York State Department of Health have found that women on Long Island who grew up within a mile of a chemical plant have a greater chance of getting breast cancer if they lived further away from the chemical plant.
race - Even though white women are more likely to get cancer than African-American women, African-American women are more likely to die from cancer. Asian, Hispanic, and American Indian women have a lower risk of getting breast cancer.
Birth control pills - A study showed that women using birth control pills have a slightly greater risk of breast cancer.
Hormone replacement therapy - Most studies suggest that use of HRT for relief of menopause symptoms for more than 5 years may slightly increase the risk of breast cancer.
Alcohol - Women who have 2 to 5 drinks daily have about 1 1/2 times the risk of women who drink no alcohol.
There are several symptoms of breast cancer. Early cancer may not show any symptoms at all but as time goes by and the cancer grows, there may be symptoms.
You may get a lump or a thickening in or near the breast. Change in its shape or contour, swelling, thickening, pore enlargement, retraction or scaliness of the nipple, nipple discharge, pain or tenderness. It is usually found in a person’s breast as a hard lump that is painless. In some cases, pain and tenderness may occur. Bloody discharges occur in about 33% of patients with breast cancer.
Your breast may also begin to look and feel different. Your breasts may look like
an orange peel with ridges and pitting of the breast. Your breasts and nipples may also become warm, swollen, red, or scaly.
Types of breast cancer
Ductal Carcinoma in Situ
Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS) is an early type of breast cancer. This type develops within the milk duct but it generally has no symptoms. This type of breast cancer is non-invasive, which means it “stays” where it is developed in. Even so, if it is left untreated, it may eventually spread into other parts of the breast.
DCIS is also referred to as a Stage 0 breast cancer.
This type of breast cancer begins in the lobules, where milk is produced.
Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
This is the most common type of breast...