Breast cancer is a type of cancer that gets formed in breast cells. It is one of the most common cancers among women, after skin cancer. Even though breast cancer can occur in both men and women, the latter are the common ones to suffer. There is a huge campaign happening all over the world for creating awareness about breast cancer symptoms and causes. This has helped in early diagnosis and treatment of the same. It has increased the survival rates due to breast cancer and the number of deaths due to this disease is declining at a steady rate.
Breast Cancer Symptoms
The common and first symptom of breast cancer is the appearance of a lump or thickened tissue in armpit or breast.
There are many other breast cancer symptoms that appear with time and the stage of cancer.
-The pain in breast or armpits that stays even after periods,
-rashes or redness on breast,
-rashes around nipples,
-nipple discharge with blood,
-inverted or sunken nipple,
-changes in shape or size of the breast,
-scaling, flaking, and peeling of skin on nipple or breast.
Most of the lumps that appear on breasts are harmless but it is advisable to visit the doctor for examination.
Breast cancer is triggered by the abnormal growth of breast cells, thus leading to the formation of a mass or lump. These cells spread to the lymph nodes or to any other parts of the body through breast cells. Breast cancer usually triggers from cells inside milk-producing ducts. There are citations of breast cancer from glandular tissue known as lobules or from other tissues or cells inside the breast.
There are also cases where breast cancer symptoms develop in people who have no exposure to any of the conditions that cause it, while those who have exposure, stay fit, and normal. Like any other type of cancer, to define the causes of breast cancer is very difficult. There is a huge role in a complex interaction of the environment and an individual’s genetics. Here are some of the genetic causes of breast cancer.
1. Inherited Breast Cancer
The studies show that 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers can be due to gene mutations that pass through generations in a family. The common inherited mutated genes which can increase the chances of breast cancer are found out. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the most popular genes that can pose a higher risk of ovarian and breast cancer.
2. Other Risk Factors
There are so many other risk factors that can cause breast cancer along with hereditary factors. There is no study that confirms that exposure to these risk factors can 100% put the person at risk of breast cancer.
- Women are most like to affect breast cancer than men.
- Elderly women are more prone to breast cancer.
- A history of various breast conditions can also increase the chances of getting breast cancer.
- Exposure to radiation even as a treatment on the chest can increase the chances of breast cancer.
- Obesity can also be one of the major causes of it.
- Starting a period very early at the age of 10 to 12 or having menopause at a very older age are also the reasons for breast cancer.
- Having a child very late or having no child at all can also be causes of it.
- Alcohol consumption can also be one of the reasons for breast cancer.
Treatments for Breast Cancer
There are different types of treatments for breast cancer. However, it depends completely on factors like type, stage of cancer, the sensitivity of the patient towards hormones, age, the health of the patient, and also the choice of the patient. The common treatments are surgery, biological therapy, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy.
-Surgery may be an option depending upon individual preference as well as diagnosis. There are different types of surgeries like mastectomy, lumpectomy, reconstruction, axillary lymph node dissection, etc.
-Radiation therapy is another method of treatment that is usually advised after the surgery. It may go on for a month, by targeting radiations on tumor for killing the remaining cancerous cells.
-Chemotherapy is the treatment that makes use of cytotoxic chemotherapy drugs for destroying cancer cells. It is advisable when there is a huge risk of spread or recurrence.
-Biological treatment aims at using targeted drugs for destroying the specific type of breast cancers. Hormone blocking therapy aims at preventing the recurrence of breast cancers that are hormone-sensitive.