Breast cancer is a type of cancer that occurs when abnormal cells in the breast tissue begin to grow and multiply uncontrollably. These abnormal cells can form a mass or lump in the breast, which can sometimes be felt during a breast self-exam or detected through mammography or other imaging tests. Breast cancer has the potential to metastasize to various parts of the body, including the lymph nodes, bones, or liver. There are several types of breast cancer, including ductal carcinoma in situ, invasive ductal carcinoma, and invasive lobular carcinoma, among others. Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer among women, but it can also affect men. The chances of successful treatment and survival are significantly increased with early detection and prompt treatment. Some of the signs and symptoms of the breast cancer include the following
- A thickening or lump in the underarm area or in the breast
- Swelling or redness in the breast
- Changes in breast size or shape
- Dimpling or puckering of the breast skin
- Nipple discharge, especially if it’s bloody
- Nipple inversion or retraction
- Persistent pain in a specific area of the breast.
- Skin changes on the breast, such as rash, flakiness or dimpling
It is important to note that not all lumps or changes in the breast are indicative of breast cancer, but if you notice any of these symptoms, it is advisable to see a healthcare professional for further evaluation.
Causes of Breast Cancer
Abnormal growth of cells in the breast tissue leads to the development of breast cancer. The exact cause of breast cancer is not fully understood, but some factors that may contribute to the development of breast cancer include:
- Genetics and family history: Women who have a family history of breast cancer, particularly if their mother or sister has been diagnosed, may have a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
- Age: The likelihood of developing breast cancer escalates as one ages, particularly after reaching 50 years old.
- Hormonal factors: Women who started menstruating early, went through menopause late, or have never had children may have a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
- Lifestyle factors: Poor diet, lack of physical activity, obesity, smoking, and alcohol consumption may also increase the risk of breast cancer.
- Exposure to radiation: Women who have had radiation therapy to the chest area for other medical conditions may have an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
It is important to note that while these factors may increase the risk of breast cancer, not all women who have one or more of these risk factors will develop breast cancer. Conversely, some women who do not have any known risk factors may still develop breast cancer.
Prevention of Breast Cancer
While it is not always possible to prevent breast cancer, there are several lifestyle choices that can help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. Here are some ways to help prevent breast cancer:
Maintain a healthy weight : It is essential to maintain a healthy body weight, as being overweight or obese, especially after menopause, raises the risk of breast cancer.
Be physically active: Engaging in regular physical activity can help reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Limit alcohol intake: Restricting the intake of alcohol is advisable as even consuming small amounts of alcohol can raise the risk of breast cancer.
Quit smoking: Smoking can increase the risk of breast cancer and many other types of cancer.
Breastfeed: Women who breastfeed their babies may have a reduced risk of developing breast cancer.
Get regular mammograms: Mammograms can help detect breast cancer early, when it is most treatable.
Know your family history: If you have a family history of breast cancer, talk to your doctor about your risk and any additional screening tests you may need.
It is important to note that while these lifestyle choices may help reduce the risk of breast cancer, they cannot guarantee prevention. Regular screening and early detection remain important for the best chance of successful treatment.
It is important to note that while these strategies may help reduce the risk of breast cancer, they are not a guarantee, and women should still talk to their doctor about their individual risk factors and appropriate screening and prevention strategies.
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This information on this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content in this site contained through this Web site is for general information purposes only.