What is breast cancer?


Breast cancer is the most common malignancy of women and causes the majority of cancer-related deaths in women. The lifetime risk is one in eight women. It can also affect men, although it is more prevalent in women. There are a large number of risk factors for breast cancer. They are mostly related to hormonal factors and inherited susceptibility.

There are a few risk factors. The first one is Age. It is rare in women who are younger than 25 years of age. The incidence of breast cancer development increases after the age of 30 years. Family history also plays an important role in it. Risk of breast cancer maybe higher than 90 percent for people if their first degree relatives suffered from it. 

Ethnicity also has a link with breast cancer. The highest risk of happening is in European women. The mortality rates are five times higher in the US than in Japan. Hispanic and African American women tend to develop cancer at a young age. A lot of new moms, refuse to breastfeed their children. A research proved that mothers who do not breastfeed their children are at higher risk of developing breast cancer.

Menstruation before 12 years of age and menopause after 55 years of age increases the risk. This increased risk is due to exposure to a higher amount of estrogen. Estrogen stimulates the breast tissue. The risk of it is higher in women who have more extended breast tissue exposure to estrogen.

Women who give birth after 30 years of age are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer.

While it is no doubt a very serious disease, most of the patients know nothing about the symptoms. there are a few symptoms that we need to know.  A lump in the breast, change in color of the skin, change in shapes or size of breast, retraction of the nipples or discharge from the nipples might be the earliest signs of it.  The skin resembles the surface of an orange. This orange appearance is known as the peau d’orange appearance.

Early detection contributes to a 39% decline in the rates of deaths associated with breast cancer. Proper self-examination of the breast can cause the early detection of breast cancer. To self-examine yourself,  Stand in front of a mirror and look for changes in the shape, size, and color of the breast and the nipple. Next,  Place your hands on the hips and bend forward and backward to detect any changes.

 With the tips of the fingers, examine the breasts in a circular pattern. Start from the outer part and pull inward toward the nipple.

Place your thumb and forefinger around the nipple and press to check if any discharge occurs.

If you notice any change in texture, rash or lumps in the breast or armpits, dimpling of the skin of your breast, nipple inversions or blood discharge from your breast, immediately contact a doctor and get screened.

Breast cancer is the leading type of cancer in women, but if diagnosed early it’s not fatal. There are a few different types of treatments available. Mastectomy is a surgical procedure in which a whole breast is removed. Lumpectomy is another type of breast surgery in which a tumor or the tissues surrounding the cancerous part are removed.

Cancer cells can also be killed with drugs in the process known as chemotherapy. It helps but it has side effects like nausea, fatigue, vomiting and hair loss. Radiation therapy is used for the treatment of breast cancer. It uses high energy waves to destroy the cancerous cells.

Remember, Precaution is better than cure.

It’s an advise from us to self-examine yourself pretty often and if you find anything, consult your doctor as soon as possible.

If you have any more questions regarding breast cancer, do let us know in the comments.


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