When the cells inside the breast turn cancerous, it results into breast cancer. Breast cancer is the second most common disease after skin cancer in humans. Though breast cancer can occur in both men and women, it is predominant in women. There are several breast cancer support services, awareness programs and research funding that has helped in creation of advanced diagnosis and treatment of this condition. There have been increase in cancer survival rates from breast cancer and the number of deaths due to this condition has seen a steady decline, primarily due to the factors like early diagnosis and detection along with a personalized approach towards treatment with better understanding of this disease.

Symptoms

Symptoms and signs of breast cancer could be:

  • A lump on the breast or thickening that seems different from its surrounding tissue
  • The size, shape or appearance of the breast changes
  • Changes in the skin on top of the breast, like dimpling
  • Peeling, scaling, flaking or crusting of the skin’s pigmented area surrounding the breast skin or nipple
  • Pitting or redness of your skin on top of your breast, just like that of orange skin

Causes

Physicians understand that breast cancer develops in an event where breast cells start growing abnormally. The abnormal cells start dividing at a fast pace than the healthy cells and continue accumulating, creating a mass or kind of lump. Cells may metastatize through the breast to the lymph nodes or even other portions of the body.

Most of the time, breast cancer begins with those cells in the milk-production ducts. This condition may as well start at the lobules, which are glandular tissue or in other tissue/cell in the breast. According to researchers - environmental, lifestyle, and hormonal factors could increase all risks of developing breast cancer. However, it is not clear why certain people showing no symptoms or factors are found with breast cancer, while some with majority of the factors do not contract it. There is a huge likelihood of breast cancer being contracted due to complex interaction of the environment around you and your genetic composition.

Inherited Breast Cancer

According to the estimations made by doctors, between almost 5 and 10 percent of the breast cancers have been linked to the gene mutations that are passed through generations in a family. If there are more numbers of mutated genes inherited, it can easily increase the possibility of breast cancer. The maximum well known genes of breast cancer are BRCA1 and BRCA2 - both the variants highly increase the risk of both ovarian and breast cancer.

It is better to consult a genetic counsellor, who could review the genetic history of a family. A genetic counsellor could also discuss the risks,, limitations and benefits that genetic testing provide so that you can make an informed shared decision.

Risk Factors

Certain factors predominate over others in developing the risk of breast cancer, like:

In case you are a female: Women have higher likelihood of getting breast cancer.

If you are at a higher age: The risk of getting breast cancer increases with age.

Personal history of the disease: If anyone in your family like your mother, sister, or daughter had breast cancer, particularly at a young age, the risk of breast cancer increases in you.

It is in the genes: Some gene mutations usually increase the risk of this condition from your parents to you. The most predominantly abundant gene mutations are BRCA1 and BRCA2. These genes could highly increase the risk of breast and other cancer.

Exposure to radiation: In case you have received treatments of radiation on chest as child or as young adult, you increase the chances of breast cancer.

Obesity: Obesity increases the risk of breast cancer.

In case you began your menstrual cycle early: In case your menstrual cycle started before 12 years of age, you have increased possibility of breast cancer.

Carrying your first child at an older age: Women who have given birth to their first child after the age of 30, may come have an increased risk of breast cancer.

In case you have never been pregnant: 

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Namaste, I am Carol, your health assistant from Cura Hospitals, to answer your queries
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