Breast Cancer: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments

Breast cancer is a condition in which the growth of the cells goes out of control, and they start to divide and create masses and lumps in the breast. During this disease, patients feel the presence of a lump in their breasts that starts to increase in size. The skin of the breast also becomes damaged and changes its color because of the presence of a tumor. Breast cancer causes increases day by day.

This type of cancer is most common in women, and it is regarded as the second most common type of cancer after skin cancer. It needs to be appropriately treated; otherwise, it can result in the patient’s death because the tumor can quickly go to the other parts of the body and damage the healthy tissues.

Symptoms of breast cancer:

The breast cancer symptoms vary from person to person. The most common symptoms of breast cancer are given below:

  • Change in the shape of the breast
  • Presence of a lump and feel of a thickness in the breast
  • Redness on the skin of the breast
  • Discharge of blood from the nipple
  • Change in the skin of the breast
  • Dimpling of the nipple
  • Peeling of the breast skin
  • Feeling of Hardness in the breast skin

Causes of breast cancer:

There are several causes of having breast cancer. Some common causes are listed below:

  • Age: old age people are more likely to have breast cancer than younger ones
  • Invasive ductal carcinoma: Uncontrolled division of the cells in the milk-producing duct is the most significant cause of breast cancer.
  • Invasive lobular carcinoma: Overgrowth of the cells in the lobules is also a significant cause of breast cancer.
  • Genetics history: People with a genetic history of breast cancer are more likely to develop it.
  • Smoking: Inhaling the carcinogen also causes breast cancer.
  • Obesity: Being overweight can leads to breast cancer.
  • Alcohol consumption: Drinking alcohol and use of beverages can cause breast cancer.
  • Exposure to harmful radiation: If you are exposed to the radiation in your brain or a chest area, you have a high risk of developing breast cancer.
  • HRT: Hormonal replacement therapy is also the most significant cause of breast cancer in trans- genders.

Types of breast cancer

These are the following types of breast cancer:

1. Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC):

IDC is the most common type of invasive breast cancer. It starts from the milk-producing ducts and spreads in the whole breast. Almost 80% of women suffer from this type of cancer.

2. Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC):

ILC is present in the milk-producing glands called lobules. It is the second most common type of invasive breast cancer. Almost 10-15% of women suffer from this type of cancer.

3. Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS):

DCIS is a non-invasive type of breast cancer that does not go outside the milk-producing ducts. It is not an aggressive type of cancer and can be treated with proper medication and treatment.

4. Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS):

LCIS is not cancer but a pre-cancerous condition. The cell remains inside the lobule and does not divide vigorously. A physical exam of the breast is required in this condition.

5. Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC):

When the estrogenic and progesterone receptors of the patient lack protein, then she tests for triple-negative breast cancer. It is the most threatening type of breast cancer.

6. Metastatic breast cancer:

It is a type of breast cancer that can meta-sizes to the other parts of the body such as lungs, bones, liver, etc.

7. Inflammatory breast cancer:

It is caused by an infection in the breast and is marked by the redness, swelling, dimpling, and peeling off the breast skin.

Diagnoses of breast cancer

Breast cancer is diagnosed in the following ways:

1. Physical exam:

Your doctor can conduct a physical examination of your breast. He can touch and press the breast to detect the presence of any lump in the breast. He can also ask you about the symptoms and your medical history. He can also recommend you the conduction of specific tests.

2. Mammogram:

It is an X-ray of your breast to detect any abnormality. The X-ray picture will show the presence of any lump, infection, or clotting in the breast. It is the earliest stage of detection the breast cancer.

3. Ultrasound:

In this test, the sound waves are used to detect the abnormality in breast tissues. It can clarify whether the breast lump is a solid or fluid-filled cyst.

4. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI):

Your doctor can recommend you for an MRI to get the most precise picture of the lumps in the breast; during this procedure, magnets and radio waves are used.

5. Positron emission tomography (PET):

During the conduction of this, a special dye is injected into the veins of the affected area of the breast to get the images.

6. Biopsy:

In this test, an affected tissue is extracted from the breast and sent to the laboratory for further testing. The result of this test can clarify whether it is cancer or not; it also detects the shape, size, and type of the tumor. It also tells how far the tumor has spread.

Treatment of breast cancer

Breast cancer is treated based on its type, size, severity, and symptoms. The following treatments are done to treat breast cancer:

1. Surgery:

During the surgery, the contaminated part of the body is removed. These are the following types of the surgery:

  • Lumpectomy: it is done to remove the small tumor in the breast. During this treatment, the lymph node is removed from the breast with a small amount of healthy tissue to control the cell division.
  • Mastectomy: During this surgery, the whole breast is removed with the breast tissues, lobules, nipple, areola, and fatty tissues to remove the tumor from the body.
  • Sentinel node biopsy: This procedure is used to remove the damaged lymph nodes and to detect whether the other lymph nodes are damaged or not.
  • Axillary lymph node dissection: If the sentinel node is detected with a cancerous substance, the doctor can recommend having axillary lymph node dissection.

2. Chemotherapy:

If cancerous substances spread out throughout the body, then chemotherapy is a primary drug treatment done to kill and stop the spread of those substances. Hair loss is the most common side effect of chemotherapy.

3. Radiation therapy:

High-powered x-rays kill the remaining cancerous cells after surgery.

4. Hormone therapy:

In this treatment, hormones are blocked to treat the sensitive cells and stop breast cancer recurrence.

5. Immunotherapy:

The patient’s immune system becomes strong to treat the cancerous proteins. It is used to treat triple-negative breast cancer.

References:

  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/breast-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20352470
  • https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/3986-breast-cancer
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/37136#causes
  • https://www.breastcancer.org/types?gclid=Cj0KCQjwJyUBhCuARIsANUqQ_J9VcMcPWmPppoEUktHmnkAYPmZ456ss4Em5Epw4aj2LS4-T-IJg74aAldgEALw_wcB
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