What is Breast Cancer and Its Causes

Breast Cancer
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The major cause of cancer is when the cells start to grow out of control and the same things when happens in breasts of the women it causes breast cancer the kind of breast cancer depends on the cells which grow abnormally.

It contains 3 main parts

  • Lobules which produce the milk.
  • Duct is the tube that carries milk to the nipple.
  • Connective tissue holds everything together.

Breast cancer can also be spread to other parts of the body through blood vessels and lymph that situation is called metastasizing.

Breast cancers can start from different parts of the breast.

  • Most breast cancers begin in the ducts that carry milk to the nipple (ductal cancers)
  • Some start in the glands that make breast milk (lobular cancers)
  • There are also other types of breast cancer that are less common like phyllodes tumor and angiosarcoma
  • A small number of cancers start in other tissues in the breast. These cancers are called sarcomas and lymphomas and are not really thought of as breast cancers.


How Breast cancer spreads

Lymph is a network of vessels that are found in the body throughout and that connect lymph nodes. The clear fluid inside the lymph vessel is called the lymph which contains the immunity system cells, tissue by-product cells, and waste material.

Lymph fluids are carried out of the breast by the lymph vessels. In the case of breast cancer, the cancer cells grow in the lymph nodes and most of the lymph vessels of the breast drain into:

  • Lymph nodes under the arm.
  • Lymph nodes around the collar bone.
  • Lymph nodes inside the chest near the breast bone.

If the cancer is spread or traveled through the lymph node then there is a higher chance that it has been spread to the other parts of the body called metastasized. you will need surgery to remove one or more lymph nodes to know whether the cancer has spread.


Signs and symptoms of breast cancer may include:

  • A breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue
  • Change in the size, shape or appearance of a breast
  • Changes to the skin over the breast, such as dimpling
  • A newly inverted nipple
  • Peeling, scaling, crusting or flaking of the pigmented area of skin surrounding the nipple (areola) or breast skin
  • Redness or pitting of the skin over your breast, like the skin of an orange.


  • Hormonal abnormality
  • Genetic Makeup
  • Environment factors
  • Lifestyle

Types of Breast Cancer

Inflammatory breast cancer

A very rare but aggressive type of breast cancer which blocks the lymph node so that lymph vessels in the breast cannot drain properly which results in creating a tumor. It causes the breast to swell, look reddish and warm.

IBC is very aggressive and can progress very quickly so it is very important to consult the doctor if any symptoms found.

Triple-negative breast cancer

Another very rare type of breast cancer that affects only 10 to 20 percent of the people with breast. To be diagnosed as triple-negative breast cancer, a tumor must have all three of the following characteristics:

  • It lacks estrogen receptors. These are receptors at the cells that bind or attach, to the hormone estrogen. If a tumor has estrogen receptors, estrogen can stimulate the most cancers to grow.
  • It lacks progesterone receptors. These receptors are cells that bind to the hormone progesterone. If a tumor has progesterone receptors, progesterone can stimulate the most cancers to grow.
  • It doesn’t have extra HER2 proteins on its surface. HER2 is a protein that fuels breast most cancers growth.

If all these three criteria are fulfilled then the cancer is said to have triple-negative breast cancer. They are difficult to treat and they can grow and spread faster than other cancers.

Metastatic breast cancer

Another name of stage 4 breast cancer. It is a type of cancer that can spread from the breast to other parts of the body like bones, lungs, and liver. This is an advanced stage of breast cancer where you oncologist will make a plan to stop the growth and spread of tumor/tumors.

Ductal breast cancer In Situ

Ductal breast cancer in situ (DCIS) is a non-invasive most cancers wherein bizarre cells had been located withinside the lining of the breast milk duct.

The strange cells have now no longer unfold outdoor of the ducts into the encompassing breast tissue.

Ductal breast cancer in situ could be very early most cancers this is tremendously treatable, however, if it’s left untreated or undetected, it could unfold into the encompassing breast tissue.

Invasive Ductal breast cancer

Also called the infiltrative ductal breast cancer that began forming in the milk duct and spread to the other part of the breast tissue this can also be spread to other parts of the body. It is the most common type of breast cancer making up to 70-80% diagnosis.

Breast cancer stages

Stage zero breast cancer

Stage zero is DCIS. Cancer cells in DCIS stay confined to the ducts within the breast and haven’t unfolded into near tissue.

Stage one breast cancer

  • Stage 1A: The first tumor is a pair of centimeters wide or less and therefore the bodily fluid nodes don’t seem to be affected.
  • Stage 1B: Cancer is found in near bodily fluid nodes, and either there’s no tumor within the breast, or the tumor is smaller than a pair of cm.

Stage two of breast cancer

  • Stage2A: The tumor is smaller than 2 cm and has unfolded to 1–3 near bodily fluid nodes, or it’s between a pair of and five cm and hasn’t unfolded to any bodily fluid nodes.
  • Stage 2B: The tumor is between 2 and five cm and has unfolded to 1–3 axillary (armpit) bodily fluid nodes, or it’s larger than five cm and hasn’t unfold to any bodily fluid nodes.

Stage three breast cancer

  • Stage 3A:
    • The cancer has unfold to 4–9 axillary bodily fluid nodes or has enlarged the inner duct gland lymph nodes, and therefore the primary tumor will be any size.
    • Tumors are bigger than five cm and therefore the cancer has unfold to 1–3 axillary bodily fluid nodes or any os nodes.
  • Stage 3B: A tumor has invaded the chest wall or skin and will or might not have invaded up to nine bodily fluid nodes.
  • Stage 3C: Cancer is found in ten or a lot of axillary bodily fluid nodes, bodily fluid nodes close to the bone, or internal duct gland nodes.

Stage four breast cancer

Stage four breast can have a tumor of any size, and its cancer cells have unfolded to near and distant body fluid nodes further as distant organs.

The testing your doctor will verify the stage of your breast cancer, which can have an effect on your treatment.

Diagnosis of Breast Cancer

To confirm the symptoms of the breast cancer doctor has to do a physical examination. Tests that can help diagnose breast cancer include:


It is the imaging test and the most common way to test the below surface of the breast. Mostly women above age 40 get an annual mammogram to check for cancer.

If the doctor suspects for anything like a tumor they will request for the mammogram if they saw an abnormal area then they will ask for further tests.


It uses sound waves to create pictures of the tissues inside the breast which helps the doctor to distinguish between the solid mass such as tumor and benign cyst.

Breast Biopsy

When it is difficult to answer about the cancer from the ultrasound and mammography then the doctor asks for the breast biopsy. In this process, the tissue is taken from the suspect area and then will send to the laboratory to test the tissue for cancer and if tested positive the lab will tell the doctor which type of cancer you are having.

Breast cancer treatment

Several types of surgery may be used to remove breast cancer, including:


  • Lumpectomy: This procedure removes the tumor and a few close tissue, going the remainder of the breast intact.
  • Mastectomy: During this procedure, a medico removes a complete breast. in an exceedingly double ablation, each breast is removed.
  • Sentinel Node Biopsy: This surgery removes many of the lymph nodes that receive emptying from the tumor. These lymph nodes are going to be tested. If they don’t have cancer, you’ll not like further surgery to get rid of a lot of lymph nodes.
  • Axillary Node Dissection: If lymph nodes removed throughout a sentinel node biopsy contain cancer cells, your doctor could take away further tumor nodes.
  • Contralateral Prophylactic Ablation: Albeit breast cancer could also be a gift in just one breast, some ladies elect to own a contralateral prophylactic ablation. This surgery removes your healthy breast to scale back your risk of developing breast cancer once more.

Radiation Therapy

Uses strong radiation beams to kill the cancer cells this technique uses a large machine outside of the body.

Advanced radiation technique is invented that can provide the radiation from inside of the body this type is called brachytherapy.

In this process, the surgeon place the seed near the suspect zone, and the see remain for a short period of time and work to destroy the cancer cells.

Hormone Therapy

The two female hormones i..e estrogen and progesterone can help the growth of cancer tumors.  Hormone therapy will stop producing these hormones or by blocking the hormone receptors on the cancer cells this will slow down the growth of the cancer.

Risk factors for breast cancer

Age: The risk of breast cancer increases as the age increases the most invasive breast cancer found in the women at age of 55 or above.

Drinking alcohol. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol raises your risk.

Giving birth at an older age. Women who didn’t have their first child till the age of 35 have a greater risk of having breast cancer.

Late menopause starts. Women who do not start menopause until after age 55 are more likely to develop breast cancer.

Never being pregnant: Women who never have been a mother or never carried a pregnancy most likely to have breast cancer.

Genes. Women who have the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations are more likely to develop breast cancer.

Breast cancer prevention

Lifestyle factors

Lifestyle factors will have an effect on the risk of breast cancer. as an example, the ladies World Health Organization area unit rotund has a better risk of developing breast cancer. Maintaining a healthy diet and obtaining a lot of exercise may assist you melt off and lower your risk.

Drinking an excessive amount of alcohol conjointly will increase your risk. this is often true of getting 2 or a lot of drinks per day, and of binge drinking.

However, one study found that even one drink per day will increase your risk of breast cancer. If you drink alcohol, sit down with your doctor regarding what quantity they advocate for you.

Breast cancer screening

Having regular mammograms might not forestall breast cancer, however, it will facilitate scale back the chances that it’ll go undetected. The yank School of Physicians (ACP) provides the subsequent general recommendations for girls at average risk for breast cancer:
  • Ladies ages forty to 49: Associate in Nursing annual X-ray picture is not suggested, however ladies ought to discuss their preferences with their doctors.
  • Ladies ages fifty to 74: A X-ray picture each different year is usually recommended.
  • Ladies seventy-five and older: Mammograms are not any longer suggested.

Preemptive treatment

Some ladies area unit at augmented risk of breast cancer because of hereditary factors. as an example, if your mother or father contains a BRCA1 or BRCA2 chromosomal mutation, you’re at a better risk of getting it moreover. This considerably raises your risk of breast cancer.

If you’re in danger of this mutation, sit down with your doctor regarding your diagnostic and prophylactic treatment choices. you’ll need to be tested to search out out if you certainly have the mutation.

And if you learn that you just do have it, check with your doctor any preventative steps you’ll be able to desire scale back your risk of obtaining breast cancer. These steps may embrace a prophylactic excision (surgical removal of a breast).

Breast examination

In addition to mammograms, breast exams area unit otherwise to look at for signs of breast cancer.
Self-examsMany women do breast reflection. It’s best to try to to this examination once a month, at an equivalent time monthly. The examination will assist you to become acquainted with however your breasts commonly look and feel so you’re responsive to any changes that occur.Keep in mind, though, that the ACS considers these exams to be nonmandatory, as a result of current analysis hasn’t shown a transparent advantage of physical exams, whether or not performed reception or by a doctor.

Breast examination by your doctor

The same pointers for self-exams provided on top of area unit true for breast exams done by your doctor or another care supplier. They won’t hurt you, and your doctor could do a breast examination throughout your annual visit.

If you’re having symptoms that concern you, it’s an honest plan to possess your doctor to do a breast examination. throughout the examination, your doctor can check each of your breasts for abnormal spots or signs of breast cancer.

Your doctor may additionally check different components of your body to envision if the symptoms you’re having can be associated with another condition.
Learn a lot of regarding what your doctor could search for throughout a breast examination.

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