Breast cancer is the type of cancer that develops in breast tissues. It can occur in both men and women but it is more common in women. It the most common type of cancer in women and also one of the main causes of cancer deaths in women.
Breast cancer is usually as a result of uncontrollable division of the cells of the breast due to a mutation in the genes that control cell growth. The cancer cells are capable of spreading to healthy breast tissues and other parts of the body though the lymph nodes located under the armpit.
- Presence of lump(s) in the breast
- Bloody discharge from the nipple
- Inverted nipple
- Change in the shape, colour and texture of the breast
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Breast pain
- Flaking of the areola
- Pain beneath the armpit or around the collarbone
The presence of a lump in the breast is usually the first noticeable symptom of breast cancer but the presence of a lump does not always mean that it is breast cancer. There are other medical conditions that can cause the presence of lumps in the breast.
The exact cause of breast cancer is unknown but some things seem to increase the chances of it developing. There are some people who have these risk factors but do not develop breast cancer and this is one of the
The older someone gets, the higher the chances of that person developing breast cancer
Women are more likely to develop breast cancer.
If there is a history of breast cancer in a family, members of that family who are genetically linked are more likely to develop breast cancer. Also, women with gene mutations, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 are also more likely to develop breast cancer.
Consuming too much alcohol regularly increases the risk of developing breast cancer.
Someone who has had breast cancer before is more likely to have it again than someone who has not.
Breastfeeding, especially for 1 – 2 years, decreases the chances of developing breast cancer because it reduces estrogen level after pregnancy.
Late menopause increases the risk of developing breast cancer.
Hormone Replacemen Therapy
This is used to treat the symptoms of menopause by using estrogens and progestogens. Too much exposure to estrogen without balancing it with progestogen increases the risk of breast cancer.
Exercising decreases the risk of breast cancer.
Breeast cancer can be grouped into five stages and these stages are determined by three factors (TNM), namely:
- Tumor – the size of the tumor
- Lymph Node – The number of lymph node affected and their location
- Metastases – If the cancer has spread tp other areas of the body.
The stages of breast cancer are used to determine how much
It is also known as non-invasive cancer. The cancer cells are still within the duct and have not spread to surrounding tissues.
If there is a tumour, it is usually less than 2 centimetres in length. The cancer cells have spread to the fatty tissues but have not spread to the lymph nodes.
Some cancer cells are in nearby lymph nodes but they are few. If there is a
The tumour in the breast is small, less than 2 centimetres and has spread to 3 lymph nodes nearby or it is between 2 and 5
It is larger than 2 centimeters and it has spread to 1 or 3 armpit lymphnodes or it is larger than 5 centimeters and has not spread to any lymph nodes.
The cancer cells can be found in 4 or 9 axillary lymph nodes and have enlarged the lymph nodes deep in the breast (the internal mammary gland). In some cases, the tumour is large and greater than 5 centimetres but other times, there are no tumours. Also,
Cancer is found in 10 or more axillary lymph nodes. Lymph nodes above or below the collar bone or internal mammary nodes have been affected.
It can have a tumour of any size. At this stage, the cancer is known as metastatic. The cancer cells have spread to nearby and distant lymph nodes as well as distant organs. The most common organs they spread to are the bones, liver, lungs and brain.
There are many types of breast cancers but out of all, the carcinomas are the most common.
Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS)
It is not invasive. The cancers cells are still in the ducts and have not invaded the surrounding tissues. They are still restricted to the ducts of the breasts.
Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS)
Invasive (Infiltrating) Types
Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
Less Common Types
- Inflammatory breast cancer
- Paget disease
- Phyllodes tumour
- Triple-negative breast cancer
This can be done by a physician and it can also be done without a physician. It is done by mentally dividing the breast into equal segments (such as that of a pie) and thouroughly feeling each segment with the palm in other to determine the presence of lumps.
A mammogram is the use of infrared to detect abnormalities in the breast. It is a type of x-ray for breast screening.
Magnetic Resonance Imagery (MRI)
It is non-invasive and is used to examine cross-sectional images of the breast in order to determine how far the cancer cells have spread.
There are several types and they include:
It is the removal of the tumour and the tissues surrounding it. It is also known as breast-conserving surgery and unlike mastectomy, the entire breast is not removed.
This is the removal of all the breast tissue. A skin-sparing mastectomy may be performed if immediate reconstruction is to be carried out. A skin-sparing
Sentinel Node Biopsy
This is the removal of a few nodes in order to stop the cancer cells from spreading.
Axillary Lymph Node Dissection
Radiation therapy is the
Some breast cancers are sensitive to hormones. Estrogen and progesterone are two hormones that stimulate the growth of cancer cells and what hormone therapy does is that it blocks the production of these hormones through the use of appropriate medications. These medications can affect fertility in women.Leave a reply