Breast cancer is that cancer which if formed by the cells of the breast. The breast cancer is the most common cancer detected in the women after skin cancer. The breast cancer can occur in both male and female, but it is more common in women.
The breast cancer cells usually form a lump/tumor. The breast cancer lump can be seen on a radiograph. Breast cancer lumps are usually found in the mammary glands or ducts. The breast cancer lump is generally appearing in the upper quadrant of the breast which extends into the armpit. Most of the breast lumps are benign not malignant (cancerous). The non-cancerous tumors have abnormal growth and do not spread outside the breast and they are curable breast cancer.
Breast cancer research shows that there are more than 3.1 million breast cancer survivors in the United States, according to the American cancer society (ACS). The average rate of any women dying from the breast cancer is around 1 in 38 i.e., (2.6%).
The breast cancer survival rate for women with invasive breast cancer is 91% of average 5 years and the breast cancer survival rate is 84% of average 10 years. And if cancer is only located in the breast, the breast cancer survival rate is 99% of average 5 years.
Risk factors is the condition that increase likelihood of a disease or injury.
There are various risk factors that increase the chance of breast cancer. Not each risk factor means that you are developing the disease but some breast cancer risk factors cannot be avoided such as family history.
So, the breast cancer risk factors include:
Breast cancer risk factors that can be controlled
Breast cancer risk factors that cannot be controlled
Breast cancer early symptoms:
In the early stages of breast cancer, you may not develop any symptom, because in most of the cases the breast cancer lump is too small to be feel, but if you get a mammogram done it can be visible over there. The first breast cancer symptom is the lump in the breast or an armpit.
Every breast cancer causes a high variety of symptoms some are similar and other are different.
Breast cancer symptoms include:
There are several types of the breast cancer, there are two main categories of breast cancer “invasive” and “non-invasive” or in situ. Invasive cancers spread from the breast ducts or glands to the other parts of the breast. Non-invasive cancer does not spread from the original tissue.
In situ cancers: These breast cancers do not spread the duct or lobule where they started.
Invasive cancers. These types of breast cancer have spread or invaded the surrounding breast tissue.
Less common types include:
Triple-negative breast cancer is another rare type of disease, it affects only about 10-20% of people having breast cancer. To diagnose a triple-negative breast cancer, a tumor must have all three of the following characteristics:
If a tumor has all these three criteria, it’s labeled a triple-negative breast cancer. These type of breast cancers have a tendency to grow and spread more rapidly than other types of breast cancer. These types of cancer are difficult to treat because hormonal therapy on breast cancer is not useful.
Metastatic is an advanced stage/last stage of breast cancer. Metastatic breast cancer is another name for stage 4 breast cancer. It’s breast cancer that has spread from your breast to other parts of your body, such as your bones, lungs, or liver.
Stages of breast cancer
Early stage of breast cancer is the stage 0 and it is DCIS. Cancer cells in DCIS remain confined to the ducts in the breast and they do not spread into nearby tissue.
Stage 1 breast cancer
Stage 2 breast cancer
Stage 3 breast cancer
Stage 4 breast cancer:
Stage 4 breast cancer can have a tumor of any size, and its cancer cells have spread to nearby and distant lymph nodes as well as distant organs.
When you developing the symptoms, you need to visit your doctor. To determine the condition, you may go through a physical examination of the breast first. After that they recommend you some diagnostics testes to diagnose the breast cancer and its type, these tests include:
The mammogram is the most common way to see below the surface of the breast. Women after their 40s may go through the mammogram annually to check the breast cancer. In this procedure the internal structure of breast is seen by using low x-ray dose. You should not get a mammogram done if you are breast feeding.
Ultrasound uses sound waves to detect the abnormalities. Breast cancer ultrasound helps to differentiate between a tumor, cyst or any mass lesion. Ultrasound is totally safe; you can go through an ultrasound test at any age.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging uses the magnetic radiation to diagnose the disease. This test is done to diagnose the type of cancer or tumor, to measure the size of the tumor.
A breast cancer biopsy is procedure of taking tissue sample from the tumor area. If doctor suspects cancer, they may order both sonography and mammogram or MRI breast. During a biopsy the doctor remove a small tissue sample from the suspicious area and then send it to laboratory to diagnose if it is cancerous or not.
The treatment of the breast cancer is depending on breast cancer stage i.e. how far it has spread and how big the tumor has grown. As per these the treatment will be given.
Before starting the treatment, doctor determine the stage, size and the grade of the breast cancer. Surgery is the most common treatment for breast cancer. Many women have additional treatments, such as chemotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation, or hormone therapy.
Several types of surgery may be used to remove breast cancer, these include:
Lumpectomy. The process of removal of tumor and surrounding tissue and leaving the breast intact.
Mastectomy. The procedure of removal of the entire breast is known as mastectomy. In a double mastectomy, both breasts are removed.
Sentinel node biopsy. The removal of few lymph nodes that receive drainage from the tumor. These lymph nodes will be tested. If they are not cancerous, you may not need other additional surgery to remove more lymph nodes.
Axillary lymph node dissection. If lymph nodes removed during a sentinel node biopsy contain cancer cells, the doctor may remove additional lymph nodes.
Contralateral prophylactic mastectomy. The removal of a healthy breast to reduce the risk of developing cancer again, even though breast cancer may be present in only one breast, some women elect to have a contralateral prophylactic mastectomy.
In radiation therapy high-powered radiation beams are used to target and kill cancer cells. Most radiation treatments use external beam radiation. This technique uses a large machine on the outside of the body.
Chemotherapy is a drug treatment used for destroying the cancer cells. It may used along with other treatment, especially surgery. In some cases, patients go under chemotherapy before the surgery. The hope is that the tumor will shrink by the treatment.
Estrogen and progesterone, can stimulate the growth of breast cancer. If your type of breast cancer is sensitive to hormones, your doctor may start you on hormone therapy. Hormone therapy works by blocking the body’s production of these hormones, or by blocking the hormone receptors on the cancer cells. This action can help to slow and possibly stop the growth of your cancer.
By medications the protein that develops the cancer may slow the cancer growth.
Annually mammogram: women undergo to a mammogram examination after their 40s to diagnose any cancer cells of tumors.
Breast feeding: after giving birth to the baby the breast feeding for 1 year reduces the chance of breast cancer.