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is breast cancer a threat for women?

After skin cancer, breast cancer is the second most common malignancy among women. Breast cancer is one kind of cancer that starts in the breast. Either the left or right breast might be where it starts. Breast cancer may affect men and women equally, although women are far more likely to get it. Breast cancer is a disorder when the cells in the breast grow uncontrollably. There are several types of breast cancer. The kind of breast cancer is determined by which breast cells become malignant. When cells in your breast proliferate and enlarge out of control, a lump of tissue known as a tumor results. This is how breast cancer arises. Feeling a lump, seeing a change in breast size, or observing changes to the skin surrounding your breasts are all possible breast cancer signs.

Breast cancer cells often originate from milk production ducts (invasive ductal carcinoma). The glandular tissue known as the lobules, as well as other cells or tissues within the breast, may potentially be the site of breast cancer’s onset (invasive lobular carcinoma).

Similar to other cancers, breast cancer may spread to the tissue surrounding your breast. It could also spread to other parts of your body and cause the growth of additional tumors. Breast cancer may spread outside of the breast via the lymphatic and blood vessels. When breast cancer spreads to other parts of the body, it is referred to as metastasizing.

W causes it?

Studies show that a variety of factors work together to raise your risk of developing breast cancer. Being a woman and getting older are the two main risk-influencing factors. The risk of developing breast cancer is highest in women over 50. 
According to studies, hormonal, behavioral, and environmental factors may raise the risk of breast cancer. However, it is not known why some people with risk factors never get cancer while others do. It’s likely that breast cancer originates from a complex interaction between your environment and genetic make-up. 
Several variables may have an effect on your likelihood of getting breast cancer.

There are many factors at play. It is the result of a nuanced interplay between our genes, our environment, and how we live. Breast cancer cannot be anticipated to affect anybody. Furthermore, there are no certain causes of breast cancer that we are able to pinpoint.

A woman still has a chance of developing breast cancer even if she is ignorant of any extra risk factors. The consequences of each risk factor vary, and having one does not make you more likely to get the disease. Despite the fact that many women are at risk, breast cancer seldom affects them.

  • The exact etiology of breast cancer is unknown. However, a number of factors have been linked to a higher risk of breast cancer. 

  • These include:
     age-as you age, your risk increases;
  • a family history of breast cancer 
    Being tall,
  • being fat, or overweight,
  • having previously had a non-cancerous (benign) breast lump, and drinking alcohol, or Exposure to the drug are all risk
  • factors for breast cancer.
  • Radiation exposure. Or if you received radiation treatments to your chest as a child or young adult, your risk of breast cancer is increased.

What Are the Symptoms of Breast Cancer?

Your understanding of how your breasts generally feel and look will have a significant impact on your breast health. Even while mammograms are a necessary part of normal breast cancer screenings, they don’t always catch the illness. This means that in order to spot any changes, it’s critical for you to be aware of how your breasts generally feel and look.

Although breast cancer may show a variety of symptoms, the first one to be seen is often a lump or an area of increased breast tissue.

Different people will have various breast cancer symptoms. Some people are absolutely devoid of any signs or symptoms.

The following are some breast cancer warning signs:

  • Breast tissue that looks lumpier or thicker than the rest of the breast area that is swollen or thickened. 
  • Dimples or skin irritation on the breasts. 
  • a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as when it recedes into your breast; a rash surrounding or on your nipple; nipple pulling in or soreness in the nipple area
  • In addition to breast milk, there is bleeding from the breasts. 
  • Nipple retraction is the term for any alteration to the size or shape of the breasts (turning inward)
  • Any area of the breast might hurt. 
  • There are lymph nodes that are enlarged under the arm or near the collarbone.

Types of breast cancer

Breast cancer may occur in a number of different locations across the breast.

Breast cancer is often classified as either:

Non-invasive breast cancer

Breast cancer that is “noninvasive” stays where it originated. These cells could one day spread across the body. Breast cancer that is non-invasive (or in situ) has not progressed outside of the original breast tissue. Non-invasive breast cancer is sometimes known as stage 0 cancer. The tumor is often rather small since breast cancer is still in its early stages. Given that the primary indicator of breast cancer is an abnormal lump in the breast and that non-invasive breast cancer often has a tumor so small that it can only be detected on a mammogram; non-invasive breast cancer is unlikely to cause overt physical symptoms.

Non-invasive breast cancer mostly comes in two forms:

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)

DCIS is sometimes referred to as intraductal carcinoma or stage 0 breast cancers. DCIS is an early-stage, non-invasive breast cancer. This shows that the cancerous duct lining cells have undergone a change but have not spread beyond the duct walls into the surrounding breast tissue. The breast cancer has not progressed beyond the milk ducts where it originally manifested itself and is non-invasive. Despite not being immediately fatal, DCIS is regarded to be a precursor to invasive breast cancer and increases the risk of developing it in the future. About 16% of all breast cancer diagnoses are DCIS.

Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)

A mammography cannot pick up lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), and there are no symptoms. This issue is often found when a doctor does a breast biopsy for a different reason, such to examine an unrelated breast lump. If someone has LCIS, their breast cells will seem abnormal under a microscope. It is breast cancer that has not gone beyond the primary lobules and is not aggressive. Despite its name, LCIS is a benign breast illness rather than a true form of breast cancer.

Invasive breast cancer

“Invasive” breast cancer contains malignant cells that have migrated to nearby tissue. In this case, there is a higher chance of the illness spreading to other parts of the body.  The cancer cells might then begin to spread after that. Breast cancer that has spread to other organs and regions of the body may be caused by these cells breaking into the lymph nodes or circulation.

Invasive breast cancer is breast cancer that has spread to nearby breast tissue (or infiltrating). The two most common types of invasive breast cancer are separated by where in the breast they first appear.

Two types of invasive breast cancer are:

Invasive (infiltrating) ductal carcinoma (IDC)

This type of breast cancer is the most prevalent. Around 80% of all invasive breast cancers are invasive ductal carcinomas (IDC). Invasive breast cancer cells invade the milk ducts, which are the tubes that carry milk from the lobules to the nipple. The most common kind of breast cancer, invasive ductal carcinoma, accounts for around 80% of all occurrences. IDC starts in the cells that line the breast milk duct. After breaching the duct wall, the cancer next spreads into the surrounding breast tissues. It may still be able to spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body at this point, thanks to the lymphatic and circulatory systems of the body.

Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC)

Breast cancer that starts in the lobules, or milk-producing glands, of the breast, is known as invasive lobular carcinoma. Invasive lobular carcinoma is the term used to describe breast cancer that begins in the breast’s milk-producing glands (lobules).

About 1 in 10 occurrences of invasive breast cancer are invasive lobular carcinomas (ILC). ILC starts in the breast glands that produce milk (lobules). Similar to IDC, it may spread (metastasize) to other bodily parts. Invasive lobular carcinoma may be harder to detect than invasive ductal carcinoma on physical examination and imaging tests like mammography. Additionally, compared to other invasive cancer types, it is more likely to afflict both breasts. Instead of a lump, most ILC sufferers notice a thickening in their breast.

Other, less common types of breast cancer include:

Inflammatory breast cancer

This particular kind of cancer is rare, severe, and infectious-looking. Breast skin dimpling, pitting, and swelling are common signs of inflammatory breast cancer. Obstructive cancer cells in the lymphatic channels under their skin cause it. 
The first symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer often manifest as a feeling of thickness or heaviness in the breast rather than a lump. Aggressive inflammatory invasive breast cancer is rare and has different signs and symptoms from other types of breast cancer. 
Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare kind of breast cancer that spreads swiftly and leaves the affected breast swollen, painful, and red. 
Because the lymphatic veins in the epidermis around the breast are blocked by cancer cells, inflammatory cancer breasts exhibit a distinctive red, swollen appearance. 
A locally advanced cancer has spread from its initial location to surrounding tissue and may even have reached nearby lymph nodes, as in the case of inflammatory breast cancer.

Paget’s disease of the breast

Paget disease of the breast, also known as Paget disease of the nipple and mammary Paget disease, is a rare kind of breast cancer that affects the skin of the nipple and the areola, the region of darker skin around the nipple. It occurs on the skin of the nipple. It could be incorrectly identified as eczema or another skin disease. Breast milk duct cancer affects the majority of people who have Paget’s disease of the breast (ductal carcinoma). 
The breast form of Paget’s disease often appears after age 50. Most women who get this diagnosis also have ductal breast cancer below, either in situ or in the same place where it first appeared, or, less often, invasive breast cancer. Rarely does Paget’s disease of the breast simply affect the nipple.

Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Triple negative breast cancer is one of the three subtypes. It is referred to as triple negative breast cancer because it lacks three markers associated with other types of breast cancer that are essential for diagnosis and treatment. This is one of the most challenging breast cancers to cure.

The HER2 protein is not overproduced and there are no progesterone or estrogen receptors in the cells of triple-negative breast cancer. As a result, drugs for hormone treatment or those that target the HER2 protein are useless against triple-negative breast cancers.

Final Note:

Breast cancer detection and treatment have advanced thanks to significant investment for research and awareness campaigns. With earlier identification, a novel customized approach to therapy, and a better knowledge of the illness, breast cancer survival rates have improved and the number of fatalities linked to the disease is rapidly reducing.

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