Breast cancer is the most common invasive cancer in females, and it is also a leading cause of cancer deaths among females.
Breast cancers can start from different parts of the breast. The breast is an organ that sits on top of the upper ribs and chest muscles. There is a left and right breast, and each one has mainly glands, ducts, and fatty tissue. The breast makes and delivers milk to feed newborns and infants in women. The amount of fatty tissue in the breast determines the size of each breast.
🔷 Symptoms –
The first symptom of breast cancer is usually an area of thickened tissue in the breast or a lump in the breast or an armpit.
Other symptoms include –
• armpit or breast pain does not change with the monthly cycle
• pitting, like the surface of an orange, or color changes such as redness in the skin of the breast
• a rash around or on one nipple
• discharge from a nipple, which may contain blood
• a sunken or inverted nipple
• a change in the size or shape of the breast
• peeling, flaking, or scaling of the skin of the breast or nipple
Most breast lumps are not cancerous. However, anyone who notices a breast lump can get it checked by our expert Dr. Priyanka Bhargava, the best gynecologist in Kanpur.
🔷 Is breast cancer painful?
A lump or a mass in the breast is often one of the first signs of breast cancer. In many cases, these lumps are painless. A person may experience pain in the nipple or breast area that appears to be tied to their menstrual cycle.
Pain caused by breast cancer is typically gradual. Anyone who experiences breast pain, especially severe or persistent, should consult our expert gynecologist, Dr. Priyanka Bhargava.
🔷 Causes –
After puberty, a female’s breasts are made up of fat, connective tissue, and thousands of lobules. These are tiny glands that can produce milk, and tiny tubes, or ducts, carry the milk towards the nipple.
Breast cancer develops as a result of genetic mutations or damage to DNA. These can be associated with exposure to estrogen, inherited genetic defects, or inherited genes that can cause cancer.
When a person is healthy, their immune system attacks abnormal DNA or growths. When a person has cancer, this does not happen.
As a result, cells within breast tissue begin to multiply uncontrollably, and they do not die as usual. This excessive cell growth forms a tumor that deprives surrounding cells of nutrients and energy.
Breast cancer usually starts in the inner lining of the milk ducts or the lobules that supply them with milk. From there, it can spread to other parts of the body.
🔷 Stages –
A doctor determines the cancer stage according to the size of the tumor and whether it has spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body.
There are different ways to stage breast cancer, and it includes stages 0–4 with subcategories at each stage.
• Stage 0: The cancerous cells are within the ducts and have not spread to surrounding tissues.
• Stage 1: The tumor measures up to 2 centimeters (cm) across this stage. It has not affected any lymph nodes or small groups of cancer cells in the lymph nodes.
• Stage 2: The tumor is 2 cm across and has started to spread to nearby nodes, or it is 2–5 cm across and has not spread to the lymph nodes.
• Stage 3: The tumor is up to 5 cm across and has spread to several lymph nodes, or the tumor is larger than 5 cm and has spread to a few lymph nodes.
• Stage 4: Cancer has spread to distant organs, most often the bones, liver, brain, or lungs.
The risk of breast cancer increases with age. At 20 years old, the chance of developing breast cancer in the next decade is 0.06%. By the age of 70, this figure goes up to 3.84%.
Our experts can often diagnose breast cancer due to routine screening or when a person reports symptoms.
🔷 Treatment –
The most effective approach depends on several factors, including:
• the type and stage of the cancer
• the sensitivity to hormones
• the person’s age, overall health, and preferences
The main treatment options include –
• radiation therapy
• biological therapy, or targeted drug therapy
• hormone therapy
🔷 Prevention –
There is no way to prevent breast cancer, and however, a person can take the following steps to reduce their risk significantly.
• limiting alcohol consumption, for people who drink
• having a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
• getting enough exercise
• maintaining a moderate body mass index
A person may take steps to prevent breast cancer, such as maintaining a healthy lifestyle and consulting with the expert Dr. Priyanka Bhargava about the best pace of screening, beginning at age 40.