Breast Cancer basically refers to a malignant tumour that has formed in the breast. It is the most common type of cancer in UK which affects women, though it can also affect men occasionally. It usually affects women over 50, though sometimes younger women may also develop Breast Cancer.
Statistically speaking, one in eight women develop breast cancers during their lifetime, and as such it is vital that one should be vigilant about the minutest of changes to the breast, and have them examined. If detected in the early stages, there’s a very strong chance of recovery. To learn about Breast Cancer in detail you should visit the following link breast cancer.
Are all breast lumps cancerous?
To put it shortly — no. All breast lumps are not cancerous. Breast lumps may be either benign or malignant. Benign lumps are also formed of cells that have grown abnormally, however they are closer to ‘normal’ cells in that they don’t invade other tissues or spread beyond the breasts. They might hurt a little, but they are non-cancerous. Only Malignant lumps are cancerous because they aren’t regulated and have the potential to invade cells elsewhere in the body as well.
How does Breast Cancer begin or form?
In order to understand breast cancer, it is important to understand what a cancer is. To put it briefly, Cancer is a result of mutations that occur in the cells of a particular body part. Generally, the cells in our body grow in a regulated fashion because of the ‘genes’ in the nucleus of the cells. Basically, this means that the old cells grow and are eventually replaced by healthy new cells. However, sometimes, because of a mutation the genes may act as such that the cells may start dividing and growing out of control. They grow and reproduce until there is a bunch of them, thus leading to a tumour or a ‘lump’.
Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer
• A lump in the breast is the most common, and first, sign to look out for. The lump should be permanent, irregular in shape, and hard.
• You might even find a bunch of small tender lumps in the armpits. This might be a sign of the breast cancer having already spread to the lymph nodes.
• Changes in the Breast shape/size or the nipples is a sign to look out for. Especially if there’s discharge from a single breast, without squeezing the nipple, or if the discharge is blood stained.
• If the nipple becomes crusty or scaly in texture, that might be a sign of breast cancer.
• Then there are the signs and symptoms which appear after the cancer has grown considera-bly. These include bone pain, nausea, jaundice, weight loss, fluid buildup in the lungs leading to shortness of breath, muscle weakness, double vision, etc.
Can Breast Cancer spread?
Yes, Breast Cancer may advance to other body parts as well. The most common areas where it spreads are the lymph nodes (lumps in the armpits), liver, lungs, bones, or brain.
Stages of Breast Cancer
• Stage 0: The cancer cells are contained within the breast duct and haven’t yet started invading the surrounding tissues.
• Stage IA: The cancer hasn’t spread outside the breast yet, but the tumour has grown to 2 centimetres.
• StageIB: There’s a group of cancer cells — larger than 0.2 millimetre but smaller than 2 mil-limetres — in the lymph nodes. Meanwhile, there might or might not be a tumour in the breast no larger than 2 centimetres.
• Stage IIA: There’s no tumour in the breast but the cancer has progressed to the lymph nodes. OR, the tumour might be 2 centimetres or smaller, along with the cancer having moved to the lymph nodes. OR, the tumour may be between 2 to 5 centimetres, along with the cancer hav-ing progressed to the lymph nodes.
• Stage IIB: In this stage the tumor may be between 2 to 5 centimeters, having advanced to the axillary lymph nodes as well. Alternatively, the tumor may be larger than 5 centimeters, without yet having advanced to the axillary lymph nodes.
• Stage IIIA: The cancer found in the axillary lymph nodes may be sticking together, or the cancer may even be found in the lymph nodes around the breastbone. The tumour in the breast may either be non-existent or it may even have grown to any size.
• Stage IIIB: The tumour has grown to any size and has spread across the skin, chest wall, or to the lymph nodes around the breastbone.
• Stage IIIC: The tumour may be any size and spread across the skin and chest wall. Mean-while, it has also spread to the lymph nodes around the collar bone, the axillary lymph nodes, and the ones near the breastbone.
• Stage IV: The cancer has metastasised.
Common Risk Factors of Breast Cancer
• Being a Woman.
• Age. Most invasive breast cancers occur past the age of 55.
• Women with close relatives who’ve been diagnosed with Breast Cancer are more likely to be diagnosed with Breast Cancer
• Abnormal genes are the cause of about 5% – 10% Breast Cancer developments.
• Personal History. If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer once, it’s highly probable that you might develop it again in another part.