Mutation in genes that leads to uncontrolled growth of cells in the body is known as cancer. The uncontrolled and chaotic way of cell growth that leads to abnormalities in cancer. Cancer can be of various types and breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women. It occurs when certain areas in the breast develop into a malignant and eventually forms a tumor. Typically cancer develops in either lobules or ducts of the breasts. Lobules are the glands that produce milk and ducts are the pathways that carry the milk to the nipple.
Types of breast cancer
The two broad categories of breast cancer are invasive which spreads from the breasts to other glands and parts of the breasts while non-invasive or in situ type which does not spread to other parts. Following are the types of cancer in the above categories:
- Ductal carcinoma in situ or DCIS: It is the non-invasive condition in which the cells’ lining the ducts of breast turns cancerous. It does not invade the surrounding breast tissues.
- Lobular carcinoma in situ or LCIS: The breast cancer that develops in the milk-producing glands is LCIS. It is similar to DCIS as it does not invade the areas around the breast tissues.
- Invasive ductal carcinoma or IDC: It is one of the most common types of breast cancer. It starts its origin in the milk ducts and goes on to invade the breast and eventually the organs and tissues nearby.
- Invasive lobular carcinoma or ILC: It first develops in the lobules of the breast and then spreads to the nearby organs and tissues.
Risk factors for breast cancer
The risk factors increase the chances of cancer and following are the risk factors that increase the chances of breast cancer:
- Age is a major factor as with age the chances of developing cancer increases
- Alcohol consumption as drinking alcohol increases the chances of developing a cancer
- The genetic makeup of a person as if an individual experiences the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations will have more chances to develop cancer than people who do not have the mutations
- Early menstruation, giving birth at an older age, late menopause, never being pregnant and having dense breast tissues are also some of the risk factors for breast cancer
Symptoms of breast cancer
Different types of breast cancer have different symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms of breast cancer are as follows:
- A lump or thickening in the breast tissue
- A pain in the breast
- Red and pitted skin all over the breast
- Swelling in breast or parts of the breast
- A discharge from the nipples other than breast milk
- Bloody discharge from the nipple
- A lump or swelling in the armpits
- Change in appearance of the breast
The treatment of breast cancer includes surgery which is basically lumpectomy, mastectomy, sentinel node biopsy, axillary lymph node dissection, and contralateral prophylactic mastectomy. Radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and medications. With changes in lifestyle and breast cancer screening is one of the methods to prevent breast cancer. Cancer patients based in Vancouver can see their treatment options.