A tumor is formed when breast cancer cells grow and divide uncontrollably, resulting in a mass of tissue. Breast cancer risk rises as you get older and heavier. Breast cancer symptoms include a lump in a breast, changes in breast size, and changes in the skin on the breasts. Mammograms aid in the early detection of breast cancer.
Breast cancer symptoms and signs
Breast cancer may well not cause symptoms in its early stages. When a tumor is too small to feel, a mammogram can still detect an abnormality.
It’s common to notice a new lump in the breast if you have a tumor that wasn’t there before. There are some lumps that don’t turn out to be cancerous.
There is a wide range of symptoms associated with breast cancer, depending on the type of cancer. While some symptoms are similar, others may be unique to each individual patient. Most breast cancers have a wide range of signs and symptoms.
- the development of a breast lump or tissue thickening that is distinct from other areas of the breast and has recently occurred
- pain in the breasts
- Your breasts are covered in red, pitted skin.
- all or part of your breast becoming swollen
- other than breast milk, a nipple discharge
- Your nipple is dripping with blood.
- nipple or breast skin peeling, scaling, or flaking
- breast enlargement or reduction without any apparent cause
- An upside-down nipple
- changes to the breast skin’s appearance
- discoloration of the skin beneath one’s armpit
There is no guarantee that you have breast cancer if you experience any of these symptoms. If you have pain or a lump in your breast, you may have a benign cyst in your breast.
Even if you find a lump in your breast or other symptoms, you should see your doctor for further examination and testing. Nonetheless
Breast cancer history: The risk of developing second breast cancer, unrelated to the first, is three to four times higher in women who have had ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) or invasive breast cancer in one breast. This is not a recurrence of breast cancer.
Age: Age increases your risk. Every year, 77 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer are over 50, and 40 percent are over 65.
Breast cancer occurs in 1 in 68 women aged 40 to 50. From 50 to 60, it’s 1 in 42. One in 28 from 60 to 70. 1 in 26 women over 70.
Family history: A woman’s risk of breast cancer increases if she has a cancerous mother, sister, or daughter. It’s even better if this relative had cancer in both breasts before age 50.
Have one first-degree relative with breast cancer or two first-degree relatives with breast cancer? A male blood relative with breast cancer increases risk.
Genetics: Breast cancer is inherited in 5-10% of cases. Those with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations are at greater risk. Women with inherited BRCA1 gene mutations have a 72% chance of developing breast cancer by age 80. By that age, a woman with a BRCA2 gene mutation is 69% likely to develop breast cancer.
Breasts that are dense: Your breasts are made up of a combination of fatty, fibrous, and glandular tissues. Dense breasts contain more glandular and fibrous tissue and less fat than non-dense breasts. A woman who has dense breasts is 1.5 to 2 times more likely to develop breast cancer than a woman who does not.
Breast lesions: Having atypical hyperplasia (lobular or ductal) or lobular carcinoma in situ increases a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer by four to five times compared to having no abnormalities.
Distant family history: Aunts, grandmothers, and cousins are examples of people who have breast cancer in their second or third-degree relatives, such as their mothers or grandmothers.
A previous abnormal breast biopsy: Breast cancer risk is slightly increased in women who have previously had biopsies that revealed any of the following: fibroadenomas with complex features, hyperplasia without atypia, sclerosing adenosis, or one or more solitary papillomas.
Being a woman: Men can develop breast cancer as well, but it is 100 times more likely to affect women than it is to affect men.
The history of reproduction: The greater the amount of estrogen your body has produced over time, the greater your risk. You can increase your lifetime estrogen exposure and breast cancer risk by starting your period before the age of 12, starting menopause after the age of 55, and never getting pregnant.
Radiation therapy: If you received radiation treatment to your chest before the age of 30, it was most likely as a result of cancer treatment, such as lymphoma.
Cancer in the family: If you or a member of your family has had ovarian cancer before the age of 50, your risk is increased.
Breast cancer stages
Breast cancer can be classified into stages based on the size of the tumor(s) and the extent to which it has spread throughout the body.
Cancers that are large in size and/or have spread to nearby tissues or organs are in a more advanced stage than cancers that are small and/or are still contained within the mammary gland. Doctors must know the following information in order to stage breast cancer:
- depending on whether the cancer is invasive or noninvasive
- what the size of the tumor is
- whether or not the lymph nodes are affected
- If cancer has spread to nearby tissues or organs, this is referred to as metastatic cancer.
Breast cancer is classified into five stages: stages 0 to 5.
Breast cancer can be treated in a lot of formats. It is dependent on the type of breast cancer and the extent to which it has spread. People who have breast cancer are frequently subjected to a variety of treatment options.
Surgery: An operation in which doctors remove cancerous tissue is performed.
Chemotherapy: Cancer cells are being shrunk or killed with the help of special medications. The drugs can be in the form of pills that you swallow or medicines that are injected into your veins, or a combination of the two.
Hormone therapy: Cancer cells are prevented from obtaining the hormones they require to grow.
Biological therapy: Uses the immune system to aid in the fight against cancer cells or to manage side effects associated with other cancer treatments, as appropriate.
Radiation therapy: Using high-energy rays (similar to X-rays) to fight cancer is a medical imaging technique.
Doctors from a variety of different specialties frequently collaborate in the treatment of breast cancer. Surgeons are medical professionals who carry out operations. Medical oncologists are doctors who specialize in the treatment of cancer with medication. Radiation oncologists are doctors who specialize in the use of radiation to treat cancer.
Tips to Assist You in Making Your Decision
Despite the fact that there are some standard breast cancer treatment regimens, women have a variety of options.
- Discuss with your doctor all of the risks and benefits associated with each treatment option, as well as how they will affect your daily routine.
- Consider becoming a member of a support group. Breast cancer survivors can provide you with advice and understanding because they have been through the same experience. They might also be able to assist you in making a treatment decision.
- Inquire with your doctor about whether you should participate in a clinical trial, which is a research study that tests new treatments before they are made available to the public.
Treatment-Related Side Effects
The majority of breast cancer treatments are associated with side effects. When the therapy is stopped, many of them disappear. Some may appear at a later date. The following are examples of common side effects:
- Gaining or losing weight
- Arm swelled up
- Hair loss
- Changes in the skin or nails
- Sores in the mouth
- Menopause symptoms
- Obstacles to becoming pregnant Depression
- Sleeping difficulties and difficulty thinking clearly (“chemo brain”)
Breast cancer education and awareness
Because of this growing awareness, women and men all over the world can better prepare themselves for breast cancer treatment and prevention.
People have benefited from breast cancer awareness campaigns in the following ways:
- find out what the risk factors are for them
- how they can lower the level of risk they are exposed to
- what signs and symptoms they should be on the lookout for
- how they should be screened and what types of screening they should be getting
Despite the fact that Breast Cancer Awareness Month is celebrated each October, many people continue to spread the word throughout the year.