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Breast Cancer: Symptoms, Types, and Risk Factors

Breast Cancer Awareness

According to the research data, breast cancer seems to be the most diagnosed cancer among women in the United States. Breast cancer is mostly diagnosed in women over the age of 50, although it can also affect women at a younger age. If it caught early enough, there's a good chance of recovery. All women should examine their breasts regularly for any changes or abnormalities.


Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Here are some of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer that  might help you in early detection:

  • A lump or swelling in the breast that feels different than the surrounding tissue
  • Breasts that have changed in size, shape, or appearance
  • Dimpling, for example, is a change in the skin of the breast.
  • Inverted nipple.
  • The pigmented region of skin around the nipple (areola) or breast skin peeling, scaling, crusting, or flaking.
  • The skin over your breasts is reddened or pitted as if it were orange skin.

Make an appointment with your doctor immediately if you notice a lump or other change in your breast, even if your mammography result was normal.


Types of Breast Cancer

The types of breast cancer are classified as invasive or non-invasive. Breast cancer that spread to nearby tissues and/or distant organs is known as invasive breast cancer. Non-invasive breast cancer does not spread beyond the milk ducts or lobules of the breast. The most common types of breast cancer begin in the ducts or lobes, and are referred to as ductal carcinoma or lobular carcinoma:

1.    Ductal carcinoma

Breast cancer is caused by the tumors that start in the cells that line the milk ducts.

2.    Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)

This is a non-invasive malignancy that has just affected the duct and has not moved beyond it.

3.    Invasive or infiltrating ductal carcinoma

This is cancer that has grown beyond the boundaries of the duct.

4.    Invasive lobular carcinoma

This is lobule cancer that has spread outside of the lobules.


Other Types of Breast Cancer

Breast cancers that are less prevalent include:

  • Tubular
  • Medullary
  • Metaplastic
  • Papillary
  • Mucinous
  • Inflammatory breast cancer is a dangerous type of cancer that accounts for 1% to 5% of all breast cancer cases.
  • Paget's disease is a form of cancer that starts in the nipple's ducts. It can be invasive cancer, even though it is normally non-invasive.


Risk of Breast Cancer

You may be at a higher risk of developing breast cancer if you have a strong family history of the disease or inherited alterations in your BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. You could potentially be at a greater risk of developing ovarian cancer. Breast cancer became more common as people became older, with most cases being detected after they turned 50.

Consult your doctor about strategies to lower your risk, such as taking estrogen-blocking or estrogen-reduction medications or having surgery.




Read Other Articles in Our Breast Cancer Series: 
Breast Cancer: 7 Easy Steps to Examine Yourself
Breast Cancer Early Detection: Common Screening Tests and Diagnosis Procedure

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