Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a type of cancers that occurs in the breast tissue. It is the most common cancer in women, but it can also occur in men. It typically starts in the cells that line the milk ducts or the lobules (glands that produce milk), and can spread to other parts of the body if not treated.

Bosom malignancy is a sort of disease that is created in bosom cells. A bosom is comprised of three principal parts:

  1. Lobules: the glands that produce milk.
  2. Ducts: tubes that carry milk to the nipple.
  3. Connective tissue (fibrous and fatty tissue): surrounds and holds everything together.

Breast cancer usually begins either in the ducts or lobules. Cancers may grow and invade tissue around the breast, such as the skin and chest wall, and can travel to the lymph nodes under the arms. It is spread outside the breast through blood vessels and lymph vessels. The lymph hubs are an essential pathway that helps the disease cells move to different pieces of the body.

Types of Breast Cancer:

Most types of breast cancers are the adenocarcinomas of the breast. Different sorts of bosom disease incorporate sarcoma of the bosom, metaplastic carcinoma, adenocystic carcinoma, phyllodes tumor, and angiosarcoma.

It occurs in two broad categories:

  1. Invasive breast cancer (Infiltrating): In this type of cancer, cells break through normal breast tissue barriers and spread to other parts of the body through the blood vessels and lymph nodes. It can further be divided into the following types:
  1. Invasive ductal carcinoma: The disease cells develop outside the channels into different pieces of the bosom tissue. They can also spread, or metastasize, to other parts of the body.
  2. Invasive lobular carcinoma: The cancer cells spread from the lobules to the close-by breast tissues and can also spread to the other parts of the body.
  3. Tubular carcinoma
  4. Mucinous carcinoma (colloid)
  5. Carcinomas with medullary features
  6. Invasive papillary carcinoma

Causes of breast cancer:

The cause of breast cancer is not yet completely understood. It is difficult to say why one female may develop and another may not. However, there are some risk factors that are likely known in developing breast cancer. Some of the risk factors are not under one’s control but some factors can be controlled.

  1. Risk Factors that one cannot change:
  • Age: The danger of creating bosom malignancy increments with age. The condition is generally basic in ladies over age 50 who have experienced menopause.
  • Family history:: A woman’s risk for breast cancer is higher if her mother, sister, or daughter (first-degree relative) or multiple family members on either her mother’s side or father’s side of the family have had. Women who have inherited changes (mutation) to certain genes like BRCA1 and BRCA2 are at higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer. The genes TP53 and CHEK2 are also associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. 
  • Previous history of breast cancer or lump: Women who have previously had breast cancer or early non-invasive cancer cell changes in breast ducts are more likely to get breast cancer a second time. 
  • Reproductive history: The risk of developing breast cancer may rise slightly with the amount of estrogen the body is exposed to. Beginning the menstruation before the age of 12 and having menopause at an older age (above 55) raises the risk of breast cancer because they are exposed to estrogen longer. Ladies who have never been pregnant have a more serious danger of bosom disease than ladies who have had at least one pregnancy.
  • Having dense breast tissue: Breasts are made of thousands of lobules and these glandular tissues contain a higher concentration of breast cells than other breast tissue, making it denser. Women with dense breasts can have a risk of breast cancer as there are many cells that can be cancerous.
  • Radiation: Women who had radiation therapy to the chest or breast area (for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma) before the age of 30 have a greater risk of having breast cancers later in life.
  1.  Risk factors that one can change:
  • Being overweight or obese: Women who are overweight and obese after menopause have a higher risk of getting breast cancer because being obese after menopause causes more estrogen to be produced. 
  • Physically Inactive: women who are not physically active have a higher risk of getting breast cancer.
  • Reproductive history: Women who give birth to their first child after the age of 30, who have not breastfed, and who never have a full-term pregnancy may have an increased risk of breast cancers.
  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT): Some types of hormone replacement therapy especially those that include both estrogen and progesterone taken during menopause for more than 5 years can raise the risk of breast cancer.
  • Contraceptive pills: Research shows that women who take contraceptive pills have a slightly increased risk of developing breast cancer. However, the risk becomes less once it is stopped and goes back to normal 10 years after stopping completely.
  • Alcohol: Studies show that the more alcohol a woman drinks, the more risk of her getting breast cancer increases.

Symptoms of breast cancer:

Manifestations of bosom disease shift from one individual to another. The main side effect of bosom malignancy that most ladies notice is a bump or a space of thickened tissue in the bosom.Though most breast lumps are not cancerous, it is always best to visit a doctor for a check-up. The other common symptoms or early signs of breast cancer include:

  • Growing in the armpit or close to the collarbone 
  • Expansion in size or change looking like one or the two bosoms
  • Pain and tenderness in/or any part of the breast
  • Unusual nipple discharge (clear, bloody, or another color)
  • Irritation or dimpling of breast skin
  • Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area

Treatments of breast cancers:

For the treatment of cancer, there will be a multidisciplinary team (MDT) who work together to provide the best treatment and care, such as surgeons performing operations, medical oncologists treat cancer with medicine, and radiation oncologists treat cancer with radiation. 

There are several ways to treat this cancer, which depend on the types and how far it has spread. The patient often gets more than one kind of treatment. The main treatment for breast cancers are:

  • Surgery: Surgery is usually the first type of treatment for it. There are mainly 2 types of breast cancers surgery:
  • Breast-conserving surgery, where the tumor and a little surrounding breast tissue are removed.
  • Mastectomy, where the whole breast is removed including the nipple. 

Mastectomy may then be followed by reconstructive surgery (recreating a breast). It may be done at the same time as a mastectomy or may be done later. 

Surgery is then followed by:

  • Radiotherapy: This is the treatment where high-energy rays are used to kill the cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy: In this treatment special medicines are used to shrink or kill the cancer cells. The medicine can be oral or injectable.
  • Hormonal therapy: This therapy blocks cancer cells from getting the hormones that are needed to grow.
  • Biological therapy: This treatment works with the body’s immune system. It helps to fight against cancer cells or to control side effects from other cancer treatments.

Leave a Comment