Breast is an organ located in the anterior portion of the chest, in front of the ribs. It comprises ducts, adipose tissue, lymphatic vessels, nerves, blood vessels, and milk-producing glands known as lobules. The anterior portion contains a darker area called the areola, which surrounds the nipple.
What is Breast cancer?
Breast cancer occurs when the cells in the breast undergo mutations and divide uncontrollably. It predominantly affects females, although males can also be affected to a lesser extent.
Types of Breast Cancer
The various types of breast cancer depend on the specific cells in the breast that become cancerous:
DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma In Situ)
DCIS occurs when the cells lining the milk ducts become cancerous. The milk ducts are structures responsible for transporting milk from the lobules (milk-producing glands) to the nipple. DCIS is non-invasive, meaning the cancer remains confined to its original site and has not spread elsewhere. It represents the earliest form of breast cancer.
Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
Invasive ductal carcinoma arises when cancerous cells from the milk ducts spread beyond their original location and metastasize to other regions of the breast. This is the most common type of breast cancer, with the potential to metastasize to nearby lymph nodes and the bloodstream.
Angiosarcoma is a rare form of cancer that obstructs blood and lymph vessels, as indicated by the term "Angio-" which refers to blood or lymph vessels.
Inflammatory Breast cancer
Inflammatory breast cancer is characterized by swollen or reddened breast tissue and is often classified as an advanced and aggressive form of breast cancer.
Invasive lobular carcinoma
Invasive lobular carcinoma is the second most common type of breast cancer after invasive ductal carcinoma. It occurs when cells in the lobules divide uncontrollably. Lobules are organized in a grape-like arrangement, and this cancer is termed invasive because it can spread to nearby tissues.
Paget's disease of the Breast
Paget's disease of the breast is an exceedingly rare form of breast cancer that typically presents as inflamed, rash-like, and itchy skin around the nipple.
Triple negative Breast cancer
This type of breast cancer lacks receptors for estrogen, progesterone, and HER2 proteins (Human Epidermal Growth Factor 2).
Which type of breast cancer is most common?
Invasive ductal carcinoma is the most prevalent type of breast cancer.
What are the symptoms of Breast cancer ?
Common symptoms of breast cancer include:
- Palpable lump in the breast or under the armpits.
- Swelling or thickening of the breast skin.
- Redness in the nipple or breast area.
- Dimpling or skin irritation, resulting in an uneven texture.
- Nipple discharge , especially if it contains blood.
- Changes in breast size and shape.
- Pain in the breast region.
What are the risk factors for Breast cancer ?
While certain risk factors are associated with an increased likelihood of developing breast cancer, it is essential to note that not everyone with these factors will develop the disease. The following risk factors may contribute:
- Genetics: Mutations in genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 can elevate the risk of breast cancer.
- Gender: Females are more prone to breast cancer than males.
- Age: The risk of breast cancer increases with age.
- Personal History: A history of breast cancer or conditions like lobular carcinoma in situ increases the risk.
- Family History: If blood relatives have had breast cancer, the risk may be higher.
- Radiation Exposure: Previous exposure to radiation in the breast or chest area can be a risk factor.
- Obesity: Obesity is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.
- Older Age at First Childbirth: Giving birth at an older age, e.g., after 30, may increase the risk.
- Alcohol Consumption: Consumption of alcohol may increase the risk of breast cancer.
If you have any uncertainties or seek a better understanding of breast cancer, we invite you to reach out to CION Cancer Clinics. Our team is here to assist you. Feel free to contact us at 1800 120 2676, or you can conveniently fill out the form through the provided link.