Breast Cancer – Causes and Symptoms of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the common type of cancer that occurs mostly in women and is found to be the second most common cause of cancer death in the U.S. This cancer forms in the the cells of the breasts and can occur both in men and women but is more commonly seen in women. The American Cancer Society estimates that 1 out of every 8 women develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Research is still going on to find out the exact cause of breast cancer.
Causes of Breast Cancer
The causes of breast cancer include:
- The exact cause of breast cancer is not known but it occurs when some abnormal cells start growing.
- These cells multiply and divide more rapidly than the normal cells.
- The cells that accumulate form a tumor that may spread through the breast to the other parts of the body.
- Researchers have estimated that 5 to 10% of breast cancer are linked to gene mutations.
- If you have a strong family history of breast cancer or other types of cancers, then this trait can be passed through your family.
There are other factors that increases the risk of this cancer. This include:
- Age: It is estimated that 80%of women diagnosed with breast cancer are above 50 years. This does not mean that younger women are not at risk but they are diagnosed with breast cancer less frequently.
- Sex: Women are more likely to develop this type of cancer than men.
- History of breast cancer: If a person has developed cancer in one of the breast then there is an increased risk of getting cancer in the other breast.
- Exposure to Radiations: If you have been exposed to these radiations previously for the treatment of cancer as a child,then the risk of suffering from this cancer is high.
- Beginning of period at a young age: When you first attain your puberty at an early age, there are increased chance of developing this cancer of the breast.
- Giving birth at an older age: Women who give birth to their first child after the age of 35, may have an increased risk of suffering from this cancer.
- Drinking alcohol: Alcoholism may increase the risk of breast cancer.
The major signs and symptoms of breast cancer include:
- Bloody or serous discharge from the nipple
- Changes to the skin over the breast.
- Flaking or Peeling of the nipple skin
- Lump in the breast or thickening that feels around the tissue
- Changes in the size or shape of the breast
- Inverted nipple
- Redness or pitting of the skin over the breast
When to consult your doctor?
If you notice a lump or any other changes in the breast, then make an appointment with your doctor for a mammogram.