Breast cancer is cancer that develops from breast tissue.
Signs of breast cancer may include a lump in the breast, a change in breast shape, dimpling of the skin, fluid coming from the nipple, a newly inverted nipple, or a red or scaly patch of skin.
In those with distant spread of the disease, there may be bone pain, swollen lymph nodes, shortness of breath, or yellow skin.
Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer includes:
1. A breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue
2. Change in the size, shape or appearance of a breast
3. Changes to the skin over the breast, such as dimpling
4. A newly inverted nipple
Peeling, scaling, crusting or flaking of the pigmented area of skin surrounding the nipple (areola) or breast skin
5. Redness or pitting of the skin over your breast, like the skin of an orange
Doctors know that breast cancer occurs when some breast cells begin to grow abnormally. These cells divide more rapidly than healthy cells do and continue to accumulate, forming a lump or mass.
Cells may spread (metastasize) through your breast to your lymph nodes or to other parts of your body.
Breast cancer most often begins with cells in the milk-producing ducts (invasive ductal carcinoma).
Breast cancer may also begin in the glandular tissue called lobules (invasive lobular carcinoma) or in other cells or tissue within the breast.
Researchers have identified hormonal, lifestyle and environmental factors that may increase your risk of breast cancer.
But it’s not clear why some people who have no risk factors develop cancer, yet other people with risk factors never do.
It’s likely that breast cancer is caused by a complex interaction of your genetic makeup and your environment.
Inherited Breast Cancer
Doctors estimate that about 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers are linked to gene mutations passed through generations of a family.
A breast cancer risk factor is anything that makes it more likely you’ll get breast cancer:
1. Being female.
Women are much more likely than men are to develop breast cancer.
2. Increasing age.
Your risk of breast cancer increases as you age.
3. A personal history of breast conditions.
4. A personal history of breast cancer.
If you’ve had breast cancer in one breast, you have an increased risk of developing cancer in the other breast.
5. A family history of breast cancer.
If your mother, sister or daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer, particularly at a young age, your risk of breast cancer is increased. Still, the majority of people diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of the disease.
6. Inherited genes that increase cancer risk.
7. Radiation exposure.
If you received radiation treatments to your chest as a child or young adult, your risk of breast cancer is increased.
Being obese increases your risk of breast cancer.
9. #Beginning your period at a younger age.
Beginning your period before age 12 increases your risk of breast cancer.
10. Beginning menopause at an older age.
If you began menopause at an older age, you’re more likely to develop breast cancer.
11. Having your first child at an older age.
Women who give birth to their first child after age 30 may have an increased risk of breast cancer.
12. Having never been pregnant.
Women who have never been pregnant have a greater risk of breast cancer than do women who have had one or more pregnancies.
13. Drinking alcohol.
Drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer.
Prevention of Breast Cancer
1. Ask your doctor about breast cancer screening. Discuss with your doctor when to begin breast cancer screening exams and tests, such as clinical breast exams and mammograms.
2. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of screening. Together, you can decide what breast cancer screening strategies are right for you.
3. Become familiar with your breasts through breast self-exam for breast awareness. Women may choose to become familiar with their breasts by occasionally inspecting their breasts during a breast self-exam for breast awareness.
If there is a new change, lumps or other unusual signs in your breasts, talk to your doctor promptly.
4. Breast awareness can’t prevent breast cancer, but it may help you to better understand the normal changes that your breasts undergo and identify any unusual signs and symptoms.
5. Drink alcohol in moderation,
if at all. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink to no more than one drink a day, if you choose to drink.
6. Exercise most days of the week.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. If you haven’t been active lately, ask your doctor whether it’s OK and start slowly.
7. Limit postmenopausal hormone therapy.
Combination hormone therapy may increase the risk of breast cancer. Talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of hormone therapy.
8. Some women experience bothersome signs and symptoms during menopause and, for these women, the increased risk of breast cancer may be acceptable in order to relieve menopause signs and symptoms.
9. Maintain a healthy weight.
If your weight is healthy, work to maintain that weight. If you need to lose weight, ask your doctor about healthy strategies to accomplish this.
Reduce the number of calories you eat each day and slowly increase the amount of exercise.
10. Choose a healthy diet.
Women who eat a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil and mixed nuts may have a reduced risk of breast cancer.
The Mediterranean diet focuses mostly on plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts.
People who follow the Mediterranean diet choose healthy fats, such as olive oil, over butter and fish instead of red meat.