Breast Cancer | Anatomy | Signs | Causes | Types | Prevention of Breast Cancer
Each breast contains 15 to 20 lobes of glandular tissue, arranged like the petals of a daisy. The lobes are further divided into smaller lobules that produce milk for breast-feeding. Small tubes (ducts) conduct the milk to a reservoir that lies just beneath your nipple.
Breast cancer is cancer that forms in the cells of the breasts.
After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in the United States. Breast cancer can occur in both men and women, but it’s far more common in women.
Substantial support for breast cancer awareness and research funding has helped created advances in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Breast cancer survival rates have increased, and the number of deaths associated with this disease is steadily declining, largely due to factors such as earlier detection, a new personalized approach to treatment and a better understanding of the disease.
Breast and nipple changes can be a sign of breast cancer. Make an appointment with your doctor if you notice anything unusual.
Signs and symptoms of breast cancer may include:
- A breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue.
- Change in the size, shape or appearance of a breast.
- Changes to the skin over the breast, such as dimpling.
- A newly inverted nipple.
- Peeling, scaling, crusting or flaking of the pigmented area of skin surrounding the nipple (areola) or breast skin.
- Redness or pitting of the skin over your breast, like the skin of an orange.
Causes for Breast Cancer
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.
Types of breast cancer
There are several types of breast cancer, and they are broken into two main categories: “invasive” and “noninvasive,” or in situ. While invasive cancer has spread from the breast ducts or glands to other parts of the breast, noninvasive cancer has not spread from the original tissue.
These categories are used to describe the most common types of breast cancer, which include:
- Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a noninvasive condition. With DCIS, the cancer cells are confined to the ducts in your breast and haven’t invaded the surrounding breast tissue.
- Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) is cancer that grows in the milk-producing glands of your breast. Like DCIS, the cancer cells haven’t invaded the surrounding tissue.
- Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) is the most common type of breast cancer. This type of breast cancer begins in your breast’s milk ducts and then invades nearby tissue in the breast. Once the breast cancer has spread to the tissue outside your milk ducts, it can begin to spread to other nearby organs and tissue.
- Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) first develops in your breast’s lobules and has invaded nearby tissue.
Other, less common types of breast cancer include:
Paget disease of the nipple.
This type of breast cancer begins in the ducts of the nipple, but as it grows, it begins to affect the skin and areola of the nipple.This very rare type of breast cancer grows in the connective tissue of the breast. Most of these tumors are benign, but some are cancerous.This is cancer that grows on the blood vessels or lymph vessels in the breast. The type of cancer you have determines your treatment options, as well as your likely long-term outcome.
Lifestyle / Prevention of Breast Cancer
Women can reduce their risk of breast cancer by maintaining a healthy weight, reducing alcohol use , increasing physical activity, and breast-feeding These modifications might prevent 38% of breast cancers in the US, 42% in the UK, 28% in Brazil, and 20% in China.
The benefits with moderate exercise such as brisk walking are seen at all age groups including postmenopausal women.
High levels of physical activity reduce the risk of breast cancer by about 14%.
Strategies that encourage regular physical activity and reduce obesity could also have other benefits, such as reduced risks of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
The American Cancer Society and the American Society of Clinical Oncology advised in 2016 that people should eat a diet high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes.
High intake of citrus fruit has been associated with a 10% reduction in the risk of breast cancer.
Marine omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids appear to reduce the risk.
High consumption of soy -based foods may reduce risk.