What To Know About Breast Cancer

by Nancy

Breast cancer is when cancerous cells form in breast tissue. It’s the second most common form of cancer diagnosed in the U.S.A. after skin cancer. Although it is diagnosed far more frequently in women, breast cancer can occur in men as well. A lot of support has been given to breast cancer awareness organizations over the years which has led to an increase in early diagnosis and survival rates. Over the past decade, deaths associated with breast cancer have steadily gone down. Personalized approaches to disease treatment leads to a better understanding of cancer at-large.

Symptoms of Breast Cancer

There are several common symptoms that are easy to spot for an early diagnosis or trip to a general practitioner. Pitting or redness over the skin of the breast resembling the skin of a grapefruit or orange. Peeling, crusting, or scaling around the areola of the breast. A nipple that has inverted. Changes to the size of the breast or its general appearance. A breast lump that changes shape over time or thickens differences when you squeeze the breast. Make an appointment with your doctor for a prompt evaluation if you discover a new lump or change in your breast, even if a mammogram was seen as normal.

Doctor Visit

Causes of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer happens when some cells start to develop abnormally and divide more rapidly as opposed to healthy cells. Cells will form into a lump or mass as they continue to accumulate and will eventually spread to other parts of the body in a process known as metastasization.

Breast cancer usually will begin inside of the milk producing ducts or the glandular tissues. Scientists have noted that lifestyle, hormones, and living environment all impact the risk of being diagnosed.

Between 5% and 10% of all breast cancer cases are linked to inherited genes which makes a person more susceptible to the condition. Women are more likely to develop breast cancer than men, and older aged women are at an even higher risk. A family history of breast cancer or a past history of cancers in your body also play a role.

Having your first child at an older age, or even never having a child at all, increases the likelihood of breast cancer. Drinking alcohol, even if not to excess, and smoking could lead to a cancer diagnosis too. Other risks include radiation exposure, beginning your period before age 12, and having a high level of body fat.

Tests, Screening and Prevention

Thankfully, modern medicine has come a long way in the fight against this disease. Become familiar with your breasts and record any changes to tell your doctor. Drink in moderation, and adopt a regimented training exercise program. Limit post-menopausal hormone replacement therapy, and eat a healthy diet.

Breast cancer screenings have never been more accessible; doctors perform mammograms and blood tests based around your personalized risks.

Finally, you can even elect to have your breasts removed in order to reduce your risks of cancer with a process known as prophylactic mastectomy.