All you need to know about breast cancer
Breast cancer is not only one type but many, and they are
1- Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS):
Lobular Carcinoma In Situ is a pathological condition and not cancer, as its name may indicate. Since developing lobular carcinoma is a formation of abnormal cells in the Mammary glands, which are the glands responsible for milk production in the breast or (so-called lobes).
It is also worth mentioning that this condition increases the likelihood of developing breast cancer later.
2- Invasive Lobular Carcinoma:
It is an invasive type of cancer that begins in the Mammary glands or breast lobes, and it is likely to spread elsewhere in the breast or body.
3- Recurrent Breast Cancer:
As described by its name, this type of breast cancer returns after the treatment of its first occurrence, as some cancer cells may be able to survive despite undergoing treatment.
In this case, cancer can reoccur at the site where it's started (local recurrence) or reoccur elsewhere in the body (distant recurrence).
4- Inflammatory Breast Cancer:
Although this type of breast cancer is rare, it can develop rapidly.
They make a mistake by diagnosing it as a regular breast infection as their symptoms are similar in terms of the redness and swelling of the breast's skin, caused by the fact that cancer cells block the lymphatic vessels in the skin.
It is worth mentioning that this type of cancer spreads locally, spreading from its starting point to the nearby tissues or the nearby lymph nodes.
5- Paget's Disease of the Breast:
It is a rare type of breast cancer.
The occurrence begins at the nipple and extends to its surrounding tissues or the dark circle around the nipple (areola).
Paget's Disease of the Breast has nothing to do with Paget's disease of the bone.
6- Ductal carcinoma In Situ (DCIS):
This type of cancer is non-invasive, as it begins in the milk ducts and does not spread anywhere else. Also, the possibility of it spreading or becoming invasive is very low.
7- Male breast cancer:
There is a misconception that breast cancer can only affect women, but it can occur in breast tissues in men as well.
It is a rare type of cancer.
It forms in the lining of the blood vessels and lymph vessels.
Initially, it can affect the skin of the head and neck. But in other cases, Angiosarcoma can be formed on the skin elsewhere in the body, such as the breast.
What are the causes of breast cancer?
Although the cause of breast cancer is often unknown, there are some causes and risk factors that may explain why some people develop cancer, such as:
1- Genetic mutations passed down through generations are the leading causes of breast cancer, as when one of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 breast cancer genes exists in a woman, she is more likely to develop breast and ovarian cancer (Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome)
2- Being a female is a risk factor for breast cancer, for women are more likely to develop breast cancer than men.
3- Ageing exposes the patient to the risk of developing breast cancer.
4- Exposure to radiation increases the risk of developing breast cancer as well.
5- Obesity or excess weight play a role in the likelihood of developing breast cancer.
6- Precocious Puberty or the early start of the menstrual cycle in girls increases the likelihood of developing breast cancer later.
7- A previous occurrence of breast cancer in a woman increases the likelihood or risk of developing cancer in the other breast.
8- Late-Onset Menopause increases the risk of developing breast cancer.
9- Delayed reproduction in women after the age of 30 increases the likelihood of developing breast cancer.
10. Women who have never been pregnant or given birth are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer than others who have become pregnant once or more.
11- Having a family history of developing breast cancer, so if a mother, a sister, or a daughter developed breast cancer at one point, that increases the chance of another family member to develop breast cancer.
12- Alcohol consumption also increases the risk of developing cancer.
13- The use of hormone therapy also increases the risk of developing breast cancer.
Symptoms that can indicate that the patient has breast cancer?
1- The patient can feel a lump in one of the breasts.
2- The patient may also notice a change in the shape of skin over the breast.
3- The patient can notice a change in the shape of the nipple (inverted nipple).
4- Another symptom of breast cancer is peeling or flaking of the pigmented area surrounding the nipple.
5- The patients may also notice a change in the shape or size of the breast.
How to treat breast cancer?
Treatment of breast cancer varies depending on the cancer type, stage, or how much it is spreading.
And it will be determined by the doctor after doing the necessary tests and examination.
Treatment methods include:
1- Surgical treatment by oncology surgeon:
It depends on the condition of the patient.
The treatment could be Lumpectomy or removing the breast cancer, Mastectomy or removing the entire breast, sentinel node biopsy or removing a limited number of lymph nodes, axillary lymph node dissection or removing of many lymph nodes, and removing both breasts.
Chemotherapy kills and destroys fast-growing cancer cells.
3- Radiation therapy:
High Energy Spectrum such as X-rays and protons kill cancer cells.
4- Hormone therapy:
Or hormone-blocking therapy, where the doctors use specific drugs to stop hormones from attaching to cancer cells or use other types of drugs that prevent the body from making estrogen after menopause, or the use of medications or surgery to stop hormone production in the ovaries.
5- Targeted drug treatment:
Targeted drugs can destroy cancer cells without compromising healthy cells.
This type of treatment depends on the immune system to kill cancer cells.
How to prevent breast cancer?
1- Maintaining a healthy weight, as avoiding weight gain or obesity can also prevent breast cancer.
2- Quitting smoking plays a role in preventing cancer in general.
3- Regular exercise will help prevent breast cancer.
4- Avoid using hormone therapy during menopause because of its role in developing breast cancer.
5- A healthy diet that strengthens the immune system will protect women against breast cancer.
6- Avoiding alcohol consumption prevents developing breast cancer.
7- Regular checkups with a specialist will also protect women of all ages from developing breast cancer because early detection of the disease can save lives.