What is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is a kind of cancer caused by a tumor. That tumor is caused by the change and abnormally growth of one of the cell groups that make up the breast tissue.
The breast consists of mammary glands and ducts carrying the milk. Breast cancer is a type of cancer caused by breast tissue that makes milk and more frequently milk-carrying milk ducts.
The milk-producing cells that make up the milk ducts in the breast tissue multiply abnormally. Breast cancer is cancer cells that occur in the milk ducts within the breast tissue. 80% of breast cancers are invasive ductal carcinoma(IDC).
Invasive ductal carcinoma indicates that breast cancer occurs in the milk ducts. 20% of breast cancer is also invasive lobular carcinoma. In this type, breast cancer develops in the milk glands, not in the milk ducts.
The accumulate and growth of cells that cause breast cancer take a long time. However, after accumulate and growth, the cells may spread to other parts of the body through lymph and blood.
The most important thing in breast cancer is to diagnose cancer before it spreads to other parts of the body through blood and lymphatic. The rate of treatment with a diagnosis at this stage is very high. Therefore, early diagnosis is very important in breast cancer.
Risk Factors of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer, which is first diagnosed before the age of 50 in a relative, increases the likelihood of developing breast cancer of person by three times. Breast cancer diagnosed with 2nd-degree relatives is also an important risk factor for breast cancer. In addition, the more people in the family have breast cancer and how earlier they have cancer, the risk increases.
1 in every 8 women has breast cancer diagnose probability during her lifetime.
Another important risk factor in breast cancer is the density of breast tissue. People with less fat in the breast tissue increase the risk of breast cancer. The density of breast tissue can be measured by mammographic and sonographic methods.
Risk factors of breast cancer may include:
- Being female
- To be between the ages of 50-70 and in the post-menopausal period
- To have relatives in the family (mother or father) who have breast cancer (the closer the degree of kinship and the higher the number of relatives with breast cancer, the higher the risk).
- Having a history of breast cancer
- White-skinned women are 20% more at risk than brunette-skinned women
- Radiotherapy treatment before the age of 15 increases the risk of breast cancer to 35% after the age of 40
- Early menstrual age, late menopause age
- Having never been pregnant
- Having the first birth after the age of 30
- Having given birth but not breastfeeding her baby
- Taking long-term hormone therapy,
- Living in a modern city life environment
- Using cigarettes and tobacco products
- Lack of physical activity
- Drinking alcohol
- Obesity; especially after menopause to gain excess weight and consume large amounts of foods rich in saturated fats
Symptoms of Breast Cancer
Early detection of the signs of breast cancer is very important for successful treatment. The most prominent breast cancer symptoms are the mass in the breast. The palpable mass may also be under the armpits outside the breast.
If the mass is enlarged, pulling the nipple inward is also a sign of cancer. Although it is very rare, bloody or bloodless discharge from the nipple may also indicate breast cancer. If the tumor causing cancer grows too large, the breast skin will develop edema and swelling may occur.
At the same time, redness and orange appearance are also symptoms of breast cancer. If breast cancer has spread, complaints about the area in which it spread may also be seen.
Recognizing the signs of breast cancer is very important to prevent the progression of breast cancer. Therefore, women should know their own breast anatomical structure and they know the risk factors.
Every woman should start her own breast control after the age of 20 in order to be aware of the signs of breast cancer. Self-breast control should be made in 5-7 days after the end of the period; women who do not menstruate should control once a month.
Signs and symptoms of breast cancer may include:
- Visible change in the size, appearance or shape of a breast
- A palpable stiffness or mass in the breast
- The recent asymmetry between two breasts
- Spot redness of the breast skin, bruise, wound, vascular dilatation, inward depression, diffuse small swellings
- The appearance of the breast skin like orange
- Changes of shape or directions of the nipple
- The inward shrinking of the nipple
- Bloody or bloodless discharge from the nipple
- Stiffness, swelling or mass under the armpit