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Breast Cancer - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers that affects women. In the US, about 180,000 women develop it each year. The disease can also occur in men, although male breast cancer accounts for less than 1 in 100 cases. The risk increases with age, twice every 10 years.

The disease is most commonly diagnosed in women over 50. Very few women under the age of 30 develop it. Despite the increase in incidence, there has been a slight decrease in the number of deaths in recent years and only about one-fifth of cases prove fatal. This reduction is due to an increase in treatment and an increase in the use of mammography for examination, which means that tumors can be detected early, as they often respond well to treatment.

Examinations can reduce the mortality rate among women aged 50 to 4 in 10. In the United States, many doctors recommend that women over the age of 40 have mammograms every 1-2 years and every year over 50 years. Cancerous tumors may initially develop in the breast lobules (a structure in the breast that produces milk). Tumors originating in the milk can cause Paget's disease in the breast. Tumors can spread to other organs, such as the lungs or liver, before detection.

It is a cancer that comes from the breast tissue of women and men. It can spread to the lymph nodes under the arm before diagnosis. With advanced disease, metastasis can be seen in many organs, including bones, brain, lungs, liver and skin.


The main reason is the most unclear. However, several risk factors have been identified, most of which indicate that female hormone estrogen is an important factor in the development and progression of the disease. It is known that women who have their first menstrual period before the age of 11, or who have late menopause, appear to be at increased risk for developing this cancer, possibly because they are exposed to higher estrogen levels. The amount of menstrual cycles before the first pregnancy is also important. And a woman who has her first child before the age of 20 has a chance. Breastfeeding is thought to have additional protective effects.

Risk factors for developing it include

. The onset of menstruation or late menopause

. The first pregnancy after 30 years

. Family history of the disease

. Radiation exposure

Risk factors may include

. High fat diets

. Excessive consumption of alcohol

. Estrogen replacement therapy

. Use of oral contraceptives


It is usually seen as a painless lump anywhere in the breast or under the arm. Sometimes, the symptoms can be more subtle, such as:

. Upside down

. Bloody discharge from the nipple

. Changes in the skin over the breast make it resemble orange skin.


Any pain or lump of breast that is felt by a physical examination by a woman or her doctor and any lumps present in mammography (Radiography) should be considered for biopsy. Blots seen on mammography, but not subjected to examination, can be obtained by ultrasound or mammogram for biopsy. If the diagnosis is established, staging tests include:

. Liver function test

. Alkaline phosphate test to check for bone disease

. Chest X-ray (Radiography)

. Bone Scan (Nuclear Medicine)


The complications are related to metastasis:

. Bone metastasis can cause pain, fractures or high calcium levels in the blood.

. Metastasis to the brain or spinal cord can cause seizures, headaches, weakness, numbness or confusion.

. Metastasis to the lungs can cause difficulty breathing, chest pain or swelling of the face and neck.

Treatment: Self Treatment:

. A balanced diet should be maintained. Once the diagnosis is made all estrogen medications should be discontinued, including birth control pills.

Medical treatment:

Many women will need additional medication after surgery to prevent it from returning. Whether tamoxifen (hormone pills) or chemotherapy (intravenous drugs) may be recommended depends on the type of tumor. Advanced cases are also treated with chemotherapy or hormone therapy.

Surgical Treatment:

The two alternative starting treatments are:

. Lumpectomy with surgery on lymph nodes is followed by radiation therapy to the breast.

. Mastectomy (mastectomy, partial or mastectomy, radically modified)


Early detection by examination of normal animals and routine mammographic examination (Radiography) is important. Low fat diets and moderate alcohol intake may be important. Some researchers consider that training for adolescent girls may be useful as it delayed the onset of menstruation.


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