Breast cancer is cancer that develops in breast cells. Typically, cancer forms in either the lobules or the ducts of the breast. Breast cancer is a disease that is commonly found in women and rarely in men. According to studies, one in 8 women have breast cancer. The scary thing about this disease is that it is not detected in the beginning. It can be fatal and is the most common cancer globally. Even very few men are affected by breast cancer.
One of the most common causes of breast cancer is a gene mutation. Genes are short segments of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) found in chromosomes that contain instructions for making proteins. And these proteins control the structure and performance of all the cells that make up your body. If you have inherited a mutated defective copy of both genes from one parent, you will have a higher risk of getting breast cancer.
breast cancer symptoms
The most common symptoms are changes in the nipples or lumps and swollen breasts. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says there are other symptoms. Not all tumors are cancerous.
People with the following symptoms should not be considered infected. However, if you have these symptoms, be prepared to seek medical help and undergo the necessary tests.
- Redness of the skin or dehydrated, orange-like skin can also be a sign of cancer. If there is any change in the skin of the breast, then take care of it.
- If one breast is very large, the veins are clear, and/or the breast skin is changing, see a doctor right away.
- Symptoms appear on the breasts and other parts of the body. Injuries to the upper part of the chest can also be a symptom of cancer.
- It is common for women to experience breast pain during menstruation. This type of pain, which begins before the follicular phase, disappears immediately after the onset of the next period. But if there is pain even after menstruation, then you should get tested.
- Usually, there is discharge from the nipple during infection. However, minor lesions and benign tumor growth can cause similar release.
- Tumors that vary in size.
- Changes in the nipples are also important in breast cancer symptoms. Nipples that are inverted or twisted may indicate cancer.
genes affecting breast cancer
There are trillions of cells in our body, each of which contains DNA. It serves as the instruction manual of the cell and determines how it will function. Each piece of DNA contains 1000 genes. We must have copies of each gene because we always inherit one copy from our mother and one from our father. All these genes determine our traits like height, eyes, complexion etc. and assess our health status.
Certain genes inhibit cancer by controlling cell growth and the division of tumor suppressor genes. For example, BRCA1 and BRCA2 are genes that have been associated with breast cancer. Without treatment, a woman with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation is seven times more likely to develop breast cancer before age 70.
Sporadic cancers are caused by damage acquired over time. Hereditary cancers arise with already one mutation and only one copy of the tumor suppressor gene. 5 to 10% of people are affected by hereditary cancers that a parent passes on to the child. There is always a risk that a normal gene may turn into a mutated gene at any time, and this does not lead to tumor growth but increases the risk of tumor formation. Cancer is genetic. All cancers are caused by the accumulation of damage to genes. Hereditary cancer has a 50-50 chance of passing the cancer to the next generation. The BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes can be passed on to the next generation.
Studies It has been proved that the risk of breast cancer is due to the aggregate of elements. Essential factors that affect your risk include being a woman and getting older. Most breast cancers occur in women 50 years of age or older. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are responsible for 50% of hereditary breast cancers.
Other genes that increase the chance of breast cancer include:
- ATM – ataxia telangiectasia mutated
- CHEK2 – Checkpoint Kinase 2
- PALB2 – BRCA2’s partner and localizer
- PTEN – phosphatase and tensin homolog
- STK11 – Serine/Threonine Kinase 11
- TP53 – tumor protein p53
Studies It shows that women who have mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes have an increased risk of breast cancer. These BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are rare in the population. Based on several studies, having breast cancer is about 50 to 80%. Not all women with the gene mutation will get breast cancer, but the risks are very high.
types of breast cancer
- DCIS – ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) cancer lies in the milk ducts
- IDC – Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
- ILC – Invasive Lobular Carcinoma
- triple-negative breast cancer
Breast Cancer: Diagnosis
A BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation will not suggest that you have been diagnosed with breast cancer. However, researchers are studying whether different mutations in chromosome fragments — called SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) — may be related to higher breast cancer risk in women with the BRCA1 modification and women who have breast cancer gene mutations. Not inherited. Women with breast cancer and BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations often have family records of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and various cancers. Nevertheless, the majority of those who have expanded breast cancer no longer inherit the genetic mutation associated with breast cancer and have no family record of the disease.
treatment for breast cancer
Once you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, you will need to meet with a counselor to discuss your treatment options based on your diagnosis. This includes a lot of drug treatment, radiation, or surgical options.
Here are some common breast cancer treatments.
- The more thorough the screening, the harder it is to see if there is breast cancer that develops and catches it early using more frequent screening.
- Use an intensive type of breast cancer screening, such as a breast MRI.
- Medicine: Another primary strategy for dealing with risk would be to consider taking medication to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
- Next is to consider surgical treatment, which will reduce the risk of breast cancer. Another approach may be to remove a woman’s ovaries; It reduces the risk of breast cancer by almost 50% by changing the hormonal balance in the body.
- biopsy: a biopsy is the first surgery you will have as a self-assessed sample and sent to your pathologist for examination; Leading a biopsy does not necessarily mean you have breast cancer. Most biopsy results do not show cancer cells. However, if the tumor turns cancerous, there are some surgical options available.
- lumpectomySurgery: This mastectomy removes the tumor and a portion of the surrounding breast tissue. The amount of tissue removed depends on the size of the cancer and how widely it has spread. After this surgery, the patient will undergo several weeks of radiation therapy.
- mammogram Chest X-ray. Physicians can use this to analyze breast tissue and changes in it and rule out cancer.
- breast: Health care professionals can help stop the spread of cancer by removing the entire breast, depending on the severity of the cancer. A bilateral mastectomy reduces the risk of breast cancer by approximately 90 to 95%.
- nipple-sparing mastectomy One of the best treatments for breast cancer is; Nipple-sparing occurs when the muscles of the breast are removed but not the nipple and areola.
The basic reasons why people need to know more about breast cancer are:
- Breast cancer is a cancer with a high mortality rate
- early detection by examination
- easy to treat. The best treatments are available.
- Early detection can prevent death.
Breast cancer will not show visible symptoms in the early stages. Later, there will be some lump or thickening in the breast area. However, breast cancer is not a disease that you can treat like a common disease. With proper testing and early detection, you can manage it early and maximize your health and your chances of survival. Timely physical examination and mammogram can help in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Each of you is in different stages of cancer. Therefore, it must be interpreted and analyzed patiently, and with proper treatment you can overcome it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What does a breast lump look like?
A. Most often, they are hard stones, and there may be many lumps in the breast. It may vary in size and may also be red and dim.
Q. What are the major causes of breast cancer?
a. The major causes of breast cancer are genetic mutation of genes, DNA damage, and inherited genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2. In addition, late childbirth, obesity, hormonal problems, alcohol consumption and tobacco use can cause cancer.
Question. When breast cancer spreads to lymph nodes, what is the survival rate?
a. If the cancer spreads to the lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is 86%. If the cancer has spread to another distant part of the body, the 5-year survival rate is 29%.
Q. What are the symptoms of late stage cancer?
A. The late stage of cancer can show many symptoms like,
- weight loss
- loss of appetite
- pain in the cancerous area of the body
- trouble sleeping
- Inability to control bladder and bowels
Q. What is the average size of a breast tumor?
a. When identified through routine breast self-exams, the typical size of a tumor is 1 cm. When placed by women who did not self-exam, the average length of the cancer was 2.62 cm. it occurs
Q. How do cancerous lymph nodes feel?
a. Breast cancer can spread to the lymphatic area. The lymph nodes will not be painful, but they often feel like peas, olives, or pebbles. It will usually swell.
Q. How do you know if breast cancer has spread?
a. If the tumor has spread, it will be at a critical cancerous stage. This stage is known as metastatic breast cancer. It can spread to lymph nodes, bones, liver, and other parts. Testing and treatment will determine the depth of the tumor.
Q. Is chemo painful?
A. No, chemotherapy will not cause much pain. However, there will be some mild to severe pain afterwards. Some medicines can treat this pain caused by chemo.
Q. What is the average size of a breast tumor?
a. During a mammogram, doctors can find out the average size of a breast tumor. For example, if it is the size of a marble, it could be 1 cm.
Q. Can you tell if a lump is cancerous by ultrasound?
a. Ultrasound scan is not as detailed as CT or MRI scan. Therefore, it is not possible to detect the tumor through ultrasound scan.