Breast cancers usually begin in the cells that make up the lobules and ducts of the breast tissue. Lobular carcinoma starts in the lobules, while ductal carcinoma starts in the ducts.
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the breast tissue. It usually begins as a small lump or mass and can be detected through mammography, ultrasound or other imaging tests. Breast cancer can spread to lymph nodes, bones, lungs, liver and other parts of the body if left untreated. Early detection and treatment can increase the chances of survival.
How does breast cancer develop?
Breast cancer develops when abnormal cells in the breast begin to grow and divide uncontrollably. These cells can form a tumor, which is a mass of tissue that often feels like a lump. Some breast cancers start in the milk-producing ducts, while others start in the glands that produce milk (lobules). Breast cancer can spread to other parts of the body if it’s not detected early and treated appropriately. There are several factors that increase the risk of developing breast cancer, including age, family history, genetics, and lifestyle factors such as alcohol consumption and lack of physical activity.
Are there any early signs or symptoms of breast cancer?
Yes, there are several early signs and symptoms of breast cancer. The most common include:
1. A lump or thickening in the breast or underarm area
2. Changes in the size or shape of the breast
3. Dimpling, puckering or skin irritation on the breast
4. Nipple discharge other than breast milk
5. Nipple inversion (turning inward)
6. Redness or flaky skin on the nipple or surrounding area
It’s important to note that some women with early stage breast cancer have no symptoms at all, which is why regular mammograms and checkups are essential for early detection and treatment.
Who is at higher risk of developing breast cancer?
People who are female and over the age of 50 are at higher risk of developing breast cancer. However, breast cancer can also occur in men and in people with a family history of the disease or certain genetic mutations. It is important for everyone to be aware of their personal risk factors and to receive appropriate screening and medical care.
Can regular mammogram screenings help detect breast cancer in its early stages?
Yes, regular mammogram screenings are recommended for women to help detect breast cancer in its early stages when it is easier to treat. Mammograms can detect tumors that are too small or too deep to be felt during a breast exam and can identify changes in breast tissue before any symptoms of cancer appear. Women generally should start getting yearly mammograms at age 40 or earlier if they have a family history of breast cancer.
What are the common types of breast cancer?
There are several types of breast cancer, including ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), invasive ductal carcinoma, lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), invasive lobular carcinoma, and inflammatory breast cancer.
How is each type of breast cancer treated?
There are different types of breast cancer and the treatment options may vary depending on the type, stage, and other factors such as the age of the patient. However, some of the commonly used treatments for breast cancer include surgery (lumpectomy or mastectomy), radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy (for estrogen receptor-positive cancers), targeted therapy (for HER2-positive cancers). The treatment plan is usually determined by a team of doctors including oncologists and surgeons who assess all these factors before making a final decision. It’s important to consult with your healthcare provider about what treatment options are appropriate for you.