Cancer starts when cells in a particular body part begin to grow abnormally. These cancerous cells may also travel to the places in your body where they aren’t normally found.
Cancer can develop anywhere in the body. As in all forms of cancer, breast cancer is a type of cancer that grows in the breast cells. It has seen that breast cancer is more common in the left breast than the right.
Breast cancer awareness has helped create advances in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.
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What are the signs & symptoms of breast cancer?
Breast cancer may not show notable symptoms and signs in the early stages, but sometimes a lump or mass in the breast can be present. In most cases, the lump can be too small to feel, but can still be detected on a mammogram. However, not all lumps need to be cancer.
Each type of breast cancer causes different symptoms, but the most common breast cancer symptoms include:
- A lump or thickening in the breast that feels abnormal
- Change in the size, shape or look of a breast
- Changes in the skin over the breast
- Inverting of the nipple
- Redness of the skin over your breast
- Nipple discharge
- Breast or nipple pain
- Swelling of part of the breast
Where can breast cancer occur?
Breast cancer can develop in the different parts of the breast. Breasts contain lobules, which produce milk for breastfeeding and tubes called ducts to carry milk to the nipple. Most breast cancers begin in the milk-producing ducts and glands.
What causes breast cancer?
Breast cancer is caused by a combination of many different factors as mentioned below:
- Inherited breast cancer
Breast cancer may be caused by environmental exposure such as ultraviolet radiation from sunlight. So can air pollutants like smoke, wood dust and arsenic, to name just a few.
Lifestyle choices can also provoke the risk of breast cancer. Inactivity, obesity, excessive consumption of alcohol, smoking, and exposure to toxic chemicals all are associated with a greater risk of breast cancer.
- Medical Treatment
Medical treatment with chemotherapy, radiation, or immunosuppressive drugs can also cause damage to healthy cells. That can further lead to ‘second cancers’, a completely new and a different type of cancer than the first one.
Which factors do not cause breast cancer?
- Use of antiperspirants or deodorants
- Wearing underwired or tight bras
- Multiple pregnancies
- Coffee or caffeine intake
- Application of hair dye
- Use of cell phones & devices like microwaves
- Contact with someone who has cancer
Detecting Breast Cancer Earlier
Early detection of breast cancer significantly increases the chances of its successful treatment. Recognizing possible warning signs of cancer as early as possible when the disease is easy to treat can have a great impact on the overall health of the patient. Early diagnosis is particularly relevant for cancers of the breast, cervix, mouth, colon and skin.
Need help? Talk to our Breast Care Specialists
Fortis is one of the leading cancer hospitals in India, that has brought advanced cancer care in the access of millions of people. At Fortis, we have a dedicated team of oncologists, pain and palliative care specialists, physiotherapists etc who are especially skilled in the advanced therapies and techniques of cancer treatment.