Cancer develops when healthy breast cells alter and grow out of control and form a sheet or mass of cells called a tumour. A tumour may be benign or cancerous. A malignant cancerous tumour may grow and then expand to other areas in the body. A benign tumour means that the tumour can grow, but it will not spread.
Breast cancer spreads when cancer cells grow into adjacent organs, or in other parts of the body, or when cancerous breast cells migrate into other parts of the body through lymph vessels and blood vessels. This is known as metastasis.
While breast cancer typically develops in lymph nodes nearby, it may also extend further throughout the body to other areas, such as the liver, bones, lungs and brain. It is referred to as staging IV, or metastatic breast cancer, considered the highest-grade form of breast cancer.
The term “risk factor” refers to anything that can increase the likelihood of becoming cancer-prone. Risk factors are often associated with the growth of cancer. The majority of them don’t cause cancer directly. Certain people with multiple risk factors don’t develop cancer, while those with no risk factors do.
The majority of breast tumours are non-sporadic, i.e. they result from damage to genes, which occurs randomly following birth. There is no danger that a person will pass this gene onto their children as the main reason for sporadic breast cancer is caused by environmental causes.
Inherited breast cancers are more prevalent, comprising between 5% and 10% of all cancers. The development of breast cancer is caused by mutations in genes that are passed on within families between parents. These genes can usually stop cells from expanding beyond control and becoming cancerous. If these cells carry an abnormality, it could cause them to expand beyond their limits.
Numerous risk factors contribute to the development of breast cancer. That means that all women should be aware of any changes that may occur in their breasts.
The Following Factors Could increase a woman’s risk of developing Breast Cancer:
The chance of developing breast cancer is higher as women age. The majority of breast cancers develop when women are older than 50.
A personal history of breast cancer:
A woman who has cancer of the breast in one breast is at a greater risk of developing cancer in either breast.
A family history of breast cancer
A personal history of ovarian cancer
Menopausal symptoms start early, and menopausal symptoms end late
Women who experience their first pregnancy after age 35 or have not had a full-term pregnancy have higher risks of getting breast cancer.
Menopausal hormone replacement therapy:
Utilizing hormone therapy that includes both estrogen and progestin following menopausal or postmenopausal hormone therapy or hormonal replacement therapy in the last five years or over a period of time increases the risk for women of developing breast cancer.
Similar to other types of cancer, researchers continue to prove that different aspects of life can influence the growth of breast cancer.
✔ Weight: Recent studies have found that postmenopausal women who are obese or overweight have a higher chance of getting breast cancer. They also are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer after treatment.
✔ Physical exercise: Lower amounts of physical activity are associated with the risk of developing breast cancer and the likelihood of cancer to recur following treatment.
✔ Alcohol The latest research shows that drinking more than one to two portions of alcohol, such as wine, beer and spirits, per day increases the risk of developing breast cancer and the possibility of cancer developing back following treatment.
Exposure to radiation in the early years
Exposure to ionizing radiation in the early years of life can increase a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer. For instance, radiation therapy to the chest area for Hodgkin lymphoma could increase the risk of breast cancer in both breasts.
The minimal amount of radiation that a woman receives in a mammogram scan is not associated with an increased chance of developing breast cancer.
The signs and symptoms
The symptoms and signs listed below must be discussed with a physician. A lot of times, the reason for a symptom might be due to a medical issue that isn’t cancer-related.
1. A lump that is felt as the shape of a knot, or growing chest or underneath the arm. It is crucial to feel the same region in the opposite breast to confirm that the lump isn’t part of the healthy breast tissue in that region.
2. The form or size of breasts.
3. The discharge is sudden and is bloody or only occurs in one breast
4. Physical changes, for example, the nipple turning inwards or a sore that is located within the nipple zone
5. Skin irritations or changes such as puckering scaling, dimpling, or the appearance of new wrinkles
6. A red, warm, swelling breast, with and without a rash, with Dimpling resembling orange skin. It is also known as the “peau d’orange.”
7. The breast can be painful, especially breast pain that isn’t going ultimately. It isn’t usually an indication of breast cancer; however, it is a sign to report it to a physician.
Surgery involves taking out the tumour along with the surrounding healthy tissue in operation. Surgery is done to look at the lymph nodes of the axillary area located beneath the arm. A surgical oncologist is a physician who specializes in treating cancer through surgery.
The smaller the tumour size, the more significant surgical options patients have. The kinds of surgeries available for breast cancer comprise the following:
The removal of cancerous breast
Part or complete mastectomy usually and then radiation therapy when the cancer is infiltrating. Mastectomy can also be suggested in conjunction with or without reconstruction
It is getting rid of the tumour as well as an uninvolved, cancer-free, small border of healthy tissue around it. The majority of breast tissue remains.
This involves surgical removal of the breast in its entirety.
✔ Lymph node evaluation:
The biopsy of the Sentinel lymph node or the axillary lymph node dissection.
The Radiation Therapy
The term “radiation therapy” refers to the use of x-rays with high energy or other particles that destroy cancerous cells. A specialist in providing radiation treatment for treating cancer is known as a radiation oncologist. There are many different kinds of radiation therapy.
✔ External beam radiation therapy:
This is the most commonly used kind of radiation therapy and is administered by an outside source. It includes total breast radiation therapy, partial breast radiation therapy, and accelerated treatment for breast cancer, which can last for a few days instead of a couple of weeks.
✔ Radiation therapy for intra-operative use:
This is where radiation treatment is administered using a probe within the operation room.
This kind of radiation treatment is performed by placing radioactive sources in the tumour.
The use of medication in treatment:
The various types of systemic treatments that are used to treat breast cancer comprise:
✔ Hormonal therapy
✔ Targeted therapy
One person can receive one kind of systemic therapy at a given time or any combination of treatments offered simultaneously. They may also be administered as part of a therapy program incorporating surgery and radiation therapy.