Breast Cancer - Causes, Types, Symptoms and Treatment Options

How to Recognize Breast Cancer Symptoms

Breast cancer occurs when cells in the breast grow abnormally and uncontrollably. These cells divide rapidly and collect to form lumps, spreading to healthy tissue, lymph nodes, or other organs. This cancer can grow if there is an abnormal growth of cells in the breast. These cells divide faster than normal cells and accumulate, which then form lumps or masses. In more severe stages, these abnormal cells can spread through the lymph nodes to other body organs.

Breast Cancer Symptoms

At an early stage, breast cancer may not show certain symptoms. Therefore, it is very important to do a breast self-examination every month, ten days after the end of your period. Carefully feel the breast clockwise to detect any lumps or changes in the breast. Some of the symptoms of breast cancer, including:

  • A lump or swelling under the armpit.
  • Changes in the size, shape, or appearance of the breasts.
  • Pain and swelling in the breast.
  • Blood is coming out of the nipple
  • A lump or hardening of the breast that is different from the surrounding tissue.
  • Exfoliation of the skin around the nipples.
  • Redness or enlarged breast skin pores that resemble orange peel.

At stage zero, cancer cells have formed, but the development is not severe, and generally, no lumps have been found. Cancer cells have developed only from stage one to the next, and tumors have formed with different sizes and spread at each stage. The higher the stage, the more severe the development and spread of cancer cells and tumors so that the symptoms that appear can be felt even more.

Breast cancer can occur due to the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells (cancer cells) in the breast tissue. These cancer cells were originally normal. However, DNA mutations cause cell changes to become cancer cells.

Causes of Breast Cancer 

Several risk factors are suspected of triggering breast cancer, namely: 

  • Never been pregnant
  • Exposure to radiation from radiotherapy
  • Not menopausal until the age of 55 years
  • Have a smoking habit
  • Have a habit of consuming alcoholic beverages
  • Undergoing estrogen and progesterone hormone replacement therapy
  • Have excess weight  

Cancer cells divide faster than normal cells, which then accumulate and form lumps or solid masses. DNA mutation that causes the formation of breast cancer cells is not known to be leveraged. However, hormonal factors, environment, and DNA mutations that are passed down from families are believed to play a role in forming these cancer cells.

Types of Breast Cancer

There are several types of breast cancer divided into two different types, namely invasive and non-invasive. Invasive breast cancer occurs when cancer cells have spread to other parts of the breast. Meanwhile, non-invasive breast cancer is a condition where cancer cells have not spread from their original tissue.

Several types of breast cancer often occur:

  • Ductal Carcinoma In Situ;
  • Lobular Carnicoma In Situ;
  • Invasive Ductal Carcinoma;
  • Invasive Lobular Carcinoma.

Some types of breast cancer that rarely occur are Paget's breast disease, angiosarcoma, and phyllodes tumor.

Breast Cancer Treatment

Breast cancer treatment depends on the type of cancer experienced, the stage of cancer, the mass's size, and the cancer cells' sensitivity to hormones. The doctor will determine the most appropriate therapy for the patient's condition based on these things. There are several treatment options for breast cancer, including: 

  • Chemotherapy, which is done using certain drugs to kill cancer cells.
  • Radiotherapy, which uses the energy of X-rays and protons to kill cancer cells.
  • Surgery, which includes removal of the cancer or lump (lumpectomy), removal of the entire breast (mastectomy), removal of a limited number of lymph nodes (sentinel node biopsy), or removal of some lymph nodes (axillary lymph node dissection).

Women who have the above risk factors will not necessarily develop breast cancer. In many cases, breast cancer also affects women who do not have the above risk factors.

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