Cancer is abnormal growth of cell with malignant characteristic. Cancer is named by the location where the cells start to grow. Therefore, breast cancer is cancer that starts on breast tissue. Breast cancer is very common in women world; even in United State, one of eight women develops breast cancer. Yet, women are not the only sufferer for breast cancer since men could also have breast cancer. However, since men have different breast anatomy with women, the cancer will be different. Here, we will talk about cancer in women.
Commonly, breast cancer is classified in two main categories. The first one is non-invasive or in situ breast cancer. The second one is invasive breast cancer. There is also different classification of breast cancer based on location, cancer cells type, and more.
Non-invasive breast cancer is cancer, which not spread or not invade the other tissue yet. The most common non-invasive breast cancer is ductal carcinoma in situ that start from breast duct. Since the cancer has not invade the other tissue, it is likely easier to cure.
Invasive breast cancer is cancer that already invades other tissue in or around breast. Due to larger area, this kind of cancer is harder to cure. However, early diagnosis and better treatment will help you to cure breast cancer.
Risk Factor of Breast Cancer
The cause of breast cancer has not found yet, but risk factor is there and you can change it.
The risk factors are gender, age, family history, genes, and menstrual cycle. Although men could have breast cancer but women are likely to have breast cancer 100 times more than men are. The risk will increase when you get older. If you have family or blood relative with history of breast cancer, your risk is increases. The risk is also increase with family history of ovarian cancer, colon cancer, and uterine cancer. If you have defective genes of BRCA1 or BRCA2, you are likely high risk of breast cancer. Then if you start your menstrual cycle before age of 12 or it stop after you 55 years old, your risk is increases as well.
Symptoms of Breast Cancer
Many early stage of breast cancer do not cause symptom at all. When the cancer develops, some patients experienced swelling on breast part or entire breast. A new lump could be hard or soft and it could be pain or painless. The other symptoms are skin irritation, redness on breast skin or nipple, pain on breast or nipple, nipple discharge fluid that is not breast milk. Some patients also experienced swollen lymph nodes under arm or on the collarbone since the cancer cells already spread to the area.
We cannot change risk factor but you can do something to at least prevent it to develop fast and spread to large area. As we know that non-invasive is likely easier to cure, but untreated non-invasive breast cancer may progress to invasive cancer. Therefore, it is very important to find it earlier with having screening exams if you are high risk or experience the symptom.