Breast Cancer – The Cause
The post for today have been research from sources such as Mayo Clinic, WHO, National Library of Medicine and other reference points. Serge is not a qualified doctor nor does he claim to be one.
The breast is a mammary gland located at both the left and right ventral region of a female primate. Usually the breast is use by the female who has given birth to a child to feed their newborn milk; which is produced by the mammary gland through the nipple(s). The breast is also an erogenous zone which many men and women finds pleasure in.
As mentioned in an earlier post, this month is all about Breast Cancer Awareness and we here are going to talk about it. So ladies do not be shy and men, read on as breast cancer can happen to you too.
Before we go in-depth on what is breast cancer, we need to know what cancer is. Cancer known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a broad group of various diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. What does this mean?
To put it mildly, cancer occurs when cells do not stop dividing when it should have stopped. These cells which are now tumors can affect their original source or affect other region via the lymphatic system or through the bloodstream. There are two types of tumors, benign and malignant. The former is considered a tumor that is not cancerous as it does not grow uncontrollably, do not invade neighboring tissues, and do not spread throughout the body.
You may think this is alright, but benign tumors can have some affect to the body. For example, a lodged tumor near the aorta; these will could cause a cardiac arrest should the benign tumor gets dislodges and gets stuck there.
Now that we have a brief rundown on what cancer is, let’s talk about Breast Cancer.
Breast cancer originates from breast tissue, most commonly from the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply the ducts with milk. Cancers wgich originates from ducts are known as ductal carcinomas, while those originating from lobules are known as lobular carcinomas. Breast cancer occurs in humans and other mammals.
For humans, breast cancer mostly occur on women and rarely on men (but it still can happen). But for men who are affected by breast cancer, the outcome after detection is poorer as diagnosis for this particular cancer is not on par with breast cancer for women. In 2008, breast cancer caused 458,503 deaths worldwide and 22.9% of cancer which occurs on women is breast cancer.
Usually breast cancer will start off as a lump that feels different from the rest of the breast tissue. About 80% of breast cancer cases is detected by women via a lump. Sometimes, lumps near the lymphatic node located at the armpits can indicate breast cancer.
Besides having a lump, symptoms of breast cancer varies from individuals to individuals. Some of the symptoms are; inverted nipples, a noticeable size and texture difference between breasts, dimpling of the breast, constant pain in the breast and rash or discharge from the nipple. Do note that these symptoms may or may not occur all at once.
Inflammatory breast cancer is a particular type of breast cancer which can pose a substantial diagnostic challenge. Symptoms may resemble a breast inflammation and may include itching, pain, swelling, nipple inversion, warmth and redness throughout the breast, as well as an orange-peel texture to the skin referred to as peau d’orange; the absence of a discernible lump delays detection dangerously.
So what are the risk factors that expedites breast cancer? The primary risk factors for breast cancer are female sex and older age. Though lifestyle, genetics and even medical conditions can play a factor as well.
Smoking tobacco is considered to be the largest contributing factor to getting breast cancer with a rate of 35% to 50% for those who has been a long time smoker. Diet, the intake of alcohol and even obesity have been linked to breast cancer. Shift-work is also another factor where a study in 2005 indicated that women whose work involve night shifts have a 50% increased risk of developing breast cancer.
Then we have genetics which is devastatingly ridiculous. Although 5-10% of all breast cancer cases stems from genetics, the risk factor varies a lot. A person’s chance of getting breast cancer is doubled if their first degree relatives have breast cancer as well. Lastly, medical condition. This happens when an existing condition changes or becomes a factor for breast cancer to occur.
In Serge’s next post, he will talk about detection, prevention and what to do if you have breast cancer.