Causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention of breast cancer

Breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer in the world after skin cancer. Breast cancer can occur in both men and women, but is far more common in women.

Causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention of breast cancer
Causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention of breast cancer
Causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention of breast cancer
Causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention of breast cancer



Breast cancer is cancer that forms in the breast cells.

Breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer in the world after skin cancer. Breast cancer can occur in both men and women but is far more common in women.

Significant support for breast cancer awareness and research funding have contributed to the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Breast cancer survival rates have increased and the number of deaths associated with the disease has been steadily decreasing, mainly due to factors such as early detection, a new personal approach to treatment, and a better understanding of the disease.

A firm or thickened breast that feels different from the surrounding tissue
Change in breast size, shape, or appearance
Skin changes like falls on the chest.
Recently inverted nipple
Peel, peel, peel or peel the nipples from the pigmented area (areola) or the breast
Redness or swelling of the skin in the chest, like an orange peel.


When to see a doctor
If you notice breast cancer or other changes even though a recent mammogram was normal, ask your doctor for a quick assessment.


why and why

  • Doctors know that breast cancer occurs when some breast cells grow abnormally. These cells divide faster than healthy cells and continue to accumulate to form combustion or mass. Cells can spread (metastasize) to lymph nodes or other parts of the body.

  • Breast cancer usually begins in the cells of milk-producing ducts (invasive ductal cancer). Breast cancer can also occur in glandular tissues called invasive lobular carcinoma or other breast cells or tissues.
  • Researchers have found hormonal, lifestyle, and environmental factors that can increase your risk of breast cancer. However, it is not clear why some people develop cancer without risk factors, but others never. Breast cancer is likely due to the complex interaction between your genetic makeup and your environment.


Hereditary breast cancer

  • Doctors estimate that about 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers result from genetic mutations that go through generations of the family.

  • Several inherited mutant genes have been identified that can increase the likelihood of breast cancer. The best known are breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1) and breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2), both of which significantly increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
  • If you have a strong family history of breast cancer or other cancers, your doctor may recommend blood tests to identify certain BRCA mutations or other genes that happen to your family.
  • Consider referring your doctor to a genetic counselor who can review your family's medical history. A genetic counselor can also discuss the benefits, risks, and limitations of genetic testing to help you make decisions together.


Risk factors
The risk factor for breast cancer is everything that makes it more likely. However, if you have one or more risk factors for breast cancer, it does not necessarily mean that you are developing breast cancer. Many women who develop breast cancer on their own have no other risk factors than women.

Factors with an increased risk of breast cancer include:

  • Being a female. Women have breast cancer much more often than men.
  • Increasing age. The risk of breast cancer increases with age.
  • Personal history of breast diseases. If you have a breast biopsy that has a lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) or atypical breast hyperplasia, there is an increased risk of breast cancer.
  • Personal history of breast cancer. If you have breast cancer in one breast, there is an increased risk of developing cancer in the other breast.
  • Family history of breast cancer. If your mother, sister, or daughter has been diagnosed with breast cancer, especially at a young age, the risk of breast cancer increases. However, most people who have been diagnosed with breast cancer do not have a family history of the disease.
  • Inherited genes that increase the risk of cancer. Certain genetic mutations that increase the risk of breast cancer can be transmitted from parents to children. The best known genetic mutations are called BRCA1 and BRCA2. These genes can significantly increase the risk of breast cancer and other cancers, but they don't make cancer inevitable.
  • Radiation exposure. If you have had breast radiation as a child or young adult, your risk of breast cancer increases.


  • Greasiness. Being overweight increases the risk of breast cancer.
  • Period, the beginning of the youngest age. Starting a period before the age of 12 increases the risk of breast cancer.
  • Menopause begins at an advanced age. If you started menopause at an older age, you are more likely to develop breast cancer.
  • Have your first child at an older age. Women who give birth to their first child in their thirties may have an increased risk of breast cancer.
  • I've never been pregnant. Women who have never been pregnant are at higher risk of breast cancer than women who have had one or more pregnancies.
  • Hormone therapy after menopause. Women who take hormone therapy that combines estrogen and progesterone to treat menopausal symptoms are at increased risk of breast cancer. The risk of breast cancer is reduced if women stop taking these drugs.
  • Drink alcohol. Drinking alcohol increases your risk of breast cancer.


Reduced risk of breast cancer in women with average risk

Changes in your daily life can help lower your risk of breast cancer. Providers:

  • Ask your doctor about breast cancer screening. Talk to your doctor about when to start breast cancer screening and tests, such as clinical breast exams and mammograms.
  • Discuss the benefits and risks of screening with your doctor. Together, they can decide which breast cancer screening strategies are right for you.
  • Explore your breasts by doing a breast self-assessment to increase breast awareness. Women may want to examine their breasts by periodically self-examining their breasts to increase breast awareness. If you have a new breast change, lump, or other unusual signs, talk to your doctor immediately.
  • Breast awareness cannot prevent breast cancer, but it can help you better understand normal breast changes and detect unusual signs and symptoms.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation when you do this. Limit the amount of alcohol to one drink a day if you want to drink.
  • Exercise most days of the week. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise on the main day of the week. If you haven't been active recently, ask your doctor if it's okay to start slowly.
  • Limit hormone therapy after menopause. Combined hormone therapy can increase the risk of breast cancer. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of hormone therapy.
  • Some women experience troublesome symptoms during menopause, and women's breast cancer risk may be acceptable to relieve menopausal symptoms.
  • To reduce the risk of breast cancer, use the lowest dose of hormone therapy in the shortest possible time.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. If your weight is healthy, work on keeping it. If you want to lose weight, ask your doctor about healthy strategies to achieve this. Reduce the number of calories you eat each day and slow down physical activity.
  • Choose a healthy diet. Women who eat a Mediterranean diet with extra virgin olive oil and walnut blends may have a lower risk of breast cancer. The Mediterranean diet mainly focuses on plant foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole products, nuts, and legumes. People who eat the Mediterranean choose healthy fats instead of red meat such as olive oil, butter, and fish.
  • Reducing the risk of women at risk of developing breast cancer.
  • If your doctor has evaluated your family history and found that you have other factors, such as early cancer, that increase your risk of breast cancer, you should look for ways to lower your risk, such as:
  • Preventive medication (chemotherapy). Estrogen-blocking drugs such as selective estrogen receptor modulators and aromatase inhibitors Reducing the risk of developing breast cancer in high-risk women of developing the disease.
  • These drugs involve the risk of side effects, so doctors reserve these drugs for women at very high risk of breast cancer. Discuss the benefits and risks with your doctor.
  • Preventive surgery. Women with a very high risk of breast cancer choose surgical removal of healthy breasts (prophylactic mastectomy). You can also choose to have your healthy ovaries removed (prophylactic oophorectomy) to reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.




Diagnosis of breast cancer
Tests and procedures to diagnose breast cancer include:

  • Breast examination. Your doctor will examine both your breasts and armpit lymph nodes for lumps or other abnormalities.
  • Mammography. A mammogram is a chest x-ray. Mammograms are commonly used to detect breast cancer. If an abnormality is detected during a screening mammogram, your doctor may recommend a diagnostic mammogram to further evaluate the abnormality.
  • Breast ultrasound. Ultrasound uses sound waves to create images of structures deep in the body. Ultrasound can be used to determine if new breast size is a solid mass or a fluid-filled cyst.
  • Extraction of a breast cell sample for analysis (biopsy). A biopsy is the only definitive way to diagnose breast cancer. During a biopsy, your doctor will use a special X-ray needle or another imaging test to remove a tissue core from the suspect area. Often, a small metal marker remains on your breast area so that the area can be easily identified in future imaging tests.
  • Samples from the biopsy are sent to the laboratory for analysis, where doctors and experts determine whether these cells are cancerous. A biopsy sample is also analyzed to determine the type of cells involved in breast cancer, the aggressiveness (degree) of cancer, and whether cancer cells contain hormones or other receptors that may affect your treatment options.
  • Breast spin resonance imaging (MRI). An MRI machine uses a magnet and radio waves to take pictures of the inside of your chest. You will receive a dye injection before a breast MRI. Unlike other types of imaging tests, an MRI does not use radiation to create the images.
  • Depending on your situation, other tests and procedures can be used.


Staging of breast cancer

  • Once your doctor has diagnosed your breast cancer, he will try to determine the extent (stage) of your cancer. The stage of your cancer helps determine your prognosis and the best treatment options.
  • Complete information about the stage of your cancer may not be available until after you have had breast cancer surgery.


Breast cancer tests and procedures can include:

  1. Blood tests like a complete blood count
  2. Breast mammography to detect signs of cancer
  3. MRI of the breast
  4. Bone scan
  5. Computed tomography (CT)
  6. Positron emission tomography (PET)


Not all women need all of these tests and procedures. Your doctor will choose the appropriate tests based on your specific situation and taking into account new symptoms.

Breast cancer stages range from 0 to IV, with 0 indicating cancer that is noninvasive or contained in the milk ducts. Stage IV breast cancer, also known as metastatic breast cancer, indicates cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

Staging breast cancer also takes into account the level of cancer. the presence of tumor markers such as estrogens, progesterone, and HER2 receptors; and proliferation factors.


Your doctor will determine treatment options for breast cancer based on your type of breast cancer, its stage and degree, its size, and the sensitivity of cancer cells to hormones. Your doctor will also take into account your general health and your own preferences.

Most women are operated on for breast cancer, and many receive additional treatment after the surgery, such as chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or radiation therapy. In certain situations, chemotherapy can also be used before surgery.

There are many ways to treat breast cancer, and you may feel overwhelmed when making complex treatment decisions. Consider getting a second opinion from a breast specialist at a breast center or clinic. Talk to other women who faced the same decision.

Breast cancer surgery
Breast cancer treatments include:

  • Elimination of breast cancer (lumpectomy). During a lumpectomy, which can be described as breast-conserving surgery or large local excision, the surgeon removes the tumor and a small margin of the surrounding healthy tissue.



  • Immunotherapy uses your immune system to fight cancer. Your body's disease-fighting immune system may not attack your cancer because cancer cells make proteins that blind cells in the immune system. Immunotherapy interferes with this process.
  • Immunotherapy may be an option if you have triple-negative breast cancer, which means that cancer cells do not have estrogen, progesterone, or HER2 receptors. With triple-negative breast cancer, immunotherapy is combined with chemotherapy to treat advanced cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.


Supportive care (palliative)

  • Palliative care is specialized medical care that focuses on relieving pain and other symptoms of a serious illness. Palliative care specialists work with you, your family, and your other doctors to provide an additional level of support to complement your ongoing care. Palliative care can be used while performing other aggressive treatments, such as surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.
  • When palliative care is used with all other appropriate treatments, people with cancer can feel better and live longer.
  • Palliative care is provided by a team of specially trained doctors, nurses, and other professionals. Palliative care teams aim to improve the quality of life for cancer patients and their families. This form of care is offered along with curative or other treatments you may receive.


alternative medicine No alternative medical treatments have been found to cure breast cancer. However, complementary and alternative medical therapies can help you deal with the side effects of treatment in combination with your doctor's treatment.


Alternative Medicine for Fatigue
Many breast cancer survivors experience fatigue during and after treatment, which can take years. In combination with your doctor's care, complementary and alternative therapies can help alleviate fatigue.



Talk to your doctor about:

  1. Gentle exercise If your doctor says yes, start exercising lightly several times a week and add more if you like. Consider walking, swimming, yoga, or tai chi.

  2. To deal with stress. Take control of stress in your daily life. Try stress relief techniques like muscle relaxation, visualization, and spending time with friends and family.
  3. Show your feelings. Find an activity that allows you to write or discuss your emotions, eg. For example, write in a journal, join a support group, or speak to a counselor.



Coping and support


  • A diagnosis of breast cancer can be overwhelming. And just as you try to deal with the shock and fears of your future, you will be asked to make important decisions about your treatment.
  • Everyone finds their own way of dealing with the diagnosis of cancer. Until you find out what works for you, it may be helpful to:
  • Learn enough about your breast cancer to make nursing decisions If you want more information about breast cancer, ask your doctor about the details of your cancer type, stage, and hormone receptor status. Ask for good sources of current information about your treatment options.
  • Knowing more about your cancer and your options can help you feel more confident about your treatment decisions. However, some women may not want to know the details of their cancer. If you feel this way, tell your doctor.
  • Talk to other breast cancer survivors. Talking to others in the same situation can be helpful and encouraging. Contact the American Cancer Society for information about support groups in your area and online.
  • Find someone to talk to about your feelings. Find a friend or family member who listens well or talks to a priest or counselor. Ask your doctor to refer you to a counselor or other specialist who works with cancer survivors.
  • Keep your friends and family close. Your friends and family can offer you an important support network during your cancer treatment.
  • When you talk to people about your breast cancer diagnosis, you're likely to get a lot of help. Consider in advance what things you may need help with, whether you have someone to talk to when you feel weak or receive help with your meals.
  • Maintain intimacy with your partner. In western cultures, female breasts are associated with attractiveness, femininity and sexuality. Because of these attitudes, breast cancer can affect your self-image and undermine your trust in intimate relationships. Talk to your partner about your insecurities and feelings.


Prepare your meeting

  • Contact your medical team.

Women with breast cancer can make an appointment with their family doctor and several other doctors and health professionals, including:

  • Breast health specialists
  • Breast surgeon
  • Doctors specializing (radiologists) in diagnostic tests, such as mammography.
  • Cancer treatment specialists (oncologists)
  • Doctors who treat cancer with radiation (radiation oncologists)
  • Genetic advisor
  • Plastic surgeon


What can you do to prepare?


  1. Write down any symptoms that occur, including symptoms that may not be related to why you scheduled the appointment.
  2. Write down important personal information, including major stresses or recent changes in life.
  3. Write down your family history of cancer. List all family members who have had cancer, including each member's relationship with you, the type of cancer, age at diagnosis, and whether each person survived.
  4. Make a list of all medications, vitamins, or supplements that you are taking.
  5. Keep all of your cancer diagnosis and treatment records. Organize your recordings in a filing cabinet or folder that you can take with you to your appointments.
  6. Take a family member or friend. Sometimes it can be difficult to collect all of the information provided during an appointment. Someone with you can remember something that you have lost or forgotten.
  7. Write down the doubts to consult your doctor.


Questions to your doctor

Your time with your doctor is limited. So if you create a list of questions, you can make the most of your time together. List your questions from most important to least important if time runs out. With breast cancer, here are some basic questions you should ask your doctor:

-What type of breast cancer do I have?
-What is the stage of my cancer?
-Can you explain my pathology report? Can I have a copy of my records?
-Do I need additional tests?
-What treatment options are available to me?
-What are the benefits of any treatment you recommend?
-What are the side effects of each treatment?
-Will the treatment cause menopause?
-How does every treatment affect my daily life? Can I continue to work?
-Are there treatments that you recommend to others?
-How do you know that these treatments will benefit me?
-What would you recommend to a friend or family member in my situation?
-How quickly should I choose cancer treatment?
-What if I don't want cancer treatment?
-How much does cancer treatment cost?
-Does my insurance plan cover the tests and treatments you recommend?
-Should I ask for a second opinion? Will my insurance cover that?
-Are there brochures or other printed matter that I can take with me? What websites or books do you recommend?
-Are there any recent clinical trials or treatments that I should consider?
In addition to the questions you asked your doctor, you are welcome to ask other questions that may arise during your appointment.

What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor can ask you a number of questions. When you are ready to answer them, you may have more time to address other issues that you want to address. Your doctor may ask you:

-When did symptoms appear?
-Are your symptoms continuous or occasional?
-How severe are your symptoms?
-What seems to improve your symptoms, if any?
-What seems to be making your symptoms worse?