Breast Cancer – Types, Causes, Symptoms and Prevention

∎ Overview

It is the fact that, due to the breast cancer thousands of women die around the world. To be specific, The American Cancer Society estimates, 40,920 women will die, 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 63,960 Non-invasive will be diagnosed alone in America in 2018. Now, you can know how dangerous breast cancer is and how important to diagnose and prevent it before it overcomes you.

☛ What is Breast Cancer

Breast cancer happens when the changing of the structure of a gene also known as mutations occurs that regulate breast cell growth. The mutations process let the cells expand in an exponential rate. The cells keep expanding, replicating its predecessors that get progressively more abnormal.

In the breast cancer case, Once a cell got infected, mutations process let the infected cell invade other healthy cells and infect them too. This process goes on and on and replicating each other and produce lots of infected cells that finally form a tumour.

Initially, it developed in breast cells and later transform into breast cancer. Generally, it takes the place in either lobule ( a breast lobule is a gland that makes milk) or the ducts ( a pathway that transports the milk from the gland to nipple of the breast. In rare cases, it developed in some fatty tissue in the breasts.

☛ Types of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer divides into two major categories invasive and non-invasive (also know as situ) on the basis of their development process. As we discussed earlier, invasive breast cancers spread from lobule gland or the ducts to rest of the breast whereas non-invasive breast cancers have not spread from the root cell.

∎ Here are some major types of breast cancers in both categories-

1. Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS)

It’s a non-invasive category of breast cancer that is not as dangerous as invasive. Ductal means that it originates inside the milk ducts. It is found that this kind of breast cancer has not spread outside of the milk duct and invaded other healthy cells. Ductal Carcinoma In Situ isn’t dangerous, but having a DCIS increase the possibilities to encounter invasive breast cancer in future.

2. Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC)

It’s a most common type of breast cancer falls under the invasive category. Around 80% of breast cancers are Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. As you know that, It’s from an invasive category, it invades neighbouring healthy cells and spreads in the breasts. Due to it’s invading nature, sometimes it spreads from breast to other parts of the body via lymph nodes.

It’s most dangerous breast cancer and required needed treatment to tackle it. Typically, it happens in aged women but can be found in young women too. IDC has it’s own 5 sub breast cancer types but they are pretty same to IDC so I would not count them here.

3. Invasive Lobular Carcinoma (ILC)

It’s the second most common breast cancers after Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. Generally, it originates in lobule and replicates to other surrounding cells through ducts that work as a pathway between. If you are diagnosed with Invasive Lobular Carcinoma, it means your surrounding cells tissue are already invaded. It is supposed to occur in women between 50 to 60 years age groups.

4. Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)

It’s pretty similar to Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS). It originates from lobule that also knows as milk-producing gland and has not invaded it’s neighbouring healthy cells. It’s not that dangerous but it can trouble you in the net 5 to 20 years.


5. Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC)

Inflammatory Breast Cancer is very rare. Only 1% of cases are IBC from all the breast cancer cases. It is different from other breast cancer types. It blocks the lymph nodes that located near the breasts and that’s why lymph vessels cannot properly drain.

It causes breast swelling, redness and heat. The earlier you will recognise the symptoms, the better you will be treated because it’s kind of very aggressive breast cancer that spreads quickly.

There are several other but less common type of breast cancers like Paget disease of the nipple, Phyllodes tumour and Angiosarcoma. First one is form in ducts but instead of invading other cells, it affects the skin of the nipple. The second one originates in the connective tissue of the breast. And the last one begins in the blood vessels in the breast.

☛ Causes of Breast Cancer

Here we all know that most breast cancers start from milk-producing cells, ducts transfer the invaded cells that later spread to surrounding cells and invade them too.

Researchers have found out some lifestyle, hormonal and environmental risk factors that cause breast cancers but there are several cases when people have not poses these risk factors encounter breast cancer and who poses never do.

They also say that it’s the mix of your genes and environment. Well, let’s explore some major causes of breast cancers that people can avoid or at least aware of them.

  • Inherited from parents – 10% of all breast cancer cases are genetic and inherited from parents.
  • Being a female – females 90% more likely have breast cancers than male.
  • History of breast conditions –  if you have encounter LCIS earlier, then you have 50% changes to developed invasive breast cancer.
  • Radiation factor –  If you have been gone through the radiation treatment earlier, it is very likely to encounter breast cancer.
  • Getting your period before 12 – women getting their first period before 12 tends to encounter breast cancer more than other.
  • Drinking Alcohol – It is found that, women drinking alcohol are most likely becomes the victim of breast cancer.
  • Getting pregnant late –  It is found that, women getting pregnant late are very likely to encounter breast cancer.
  • Infertility problem – Women having infertility problems are the easy target of breast cancer.
  • Beginning menopause at an older age – As it self explanatory, encountering menopause at an older age are the easy target of breast cancer.

☛ Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Breast cancers are the tumors inside the breast. Initially, tumours are very tiny that cannot be felt but as they grow, there are several symptoms that can be felt by sufferers. Mammogram test can also reveal some abnormalities if the test conducts at the right time.

As we now that breast cancer types are varied, so it’s symptoms varies too. We have listed some common breast cancer symptoms that can be felt by the sufferer.

  • Breast pain
  • Change in the breast size and appearance
  • Blood comes out from the nipple
  • Redness and swelling in the breast
  • A breast lump developed recently
  • Peeling on the skin of the nipple or breast
  • A newly developed inverted nipple

If any of the above symptoms match to you, it does not mean you are suffering from breast cancer, but primary checkup by the Doctor would definitely help.

☛ How to Prevent Breast Cancer

Prevention is better than going through the surgeries and with no guarantee. You cannot prevent breast cancer 100% but you can take some pre-steps like breast cancer screening, environmental and lifestyle changes and self-awareness about breast can help. Here is what you can do for breast cancer prevention-

  • Regular Breast Cancer Screening

It is not guaranteed to prevent breast cancer entirely from mammograms test but you can lower the risk by detecting abnormalities if any. Discuss your Doctor about this and he can suggest for breast cancer screening for better understand the conditions.

American Cancer Society recommends women more than 40 years to go for a mammogram test for each every or 2 years to prevent breast cancer.

Breast cancer screening by an expert can help you find any symptoms and abnormalities in your breast and recommend the treatment as per the conditions.

  • Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes like weight loss, sleep quality, stress reduction can help you prevent breast cancer and lead you to live a healthy life. It is found that obese women are the soft target of breast cancer. Having a good BMI can help you prevent breast cancer and ultimately help you live your life happily.

  • Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise could also help you manage your weight and lower the risk the of breast cancer too. Make a 5 times a week exercise schedule and follow regularly for maximum output.

  • Healthy Diet

A healthy diet is not only necessary for a healthy lifestyle but also it keeps you from illness and drugs. It also helps you manage your weight that is important when it comes to breast cancer. Crate a healthy diet chart and add every item that good for your body and eliminates toxic and junk foods that heart your body in any means or leads to excessive weight gain.

  • Drink less Alcohol

Reduce the quantity of alcohol you are drinking every week if not stop. Over drinking not only troubles you in breast cancer also responsible for health-related issues.If it helps you to prevent the diseases like breast cancer then it’s worth to not to drink anymore. Just think about your life.

  • Breast Awareness (Self Exam)

To prevent serious deasies like breast reduction, it’s highly recommended to self-aware of your breast. The more you know about your breast, the more chances you will understand the symptoms earlier and talk to your doctor for treatment.

If you notice any unusual changes in your breast like shape, size, new lump, talk to your doctor as soon as possible.

Be self-aware of your breast could not prevent breast cancer but it helps you better understand the irregular changes in your breast react accordingly.

  • Pre-emptive Treatment

In some cases, it is found that the patient inherited this from their parents. BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation are some example of them. If you possess any of them, you are at increased risk of breast cancer. Talk to your doctor as soon as possible and let them know this. It may help you prevent breast cancer to happen.

☛ Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How common is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is very common in women. According to the American Cancer Society, roughly 232,000 women will diagnose with breast cancer alone this year. On average, 12% of American women suffered from breast cancer at a point in entire life.

Q: At what age breast cancer occurs?

There is no any certain age defined but most likely it occurs in aged women who are 40 plus. Young women too have breast cancer, but it’s rare.

Q: Which breast cancer is the worst?

Invasive Ductal Carcinoma is the worst breast cancer. It invades the healthy cells surrounding them. It is said that it’s the most deadly form of breast cancer of all types.

Q: Why breast cancer occurs?

There is no single reason for breast cancer occurrence, but when someone meets the breast cancer risk factors, he/she is most likely to develop breast cancer. It has occurred, when an invaded cell starts invading their surrounding healthy cells.

Q: Can breast cancer come back?

Yes, it does but not in every case. Actually, it’s recurrence rate is very low and most of the women who go through the breast cancer never experience the breast cancer recurrence. If it is going to happen it again, it will be in the next 5 years. Self Exam could help you in the process.

Q: Can breast cancer toumours be painful?

Not much as other kinds of tumours but it does at a level of pain.

It’s all about breast cancer, causes, symptoms and it’s prevention. We have tried to summarize the entire topic in a single post so that you can know everything you wanted to about breast cancer.

Check your symptoms, know breast cancer types and prevention. If you have still any question, feel free to let us know in the comment section. We will try to answer your question as soon as possible.

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