How to prevent Breast Cancer?

Feb 14th, 2021 | by  Simran Panjwani


Breast cancer is a type of cancer that forms in the cells of the breasts. This type of cancer can occur in both men and women, however, it is more common in women. It leads to the formation of nodules or lump near the armpit.

What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer occurs due to mutations in the cells of the breast. It arises in lobules, the ducts of the breast, fatty tissue, or fibrous connective tissue within the breast. It can affect other healthy breast tissues and spread to other parts of the body through lymph nodes.

The most common symptom of breast cancer is the formation of an abnormal lump in the breast. However, sometimes the tumour is too small to be felt, and not all the lumps are breast cancer. 

Types of breast cancer

Breast cancer is of various types such as:

  • Angiosarcoma - This is a rare type of breast cancer and it arises in the blood vessels of the breast.
  • Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) - It is non-invasive cancer and only affects the ducts in your breast.
  • Invasive ductal carcinoma - It is the most common type of breast cancer and arises on the milk ducts and then invades surrounding tissues.
  • Invasive lobular carcinoma - It gets developed on the breast's lobules and affects the surrounding tissue.
  • Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) - It arises in the milk-producing glands of your breast and has not invaded surrounding tissues yet.
  • Male breast cancer - This is relatively rare and arises in the breast tissue of men.
  • Paget's disease of the breast - It arises on the ducts of the nipple.
  • Phyllodes Tissue - It arises on the connective tissue of the breast and is a rare type of cancer.

Symptoms of breast cancer

Early detection of breast cancer is quite difficult. This is because the tumour may be too small to be detected by touch. However, there might be some abnormality on the mammogram.

The most common symptom of breast cancer is the appearance of an abnormal lump in the breast. There are different symptoms of different breast cancers. However, some people do not have any symptoms.

Warnings of breast cancer

  • Formation of a lump in the breast or near the underarms.
  • Thickening, swelling, or redness on the breast or nipple.
  • Redness or scaly skin in the nipple area and breast.
  • Inversion of the nipple.
  • Pain or irritation in the breast.
  • Bloody discharge from the nipple.
  • Sudden change in the shape of the breast or change in the skin of the breast.

When to consult a doctor?

In case you notice any abnormal lump or reddish skin on the breast, you might consider consulting a doctor. A sudden change or pain in the breast can also lead to breast cancer.

Risk factors of breast cancer

  • Age - According to scientific research, women above the age of 55 are more prone to breast cancer. 
  • Drinking alcohol - Excessive alcohol can lead to an increase in the risk of breast cancer.
  • Gender - Although breast cancer can be found in both men and women, women are more vulnerable to breast cancer.
  • Early menstruation - Early menstruation (before the age of 12) can lead to a higher risk of breast cancer.
  • Giving birth at an older age - Giving birth after the age of 35 can increase the risk of breast cancer. 
  • Family history - In case someone close to you had breast cancer then you are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
  • Never being pregnant - Women who never got pregnant are at higher risk of breast cancer.

Breast cancer treatment

Breast cancer treatment depends on various factors such as size, stage, and grade. However, the most common treatment for breast cancer is surgery. 

  • Surgery:
    There are different kinds of surgeries to remove breast cancer such as Lumpectomy, Mastectomy, Sentinel node biopsy, axillary lymph node dissection, and contralateral prophylactic mastectomy.
  • Radiation therapy:
    As the name suggests, high powered beams of radiation are used to destroy cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy:
    In this process, cancer cells are killed with the help of drugs. In certain cases, it is used along with surgery.
  • Hormone therapy:
    In this therapy, hormonal receptors or the production of certain hormones are blocked.
  • Medications:
    Medications are used to destroy cancer cells.

Tips to prevent breast cancer

  • Limit the use of alcohol.
  • Avoid smoking - According to scientific research, smoking can enhance the risk of breast cancer especially in menopausal women.
  • Management of weight - Obesity and overweight people are more vulnerable to breast cancer.
  • Breastfeed - According to scientific research, breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer.
  • Regular exercise - Regular exercises can lower the risk of breast cancer to a great extent.
  • Healthy diet - Eating a healthy and nutritious diet can also lower the risk of breast cancer.
  • Hormonal therapy - Hormonal therapy can mitigate the risk of breast cancer.

Wrap up

Men and women all around the world are now aware of breast cancer. They know about the causes, symptoms, and risks of breast cancer. This has helped in early detection as well as prevention of breast cancer to a large extent.



Simran Panjwani

Simran Panjwani

A keen learner

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