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Breast Cancer : Overview



Overview
Introduction
Breast cancer is cancer that forms in the cells of the breasts.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. The first symptom of breast cancer most women notice is a lump or an area of thickened tissue in their breast.
Most breast lumps (90%) aren't cancerous, but it's always best to have them checked by your doctor.
There are many types of breast cancer that differ in their capability of spreading to other body tissues
Symptoms
Breast cancer symptoms and signs include
A lump in the breast or armpit,
Bloody nipple discharge,
Inverted nipple,
Orange-peel texture or dimpling of the breast's skin,
Breast pain or sore nipple,
Swollen lymph nodes in the neck or armpit, and
A change in the size or shape of the breast or nipple.
Causes
The causes of breast cancer are not yet fully known, although a number of risk factors have been identified
Risk Factors
The causes of breast cancer aren't fully understood, making it difficult to say why one woman may develop breast cancer and another may not. There are some risk factors to affect your likelihood of developing breast cancer which include:
Age
Breast density
Family history
Exposure to oestrogen
Being overweight or obese
Alcohol
Radiation
Hormone therapy
Contraceptive pills
Diagnosis
Many patients are diagnosed with breast cancer after routine breast screening. If you feel any lump in your breast which is increasing in size, you should consult your doctor. After physical examination and taking the family history your doctor may recommend mammography, ultrasound testing, and biopsy.
Treatment
Treatment of breast cancer depends on the type of cancer and its stage (0-IV). If you have cancer, you should be assigned a multidisciplinary team (MDT) – a team of specialists who work together to provide the best treatment and care. The main treatments for breast cancer are:
Surgery
Radiotherapy
Chemotherapy
Hormone therapy
Biological therapy (targeted therapy)
Prognosis
Prognosis depends on stage and type of breast cancer.
Survival rates tell you what portion of people with the same type and stage of cancer are still alive a certain amount of time (usually 5 years) after they were diagnosed. They can’t tell you how long you will live, but they may help give you a better understanding about the outlook. Some people will want to know the survival rates for their cancer type and stage, and some people won’t.

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