Like all forms of cancer, breast cancer is made of unusual cells that grow out of control. Those cells may also travel to places in your body where they aren’t usually found. When that happens, the cancer is called metastatic.
Breast cancer is classified as either primary or metastatic. The initial malignant tumor that develops within the breast tissue is known as primary breast cancer. Sometimes, primary breast cancer can also be found when it is spread to lymph nodes that are close by in the armpit. Metastatic breast cancer, or advanced cancer, is formed when cancer cells located in the breast break away and travel to another organ or part of the body.
The cause of breast cancer is still unknown. However, some risk factors include:
- Family history and genetic factors
- History of previous cancers (such a colon or ovarian cancer)
- Dense breast (meaning there is a lot of ducts, glands, fibrous tissue and less fatty tissue)
- Body Mass Index
- Use of hormone replacement therapies
- Alcohol use
- Age of first period, number of viable pregnancies, and age of first childbirth
Types of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the growth of abnormal cells in the ducts or lobes of the breast. Breast cancer may be either:
This means cancer has spread from the ducts or lobes into normal breast tissue. The main invasive types are:
Ductal carcinoma: This cancer starts in the ducts of the breast. It’s the most common type of breast cancer.
Lobular carcinoma: This cancer starts in the lobes of the breast.
This means the abnormal cells haven’t spread beyond the ducts or lobes. These cancers include:
Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS): In this type, the abnormal cells are only in the ducts of the breast.
Paget disease of the nipple: The abnormal cells are only in or around the nipple. This is a rare type of cancer.
Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer
A lump in your breast or underarm that doesn’t go away.
Swelling in your armpit or near your collarbone.
A flat or indented area on your breast.
Breast changes such as a difference in the size, contour, texture, or temperature of your breast.
Changes in your nipple, like one that:
Unusual nipple discharge. It could be clear, bloody, or another color.
A marble-like area under your skin that feels different from any other part of either breast.
Effective Ways to Prevent Breast Cancer
1. Get A Mammogram Every Year
Consult expert breast cancer doctors in Delhi NCR to conduct a mammogram timely. When you have a mammogram, ask or request for tomography (also called 3D), which increases the sensitivity of the screening.
2. Have a Clinical Breast Exam
While mammograms can identify most of the breast cancers, they may not find everything. Having both a mammogram and a breast exam covers 95% of breast cancers. You can consult Dr PK Das, one of the best breast oncologist in Delhi NCR for further assistance.
3. Keep Your Weight in Check
It’s easy to ignore because it gets said so often, but maintaining a healthy weight is important for everyone. Being overweight can increase the risk of many different cancers, including breast cancer, especially after menopause.
4. Be Physically Active
Women who exercise for at least 30 minutes a day have a lower risk of breast cancer. Regular exercise is also one of the best ways to help keep weight in check.
Exercise has many great benefits for your overall health:
It helps you feel better.
It may help you live longer.
It strengthens your bones.
It helps keep your heart healthy.
Aim for 45 minutes of exercise 5 times each week.
5. Eat Your Fruits & Vegetables – and Limit Alcohol (Zero is Best)
A healthy diet can help lower the risk of breast cancer. Try to eat a lot of fruits and veggies and limit alcohol. Even low levels of drinking can increase the risk of breast cancer. And with other risks of alcohol, not drinking is the overall best choice for your health.
6. Don’t Smoke
On top of its many other health risks, smoking causes at least 15 different cancers – including breast cancer. If you smoke, try to quit as soon as possible. It’s almost never too late to get benefits. You can do it.
7. Check yourself regularly
Know your body so you know when it’s changing. Between regular screenings or exams, pay attention for the following:
- A lump, hard knot or thickening in the breast
- A lump under your arm
- A change in the size or shape of a breast
- Nipple pain, tenderness or discharge, including bleeding
- Itchiness, scales, soreness or rash on the nipple
- A nipple turning inward or inverted
- A change in color and texture (dimpling, puckering or redness)
- A breast that feels warm or swollen
If something feels different or off, don’t be afraid to speak up or ask your health care professional questions.