Diseases & Conditions

Breast Cancer

Breast CancerCausesMedicationsPreventionRisk FactorsTreatmentTypes

What is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is a predominant disease world wide. Stress is said to be one of the reasons for the raise in breast cancer. Cancer begins in the cells that make up the tissues of the breasts. Normally, as the cells grow old they are replaced by new cells. However, at times this process goes wrong and the new cells are formed even when the body does not require them. It is this additional build up of cells that form a lump, tumor or growth. The tumors in the breast can either be benign or malignant. Benign cells are harmless and cause no harm to the body whereas malignant cells is a major threat to life and can in fact spread to other parts of the body rather quickly.

Causes of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer amongst women around the world. In the US, Breast cancer is the second most cause of death amongst women in the US. Increased awareness amongst women regarding breast cancer has led to a lot of women undergoing mammography which helps in the detection of cancer in the earlier stages. Any abnormalities like lump, growth or tumor can be seen and taken as a warning sign regarding the disease. Even then breast cancer remains the major cause of death amongst women in the age group of 45 to 55 years of age. Even though malignant breast neoplasm is prevalent in women, it is also applicable to men as well. In fact breast cancer in men accounts for roughly one percent of all cancer deaths in men. Some of the other cases of breast cancer include genetic or hormonal factors.

Medication for Breast Cancer

Breast cancer can be treated and its growth halted by using a variety of drugs. The drugs that are quite often prescribed for women with breast cancer include Tamoxifen, tibolone and raloxifene. All these three drugs are prescribed for women with a family history of breast cancer in order to reduce the risk or prevent malignant breast neoplasm. These drugs help in reducing the spread of invasive breast cancer.

Prevention of Breast Cancer

For many women breast cancer is a very dreaded disease. Women fear a loss of body image, sexuality. They dread surgery and death. In many instances of malignant breast neoplasm, making changes in life style, having a healthy diet, exercise and weight reduction helps in preventing breast cancer.

Risk Factors of Breast Cancer

The common risk factors of breast cancer include:

  • Genetic Factors
  • Hormonal factors
  • Personal Health History
  • Family Health History
  • Age
  • Race
  • Breast Density
  • Being Overweight or Obese after menopause
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Lack of physical activity.

Treatment for Breast Cancer

Research has thrown light on the causes of breast cancer. According to studies, it is now believed that the one of the most important factors that lead to breast cancer is genetic and hormonal factors. There are now available systems that will enable the doctors to understand the nature of the cancer before beginning the treatment. In fact, the treatment is based on various aspects like the type of malignant breast neoplasm, the extent to which it has spread. The treatment options available could mean surgery to remove the cancer or in some instances undertake mastectomy, hormonal therapy, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. With the advancement in screening, diagnosis and treatment, doctors are able to bring down the death rate.

Types of Breast Cancer

Malignant breast neoplasm is not just one disease. There are different types of breast cancer with different implications. The breast cancers may range from localized cancers like ductal carcinoma in situ or DCIS or it can be rapidly spreading invasive cancers or metastasize. Then you have breast cancers like colloid carcinomas and papillary carcinomas.