Common Specialities
{{speciality.keyWord}}
Common Issues
{{issue.keyWord}}
Common Treatments
{{treatment.keyWord}}

Breast Cancer - Risk Factors Associated With It!

Dr. Manish Bhatia 91% (42 ratings)
MS - General Surgery, MCH - Oncology , MBBS
Oncologist, Pune  •  26 years experience
Breast Cancer - Risk Factors Associated With It!

Detecting a lump on your breasts can be stressful for any women. Breast cancer is a common type of cancer and is said to affect primarily affect women though 1% of breast cancer cases affect men. Breast cancer can be categorized into different types based on their capability to affect surrounding tissues.

The most common amongst these are:

  • Ductal carcinoma in situ
  • Invasive ductal carcinoma
  • Invasive lobular carcinoma

Breast cancer is caused by mutations of a person’s DNA cells. This could be inherited from one’s parents or acquired by an unhealthy lifestyle. These DNA mutations cause cells in the breast tissue to multiply rapidly and turn cancerous. The risk factors for breast cancer can be categorized as modifiable and non-modifiable.

Modifiable risk factors:

Non-modifiable risk factors:

  • Age
  • Family Medical History
  • Personal Medical History
  • Atypical hyperplasia
  • Early start of menstruation cycle
  • Presence of dense breast tissue
  • Inherited genetic mutations

As with any other type of cancer, the earlier it is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat. In its early stages, breast cancer is not painful and has negligible symptoms. In most cases, it is detected only by finding a lump on the breast or through a mammography. This lump may also be present in the armpit or above the collar bone. Some of the other symptoms of breast cancer include:

  • Nipple inversion
  • Discharge from the nipples
  • Changes in the colour and texture of skin covering the breast

Breast cancer has five stages beginning from 0 and going up to 4. This is based on the size of the tumour, involvement of lymph nodes and whether or not metastasis has occurred.

  • Stage 0: At this stage, the tumour does not affect the lymph nodes and has not metastasized. Thus at this stage, it is noninvasive.
  • Stage I:  In this case the tumour is smaller than 2 cm in diameter and has not spread to any of the surrounding tissues.
  • Stage II: In this stage, the cancerous tumours are still fairly small in size but also affect the surrounding lymph nodes.
  • Stage III: These tumours are larger than 5 cm in diameter and involve the lymph nodes to a greater extent.
  • Stage IV: This is also known as metastatic breast cancer. In this stage, the cancer cells metastasize to other parts of the body.

Surgery is the most preferred form of treatment for breast cancer. This may be combined with radiation, chemotherapy, targeted therapy or hormone therapy depending on the stage and type of cancer, the patient's overall health, age and personal preferences. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

1985 people found this helpful