You have probably heard about breast cancer and how it causes pain and suffering to patients. Studies show that out of eight women, one of them develops a cancerous breast in her lifetime. Even though this type of cancer is known to affect women, men are affected too. Despite being one of the cancerous conditions that claim people's lives worldwide, breast cancer is manageable if detected early.
Understanding breast cancer is essential in preventing it and seeking prompt treatment. Most people think that breast carcinoma is a single disease affecting the breast organ, but according to scientists, breast cancer presents in several sub-types. Below is a brief discussion on some of the common types of breast cancer.
In Situ Ductal Carcinoma
This is where cancer cells confine in the lining of milk ducts in the breast tissue. In its initial stages, breast cancer cells grow in the breast ducts alone, thus known as in situ carcinoma. This means they have not invaded other breast structures and are easy to treat. Unfortunately, if the cancer is not detected and managed at this stage, it can spread to the nearby breast tissue.
When left untreated, the abnormal cells break out of the milk ducts and invade the surrounding healthy cells of the breast. The infected cells will then spread to other organs of the body. Statistics reveal that infiltrative cancer is the most prevalent type of breast cancer, with 70-80% of the total diagnoses.
Inflammatory Breast Carcinoma
Unlike other cancers, inflammatory carcinoma has few cases and accounts for 1-5% of breast cancer cases. Here, abnormal cells block lymphatic vessels in the breast, thus causing your breast to swell and become tender. Since this type of cancer develops rapidly, aggressive treatment is crucial to enhance prognosis.
With this cancer, cancerous cells from the affected breast move to other body organs via the bloodstream. The infected cells invade the healthy cells of other organs, such as the brain, bone, and lungs, where they form new tumors. Since the metastatic cells originated from the breast, tumors that form in the other organs comprise of the breast cancerous cells.
Now that you know about the several types of breast cancer, understanding risk factors that contribute to getting the disease is critical. Medical scientists and research experts have identified some factors that increase the possibilities of developing breast cancer. Check some of the risk factors below:
Besides the risk of developing stroke, diabetes, and heart diseases, unhealthy diet also increases your chances of getting breast cancer. Consuming food with high-fat content and drinking alcohol can cause elevated levels of estrogen hormone in the body. High-estrogen levels cause breast carcinoma by triggering the abnormal production of breast cells.
Failure to exercise your body puts you in a risk of becoming overweight and developing breast carcinoma. This happens because an inactive lifestyle causes unhealthy fats to accumulate in your body, thus increasing estrogen levels. When you exercise, there are physiological processes that occur to remove excess fats and cholesterol.
Growing old is inevitable, yet it's one of the risk factors in developing breast cancer. Statistics show that the diagnosis of this cancer is minimal at 30 years and highest at 70 years. The professionals explain that the aging process subjects your body to genetic mutations. Since your body is not strong enough to repair the genetic damage, you become vulnerable to diseases, including breast cancer.
Family History of Breast Carcinoma
One of the unavoidable risk factors is being a member of a family with a history of breast cancer. If any of your immediate relatives such as a sister, mother, or daughter was diagnosed with this disease, you could be at risk of developing it too.
Usually, the estrogen hormone enhances the growth of breast cells in females. However, being exposed to this hormone can increase your chances of developing a cancerous condition in your breasts. You probably did not know that starting menses before the 12th birthday or entering menopause after 55 years exposes you to estrogen. Sometimes, exposure to estrogen-emitting chemicals such as fungicides and pesticides from the surrounding environment is sometimes inevitable, but it also puts women at risk of this cancerous condition.
Knowing the types and risk factors of breast cancer will help you understand the disease and how to avoid it. With controllable risk factors such as adopting a healthy lifestyle, it becomes easier to avoid the cancerous condition. If you have a history o this type of cancer in your family, ensure you consult your doctor to advise you.