Cause of breast cancer
Several things can make someone more likely to get breast cancer. About 10 percent of the cases of breast cancer are genetic. Two genes tend to be involved in this sort of cancer: BRCA1 and BRCA2. There are special tests to look for these genes. Here are some of the things that make a person more likely to get breast cancer besides genes:
- Being a woman (men get it, but more rarely)
- Being older than 55
- Previous case of breast cancer
- Radiation exposure
- Being overweight
- Starting period younger than 12 years old
- Starting menopause older than 55 years old
- Having your first child after age 35 years old
- Being an alcoholic
Signs and symptoms of breast cancer
The symptoms of breast cancer can be any or all of the following:
- Lump in the breast
- Thickening in the breast tissue
- Blood coming from the breast
- Breast size or shape changes
- Breast skin dimples
- Nipple is inverted
- Nipple or skin on breast peels, scales or flakes off
- Breast skin pits or turns red or looks like an orange peel
If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms then you should immediately see your doctor to get a test done to see if it could be breast cancer. Tests may include a breast MRI, ultrasound or mammogram X-Ray.
Treatment for Breast Cancer
When someone has breast cancer, the following treatments can be tried:
- Lumpectomy – In this type of surgery only the breast lump is removed. It can only be used on very small tumors.
- Mastectomy -- Mastectomy removes the whole breast and surrounding tissues and if it is a radical mastectomy it may also remove part of the chest wall, lymph nodes and other surrounding tissue to be sure to get all of the cancer.
- Lymph node removal – If the cancer is in the lymph nodes then that node is removed and tested for cancerous cells. If none are found, then no other nodes are removed along with the cancerous ones. However, if cancer cells are in the node, then other nodes in your breast area will most likely have to come out.
- Chemotherapy -- Chemotherapy is when drugs kill the cancer cells.
- Radiation therapy – Sometimes radiation therapy is done where the radiation is beamed into the body to kill cancer cells.
Breast reconstruction is often done right after breast cancer surgery. Sometimes this uses the women’s own tissue, but may need to use synthetic implants or other options. It can either be done right after the mastectomy or at a later time.