Women's breasts contain specialized milk-producing tissue, also known as glandular tissue, along with fat. The size of the breast is determined by fat.
The milk-producing lobules within the breast are small structures that combine to form lobes. The milk travels through a network of ducts that come together in the nipple. The aerola is the dark skin surrounding the nipples. The breast also has connective tissue and ligaments, nerves, blood vessels, and lymph nodes.
Breast cancer occurs when a D.N.A abnormality in the cells causes them to turn malignant and multiply uncontrollably. Breast cancer generally develops in the lobules that supply milk or the ducts. The malignant cells from a tumour that can metastasize or spread into other areas of the body. Breast cancer that originates in the lobules is knowns as lobular carcinoma while cancer that develops in the ducts is called ductal carcinoma. Breast cancer is further divided into invasive and non-invasive breast cancer. Invasive breast cancer is when the cancer cells start affecting nearby tissues and lymph nodes, from where they can further metastasize and reach other organs of the body including the bones and lungs. Non-invasive cancer is when the malignant cells are still contained within lobules or ducts.
SYMPTOMS OF BREAST CANCER
• Lumps found in the breast
• Pain in the armpits
• Painful breasts
• Rashes around the nipples
• Lumps in the armpits
• Bloody discharge from the nipples
• Sunken nipples
• Changes in size and shape of the breast
RISK FACTORS OF BREAST CANCER
• Previous history of breast cancer
• Previous history of breast lumps
• Higher breasts tissue density
Treatment for breast cancer may include surgery (such as a lumpectomy or mastectomy), radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy.
Precautions to reduce the risk of breast cancer include reduced alcohol consumption, a healthier diet, reduction in weight, and postmenopausal hormone therapy.
Breast cancer is a serious and distressing problem for women (and sometimes for men too). Routine screening, as well as healthier lifestyle choices by the individual, is the best chance of tackling this condition.