What is Breast Cancer?

What is Breast Cancer?

Cancer in the breasts is ubiquitous. More than 200,000 American women are diagnosed with breast cancer on an annual basis. With the incidence rate being that high, it is only natural for women to seek out more information on “what is breast cancer?” A quick search on the Internet for “what is breast cancer?” will usually give women resources that will go into a lot of detail about some very technical aspects of breast cancer. The article below will try to provide a summary of information that will allow one to quickly answer several aspects of the question “what is breast cancer?”

Introduction – What Is Breast Cancer?

A woman is said to have breast cancer when cancerous or malignant cells have invaded the tissue in the breasts. The cancerous cells will usually affect the milk-producing ducts or lobules in the breasts, although some kinds of breast cancers can also affect the nipples and the lymph nodes within a breast. There are four common kinds of breast cancer. They are DCIS or ductal carcinoma in situ, lobular carcinoma in situ, invasive ductal carcinoma, and invasive lobular carcinoma. In situ means that the cancer is isolated to the breast tissues only. Invasive cancers are those where the cancerous cells are trying to break out to the surrounding lymph nodes and even other organs in the body.

What Are The Symptoms Of Breast Cancer?

The symptoms will depend on the type of breast cancer, and it will also depend on the growth stage or staging of cancer. But, generally, a woman can expect to experience the formation of a lump in the breasts or just under the armpits. The breast size may also change over a short period of time. Some women will experience a discharge from their nipples that looks like pus. Some women will experience pain in their breast area and may also undergo weight loss.

What Are The Risk Factors Associated With Breast Cancer?

Certain women will fall in a high-risk category when it comes to contracting breast cancer. The women in this category are usually those who are older than 45 years of age. Women who have not had any children are also vulnerable to breast cancer, as are women who have never breastfed their children. Also, women who consume a lot of alcohol will be vulnerable to breast cancer and women who are obese or who do not exercise much.

What Are The Treatment Options Available For Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer can be treated very well when it is diagnosed early. In fact, patients have about a 98% chance of survival beyond five years if breast cancer is treated early. Breast cancer can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. A doctor will usually use all three procedures to treat breast cancer, often producing the best results. Breast cancer may also be treated with a targeted therapy called hormonal therapy in some patients.