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Breast cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the cells of the breast. It is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. This medical condition occurs in both men and women, however, it’s more predominant in women. Some of the signs and symptoms of this disease include the development of lump in the breast. Other changes that would occur in the breast include dimpling of the skin, red patches of the skin of the breast, secretion of fluid in the breast, even though the affected individual isn’t lactating. Also, this disease might spread to other parts of the body in severe cases,  which might lead to pain in the bones, swollen lymph nodes, discoloration of the skin; mostly yellowing of the skin, and the swelling of the lymph nodes.  Some of the factors that increase the risk of having this disease include gender, excess weight, lack of exercise, alcohol and so on. In addition, it has been discovered that about an average of breast cancer cases is due to genetics. This means that the genes can be inherited from one’s parents. This tumor cells mostly develop in the lining of the ducts and lobules that provide milk to them. Cancer that grows in the duct is referred to as ductal carcinoma. On the other hand, those that develop in the lobules are known as lobular carcinoma. The prognosis of cancer depends on a lot of factors. Some of this include the type of cancer, the extent of the disease, and the age of the person. Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer affecting women in the world. Some of the treatment procedures for Breast cancer include chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery.  Also, scientists in the stem cell business are working on ways to identify and target the cancer stem cells.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Breast Cancer?

One of the earliest symptoms that would be noticed in an individual affected by breast cancer is a lump. This would feel differently in the hand when compared to other breast tissues. Most breast cancers are detected by women, especially when they are feeling their breast, and discover the lump. The majority of cancer cases are detected by using a mammogram. In addition, lumps found in the lymph nodes, which can be located in the axilla are also indicators of breast cancer. Other indications of breast cancer asides from lump include a thickening of the tissues of the breast, that feels different from another part of the breast. Others include an inverted nipple, dimpling of the skin, a rash around the nipple, abnormal secretion from the nipple, pain, and discomfort in the breast, and also in the armpit.

Phyllodes a tumor is also a form of breast cancer, although they initially take the appearance of fibroadenoma. Fibroadenoma is a hard, movable non-cancerous lump in the breast. Breast cancer can sometimes spread to other parts of the body. This process is known as metastasis. The signs and symptoms caused by the spread of this cancer will largely depend on where is spreads, the size of a tumor, and also the severity. Some of the common places where breast cancer metastasizes to are the bones, liver, lung and even the brain. Patients might experience weight loss, which cannot be explained. Other symptoms can be as minor as fever. Joint pains and bone pains can also be signs and symptoms of metastasis of breast cancer.

What Are The Cause Of Breast Cancer?

It’s possible for doctors to know when the tumor cells are developing. These cancer cells proliferate faster than normal cells. Their growth is uncontrolled. They are also capable of spreading from one part of the body to another. It has been discovered that hormones, lifestyle and environmental factors play an important role in the development of breast cancer. Also, it has been discovered that about 10% of all breast cancer cases are inherited from parents. In addition, genetics also play a part. Genetic mutations also contribute to the growth of the disease. BRCA1 and BRCA 2 are gene mutations that could lead to breast cancer.


What Are The Risk Factors For Breast Cancer?

Risk factors are things or conditions that would increase the chance of developing breast cancer. Being affected by some of these factors does not directly mean that one would have breast cancer. It just increases the chance of developing the disease. Below are some of the risk factors;

  1. Gender: Breast cancer is more likely to develop in women than in men.
  2. Past medical history: People with a history of lumps in their breast, are more predisposed to having breast cancer.
  3. Family history: An individual that has a relative that was affected by breast cancer, is more predisposed to having the disease.
  4. Age: Breast cancer tends to occur in older people. So the older one becomes, the higher the risks of having breast cancer.
  5. Genetics: There are some gene mutations that increase the risk of breast cancer. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are two of the common gene mutations that could lead to the development of breast cancer. These genes largely increase the risk of having breast cancer.
  6. Age of delivering breast cancer: It has been discovered that women who give birth to their first child after the age of 30 have more chances of having breast cancer.
  7. Alcohol consumption: Alcohol consumption surges the chances of developing breast cancer.

How Is Breast Cancer Currently Treated?

Your physician would determine what kind of therapy is best for you. In addition, the treatment largely depends on the size of a tumor, the severity, stage, and grade, and also how hormone sensitive the tumor is. Some of the common procedures include;

  1. Breast cancer surgery: This includes surgically removing the lumps from the breast. Sometimes, the doctor might have to remove the whole breast. This procedure is known as mastectomy.
  2. Radiotherapy
  3. Chemotherapy
  4. Hormone therapy.
  5. Support

Stem Cell Therapy And Breast Cancer

Scientists are presently working on ways of identifying and targeting breast cancer stem cells. These cancer stem cells are responsible for the uncontrolled growth of a tumour. Success in this project would lead to the development of medications that would effectively treat breast cancer.

References (2018). – Breast Cancer Information and Awareness. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Mar. 2018].

Cuzick, J. (2000). Future possibilities in the prevention of breast cancer: Breast cancer prevention trials. Breast Cancer Research, 2(4).

Dontu, G. (2008). Breast cancer stem cell markers – the rocky road to clinical applications. Breast Cancer Research, 10(5).

Moriya, T. (2005). Diagnosis of non-palpable breast cancer (image-detected breast cancer). Breast Cancer, 12(4), pp.249-249.