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Breast Cancer: All You Need To Know As A Woman

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Breast Cancer: All You Need To Know As A Woman

Breast Cancer: All You Need To Know As A Woman

Breast Cancer: All You Need To Know As A Woman


What is breast cancer?

Breast Cancer: All You Need To Know As A Woman-Breast cancer is a disease that occurs when cells are mutating and reproducing, Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, after skin cancer. One in eight women in the United States (about 12%) will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.

It is also the second leading cause of cancer death in women after lung cancer.

Encouragingly, the death rate of breast cancer has declined in recent years, perhaps due to greater awareness and screening for this type of cancer, as well as better treatments.

These abnormal cells usually cluster together to form a tumor.

 A tumor is cancerous (gold malignant) when these abnormal cells invade other parts of the breast or when they spread (or metastasize) to other areas of the body through the bloodstream or lymphatic system, a network of vessels and nodes in the body that plays a role in fighting infection.

Breast cancer usually starts in the milk-producing tassels of the breast (called lobules) or the tube-shaped ducts that carry milk from the lobules to the nipple. Less often, cancer begins in the fatty and fibrous connective tissue of the breast.

New cases of breast cancer are about 100 times more common, but yes, men can get breast cancer too.

Male breast cancer is rare, but anyone with breast tissue can develop breast cancer.

See what causes Breast Cancer and Avoid Them

Breast cancer is caused by a genetic mutation in the DNA of breast cancer cells.


How or why this is not entirely understood. Some mutations may develop randomly over time, while others are inherited or may be the result of environmental exposures or lifestyle factors.

Most breast cancers are diagnosed in women over the age of 50, but it is not clear why some women get breast cancer and others do not (including those who have risk factors).

Some breast cancer risks may be preventable. Of course, you can not control every variable that may influence your risk. Here are the key breast cancer risk factors to know.

  • Age and gender.    If you are a woman and you’re getting older, you may be at risk of developing breast cancer. The risk begins to climb after age 40 and is highest for women in their 70s.

  • Family history. Having a close blood relation with breast cancer increases your risk of developing the disease. A woman’s breast cancer risk is almost double if she has a mother, sister, or daughter with breast cancer.


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  • A breast cancer gene mutation. Up to 10% of all breast cancers are thought to be inherited, and many of these are caused by defects in one or more genes, especially the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. In the US, BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations are more common in Eastern European descent. Breast cancer, but the risk is greater: A woman’s lifetime risk of breast cancer with a BRCA1 gene mutation, for example, may be more 55% to 65% compared to the average 12 %.

  • Breast changes and conditions. Women with dense breasts or with a history of breast lumps, a previous breast cancer, or some non-cancerous breast conditions are at greater risk of developing breast cancer than women who do not have these conditions.

  • Race / ethnicity. White women are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer than Asian, Hispanic, and African American women. But African American women are more likely to develop more aggressive breast cancer at a younger age and both African American and Hispanic women are more likely to die from breast cancer than white women.

  • Hormones. Women with early menstrual periods (starting before age 12) and late menopause (after age 55) are at greater risk of getting breast cancer. Scientists think their exposure to the estrogen hormone may be a factor, because estrogen stimulates growth of the cells of the breast. Likewise, the use of hormone therapy after menopause appears to boost the risk of breast cancer. Oral birth control pills have been linked to a small increase in breast cancer risk compared to women who never used hormonal contraception. But that is more than 10 years after stopping the pill.


  • Weight. Women who are overweight or obese after menopause are more likely to get breast cancer. The exact reason is not clear, but it may be due to higher levels of estrogen produced by fat cells after menopause. Being overweight also boosts blood levels of insulin, which may affect breast cancer risk.

  • Alcohol consumption. Studies suggest women who drink two or more alcoholic beverages a day are 1 1/2 times more likely than non-drinkers to develop breast cancer. The risk rises with greater alcohol intake, and is known to increase the risk of other cancers too. For that reason, the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that women stick to one drink a day-or less.

  • Radiation exposure. A woman’s risk of developing breast cancer may be higher than normal if she had chest.

  • Pregnancy history. Having no children or having a first child after age 30 may increase your risk of breast cancer.

  • Exposure. Women who have been given a higher risk of breast cancer, as well as their daughters.

Scientists are studying a number of other factors to determine what role, if any, they can play in the development of breast cancer. There is not enough evidence for smoking, or dietary fat, or environmental exposure to certain chemicals, for example, to increase the risk of breast cancer.

Stages of Breast Cancer

All breast cancers are assigned to a stage based on biopsy results plus other findings from blood tests and imaging scans. Staging can help you and your medical team makes decisions about your chances of survival.

Breast cancer stages mirror the measure of the tumor, regardless of whether it is obtrusive, it has achieved the lymph hubs (decorations that are a piece of the body’s insusceptible framework), and it has spread to different parts of the body.

Stage 4 breast cancer

At Stage 4, Stage 4 breast cancer has flown out to different destinations in the body, frequently the bones, liver, mind, or lungs. This is called metastatic breast cancer. In spite of the fact that this stage is viewed as hopeless, new medicines enable patients to live longer with their sickness.

Stage 3 breast cancer

Stage 3 breast cancer is an advanced cancer. It’s in the lymph nodes but has not spread to other organs. This stage is divided into three categories, 3A, 3B and 3C, based on the size of the tumor and how many lymph nodes are involved.

Stage 2 breast cancer

At Stage 2, breast cancer is growing but only in the breast or nearby lymph nodes. This stage has two categories, 2A and 2B, based on how large the tumor is and whether or not it has spread to nearby lymph nodes.

Stage 1 breast cancer

Stage 1 is an invasive cancer, meaning it is invading healthy breast tissue, but it does not spread outside the breast. This stage also has two categories, 1A and 1B, based on the presence of small clusters of breast cancer cells.

Stage 0 breast cancer

Also called pre-cancer, this is the earliest stage of breast cancer. It involves abnormal cells that have not spread to the breast of the ducts or lobules where they began. Stage 0 breast cancer also has not spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body. Stage 0 breast cancer is non-invasive, like ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).

Breast cancer prevention

While no one can tell you how to prevent breast cancer, there’s no doubt that there are certain healthy lifestyle changes.

  • Limit your alcohol intake. The more you drink, the higher risk of breast cancer.

  • Watch your weight. Being overweight or obese boosts your breast cancer risk.

  • Exercise. Women who work with a lower risk of breast cancer

  • Consider breastfeeding your baby. Women who breastfeed have a lower risk of breast cancer than those who do not breastfeed their children.

  • Reduce your hormone intake. Hormone therapy users are at higher risk for breast cancer. If you’re taking hormones to relieve menopausal symptoms, talk to your doctor about getting the best of your time.

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