Breast cancer is an oncological disease which negatively affects breast tissues. There are two main forms of the disease: the first and the most widespread is the ductal carcinoma, whereas the second is called lobular carcinoma. The former type starts in the ducts that are a kind of milk transportation vessels from the breast to the nipples. The latter type affects the lobules which produce milk. Both of these types can be either invasive or non-invasive, where the former spread to other areas of the breast tissue and the latter remain in their original area of appearance.
There are also some more rare instances of how the disease originates apart from the two aforementioned. According to the research, estrogen is proven to increase the risk of breast cancer cells growth. Among the other factors that put people at risk are gender and age. The risk group for developing breast cancer is women over 50 years old. The other factors that should be taken into account are genetics and family history: women who have occurrences of breast cancer in their family are more prone to developing it in their own adulthood as compared with the other women who do not have such family history.
What is most frightening is that the disease develops without symptoms most of the time and is usually revealed on some last stages if a woman is not regularly screened. Still, when a woman notices some lumps in the armpit or in breasts, she should immediately consult the doctor because these are usually the most vivid symptoms of breast cancer on an advanced stage. Such changes may also be accompanied by changes of the nipple size and color or the change of the breast form itself. Besides, a woman might also notice some liquid flowing out of the nipple.
Breast cancer rarely happens in men as well. Among the most common symptoms are pain in breasts, lumps, breast tenderness. Other symptoms that signify more advanced stages of cancer are bone pain, chest pain, skin tenderness, skin ulcers, swelling in the armpit, weight loss and others.
Regarding the diagnostics, there are numerous tests aimed to reveal whether a patient has breast cancer. Among such tests are breast ultrasound, MRI, biopsy, mammography, CT scan, Lymph node biopsy, and PEP scan among others. The doctor may request for any of the abovementioned tests judging from the patient’s medical history. In case any of these tests proves to be positive, the patient might be further sent for additional diagnostics, in particular to check whether cancer cells have spread to some other body parts or organs.
Regarding treatment, there are three main procedures: radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and surgery (if it is a tumor, the doctor surgically removes it). The choice of treatment depends on the type and state of cancer and the patient’s health state.