Different Types of Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer Awareness Month, observed every October, marks the effort to raise awareness about this disease and reduce the stigma by encouraging diagnosis, education on breast cancer symptoms, and treatment of the ailment.
It is the most common cancer in women that is affecting them rigorously. But the good news is early diagnosis and treatments have improved the survival rates now. Besides, knowing the benefits of health insurance for expensive cancer treatment is the first step to getting access to quality medical care in the hour of need, thus preventing any financial burden that might occur in the light of rising medical inflation.
Breast Cancer can be of various types, and there can be many different ways to describe them. Type of Breast Cancer is predominantly determined by specific cells in the breast that are affected. According to WHO, 2.1 million women are affected by breast cancer every year. Cancer that affects these women can belong to different categories. They can be invasive or non-invasive. Doctors always go for specialized tests to analyze cancer cells. Accordingly, they plan the treatment. Learn about different types of tumors that can develop and cause cancer.
What is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is a type of cancer that forms in the breast cells and grow out of control. It can spread to different parts of the breast. It can also gradually blowout to other parts of the body through blood and lymph vessels and display visible breast cancer symptoms like lumps.
It’s important to know that not all breast lumps are cancerous. Some are non-cancerous but with abnormal growth. They do not spread outside the breast and are not life-threatening. Thus, it is advisable to consult with a doctor once you notice any breast cancer symptoms, as explained in this article.
Causes and Symptoms of Breast Cancer
Females are more likely to develop breast cancer than men. Some factors may reflect as breast cancer symptoms:
- Inherited mutated genes such as gene 1 (BRCA 1) and gene 2 (BRCA 2) increase the risk
- One breast is already affected then it increases the risk of cancer in the other breast
- Radiation treatments are also among breast cancer causes
- Obesity also increases the chances of breast cancer
- Mensuration or menopause at a very early or older age can develop cancer
- Late pregnancy can indicate signs of breast cancer amongst females
- Consumption of alcohol also put women at high risk of developing a tumor in the breast
- Women who take hormone replacement therapy are at higher risk
The symptoms may vary from female to female. Some most common warning signs of breast cancer are:
- Swelling, redness, or pain in one or both breasts
- Increase size or change in the shape of the breast
- Changes in the color of nipples
- Inverted nipple
- Fluid discharge from nipples
- Lumps felt inside the breast
Learn about breast cancer symptoms. Visit a doctor for a complete examination and consult that whatever you notice is a cause of concern.
Types of Breast Cancer
Metastatic Breast Cancer
It is one of the breast cancer stages known as Stage 4 Breast Cancer. In this, cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as lungs, bones, and brain. Possibly cancer cells may invade healthy cells or penetrate the circulatory or lymph system. The symptoms of this kind of cancer may vary from female to female, depending on how it has spread. However, some common symptoms are severe and progressive pain, swelling, vomiting, jaundice, rashes, and more. So if you ever notice such signs of breast cancer, report to your doctor immediately.
Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS)
It is non-invasive cancer. Carcinoma here means “cancer” and in Situ in “the original place.” This type of cancer starts in cells found in the lining of the breast milk duct. These cells have not spread outside the ducts or surrounding breast tissue. It can easily be treated if diagnosed in the first stage. This type of breast cancer causes breast lump, nipple discharge, and unusual skin.
Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC)
When cancer cells spread outside the duct area into other parts of the breast tissue, it is called invasive ductal carcinoma. There are high chances that it can grow out of the breast as well. It is the most common type of breast cancer and requires proper breast cancer treatment. IDC symptoms include breast pain, swelling, nipple turning inward, and a lump in the underarm area.
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Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS)
Lobular means the abnormal cells that start growing in the lobules. Lobules are the milk-producing glands located at the end of the breast. In this situation, cancer cells do not spread to surrounding tissues. It is usually diagnosed before menopause and refers to an uncommon condition. It does not have a specific symptom.
Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC)
It is a type of breast cancer that grows aggressively. In this type of cancer, cells infiltrate the skin or lymph vessels. The symptoms of IBC are nipple inversion, flattening, and dimpling. It is also classified as Stage 3 of breast cancer stages and requires aggressive treatment like chemotherapy.
Male Breast Cancer
Yes, males also have breast tissue, but their bodies usually don’t make breast-stimulating hormones. As a result, their breast tissues remain flat. But sometimes, due to certain medicines or abnormal hormones, the size increases. In these situations, men are likely to affect breast cancer. Breast cancer symptoms can be as same as in females and also need immediate consultation.
Treatment of Breast Cancer
The more cancer has spread, the more specific the breast cancer treatment a woman will likely need. But the treatment options depend on the patient’s preference, breast cancer stages, and the doctor’s opinion. The treatment options include:
- Mastectomy: It is a surgery where the whole affected breast is removed. So that it also lessens the chances of spreading cancer in another breast or rest of the body.
- Breast-Conserving Surgery: It is a surgery wherein only the affected part of the breast is removed. The goal is to eliminate cancer and only surrounding healthy tissue and conserve the rest parts of the breast.
- Radiation Therapy: Oncologists recommend radiation therapy after surgery. Patients can get either one or a combination of different types of radiations. The high-energy rays use in the treatment help to destroy cancer cells.
- Chemotherapy: In chemotherapy for breast cancer treatment, anti-cancer drugs injected into the body destroy cancer cells after surgery. Not all women require chemotherapy. It can be done before and after the surgery, as recommended by the oncologists.
- Hormone Therapy: It is a form of systemic therapy and useful for the treatment of breast cancer that is affected by hormones in the blood.
- Immunotherapy: Here, oncologists use medicines to stimulate the immune system to diagnose and destroy cancer cells. Under this treatment, antibodies are used to treat cancer that they can be designed to attack the cancer cell.
Although, by far, the above are the most common breast cancers. However, it’s always advisable to keep yourself protected from these kinds of chronic diseases, especially those with high risk. Doctors say that breast cancer prevention always starts with a healthy lifestyle by following a well-balanced diet, eating foods for cancer prevention, and regular exercise. Moreover, self-examination and screening tests can help detect any problem at the right time and ensure one can get timely medical care.
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