Breast Cancer 101: Symptoms, Types and Causes of Breast Cancer


Breast Cancer is an invasive tumor that develops in the mammary glands. It is the most common type of cancer in the UK. Mostly women over 50 are diagnosed with breast cancer, but younger ladies are also more prone to breast cancer. This article will discuss symptoms of breast cancer, its types, and causes.

Some Background Knowledge

According to figures nearly 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
It can be recovered if diagnosed in the early stages.

It is very important that women check their breasts regularly or have it examined by their GP.

Men can also develop breast cancer but it’s very rare. But here we are more concerned about breast cancer in women.

Breast cancer is a malignant tumor (a collection of cancer cells) arising from the cell of the breast. Women’s cancer and its complications can affect nearly every body part.

The Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer:

The most common signs and symptoms of breast cancer is a new Lump or mass in the breast. The following are the possible signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

  • Thickening or lump in the breast that feels different from the surrounding area.
  • Nipple discharge or redness (especially any bloody discharge)
  • Breast or nipple pain
  • Swelling of part of the breast
  • Redness
  • Kin dimpling
  • Lymph node changes

Different Types of Breast Cancer:

There are many types of breast cancer. Some are more common, and there are also different combinations of breast cancer.  Common types of breast cancer are as under.

  • Ductal Carcinoma in situ:  Non-invasive breast cancer the ductal Carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is the most common type. At this early-stage breast cancer has a very high cure rate, if has not spread.
  • Invasive ductal carcinoma: Cancer starts in the ducts of milk, it grows and spread in other parts of the tissue. It is the commonest type of breast cancer. Approximately  80% of are invasive ductal carcinoma.
  • Invasive Lobular Carcinoma: This breast cancer starts in the milk-producing glands of the breast. About 10 % of invasive breast cancers are lobular carcinoma.

Look at this image for some useful visuals about breast cancer types.

Types of Breast Cancer – Image by BreastLight

The other breast cancers are much less common and include the following:

  • Mucinous carcinoma is formed from mucous producing cancer cells.
  • Medullary carcinoma is infiltrating breast cancer that presents with well-defined boundaries between the cancerous and noncancerous tissue.
  • Inflammatory breast cancer.
  • Triple-negative breast cancers
  • Paget’s disease of the nipple starts in the ducts of the breast and spreads to the nipple and the area surrounding the nipple. It often presents with crusting and redness surrounding the nipple.
  • Adenoid cystic carcinoma has both glandular and cystic features. They tend not to spread aggressively and have a good prognosis.
  • Lobular carcinoma in situ is not cancer but an area of abnormal cell growth. This pre-cancer can exaggerate the risk of invasive breast cancer later in life.

The following types of breast cancer are less common.

  • Papillary carcinoma
  • Phyllodes tumor
  • Angiosarcoma
  • Tubular carcinoma

The Causes of Breast Cancers:

An Infographic image on Risk Factors of Breast Cancer by VeryWell

Ther are many risk factors that increase the chance of developing breast cancer.

Although we know some of these risk factors, we don’t know the exact cause of breast cancer or how these factors cause the development of a cancer cell.

We know that Due to the mutations of DNA the normal breast cells become cancerous, and although some of these may be inherited,  DNA changes connected to breast cells are acquired during one’s life.

Proto-oncogenes help cells grow. If these cells mutate, they can increase the growth of cells without any control. Such mutations are referred to as oncogenes. Such uncontrolled cell growth can lead to cancer.

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