Breast cancer is uncontrolled growth of breast cells. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed, are 100 times more likely to get breast cancer than men, but men can get breast cancer. Ductal carcinoma, the most prevalent type of breast cancer, starts in the ducts that move milk from breasts to nipples. Lobular carcinoma starts in the lobules that produce milk, which may be invasive or noninvasive “in situ.” Invasive means it has spread from the milk duct or lobule to other breast tissues. Ductal carcinoma in situ is breast cancer in the lining of the milk ducts that has not invaded nearby tissues & may progress to invasive cancer if untreated. Lobular carcinoma in situ increases risk of invasive cancer in the same or both breasts. Many breast cancers are sensitive to estrogen, which causes the tumor to grow from estrogen receptors on the cell surface. Some women have HER2+ breast cancer from a gene that helps cells grow, divide, and repair themselves. When cancer cells have too many HER2+ gene copies, they grow faster; are more aggressive & recur more often. Risk factors you cannot change: Women over 50, having a relative who has had breast, uterine, ovarian, or colon cancer, defects in the BRCA1 & 2 genes(80% chance) & those who menstruated before age 12 or menopause after age 55 increase risk. Other risk factors include: Drinking 2+ glasses of alcohol/day, taking HRT with estrogen for several years, never had children or only after age 30, however, being pregnant more than once or young reduces risk. Obesity has been linked to breast cancer, although controversial. If you received radiation during breast development age, the younger you started radiation and higher the dose, the higher your risk. Early breast cancer usually does not cause symptoms, but symptoms of advanced breast cancer may include: Bone & breast pain, skin ulcers, arm swelling (next to the cancerous breast) & weight loss.
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