Breast Cancer: Causes, Symptoms, Stages & Treatment Options

Breast cancer is a common health issue in the United States, impacting both women and men. It is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women, with approximately 1 in 8 women developing it in their lifetime. While less common, around 1% of breast cancer cases occur in men. This condition involves the abnormal growth of cells in the breast tissue. Knowing as much as possible about breast cancer is vital, because the sooner it’s recognized early and treated effectively, the more chances someone has of getting better.

Breast Cancer Scan

Causes of Breast Cancer

The causes of breast cancer are not fully understood, but some things can increase the risk. One of the main factors is being a woman. Age is also important because the risk increases as you get older. Family history and specific gene mutations can play a role too. Other factors like hormonal changes, obesity, alcohol consumption, and exposure to radiation or certain chemicals may also contribute. Cancer is a complex disease, and having these risk factors doesn’t mean you will get breast cancer.

Are There Different Types?

There are several types of breast cancer. Understanding them – and their differences – is essential for diagnosis and treatment. Each has its characteristics, from common types like invasive ductal carcinoma to rare ones like Paget’s disease or phyllodes tumors. By familiarizing ourselves with these types, we can better navigate the complexities of breast cancer and make informed decisions regarding our health. All this information can be overwhelming, so to make it more clear, we’ve put it in this overview:

Overview of each Type, Its Prevalence & Aggressiveness

Type of Breast Cancer Description Prevalence (%) Aggressiveness
Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Starts in milk ducts, can spread to other parts of the breast 80% Moderately Aggressive
Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS) Non-invasive cancer confined to the milk ducts 20% Non-Aggressive
Invasive Lobular Carcinoma Begins in milk-producing glands, can also spread 10-15% Moderately Aggressive
Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Specific subtype lacking estrogen (ER) & progesterone receptor (PR), and HER2 expression 10-15% Aggressive
Inflammatory Breast Cancer Rare and aggressive cancer causing redness, swelling, and warmth 1-5% Highly Aggressive
Lobular Carcinoma in Situ (LCIS) Non-invasive cancer in the milk-producing glands 1-3% Non-Aggressive
Paget’s Disease of the Breast Rare cancer affecting the nipple and areola < 5% Variable Aggressiveness
Phyllodes Tumors Rare tumors in the connective tissue of the breast < 1% Variable Aggressiveness

Please note that the prevalence percentages and the aggressiveness provided are approximate and can vary. It is important to consult with healthcare professionals to determine the specific characteristics of an individual’s breast cancer. Continue reading on the next page and discover, among others, how you can recognize this type of cancer and what you should do next.

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