Breast cancer is a disease that develops cancer cells in the breast tissue.
Most breast cancers originate in the milk ducts that reach the nipple.
Remember that the breast is made up of mammary glands, lobes and lobules, which produce milk during and following pregnancy.
The lobes are connected to each other via the breast ducts, which are responsible for transporting the milk to the nipple.
Among the main risk factors for breast cancer, are the following:
- Advanced age.
- Menstruation at an early age.
- Advanced age at the time of first birth or never having given birth.
- Personal history of breast cancer or benign (non-cancerous) breast disease.
- Mother or sister with breast cancer.
- Tissue of the breast that is dense on a mammogram.
- The taking of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone.
- Consuming alcoholic beverages.
Symptoms of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer can cause some of the following symptoms, we suggest you consult your healthcare provider if any of the following symptoms occur:
- Tissue mass or thickening in or near the breast, or in the area under the arm.
- Change in the size or shape of the breast.
- Hollows or wrinkling in the skin of the breast.
- If your nipple that turns into the breast
- Liquid that coming out of the nipple, which is not breast milk; Especially if it’s bloody.
- Scaly, red or swollen skin on the breast, nipple or areola (dark area of skin surrounding the nipple).
- Gaps in the breast similar to the skin of the orange.
Breast Cancer Detection and Diagnosis
To perform detect and diagnose a breast cancer you should consult a specialist doctor.
In the case of observing changes in the breast, request the following medical tests:
- Physical exam and history: an examination of the body to check the general signs of health, including checking for signs of illness, such as tissue masses or anything else that seems abnormal. A history of the patient’s health habits and their medical history of illnesses and previous treatments should also be noted.
- Mammogram: x-ray of the breast.
- Ultrasound: a procedure in which high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) are bounced into tissues or internal organs to produce echoes. The echoes form an image of body tissues called an echogram. The image can be printed for later viewing.
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): a procedure in which a magnet, radio waves and a computer are used to create detailed images of internal areas of the body. This procedure is also called nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
- Chemical studies of the blood: a procedure by which a blood sample is examined to measure the amounts of certain substances that the body’s organs and tissues release in the blood. An abnormal amount (greater or less than normal) of a substance can be a sign of disease in the organ or tissue that makes it.
- Biopsy: removal of cells or tissues so that a pathologist can observe them under a microscope and check for signs of cancer. If a mass is found in the breast, the doctor may need to remove a small amount of the mass.
The four types of biopsies are as follows:
Excisional biopsy: complete removal of a mass of tissue.
Incision biopsy: removal of a part of a mass or a tissue sample.
Central biopsy: removal of tissue with a wide needle.
Fine needle aspiration biopsy (AAF): removal of tissue or fluid using a fine needle.
Medical Prevention Tests
If cancer is present, tests that study cancer cells are performed.
To decide which is the best treatment, the results of the medical tests must be taken into account.
Medical tests for breast cancer provide information on:
- How fast cancer might grow.
- The chances of cancer spreading rapidly in the body.
- How effective certain treatments could be.
- The chances of recurrence (return) of cancer.