The term “breast cancer” refers to a malignant tumor that has developed from breast cells. Generally, breast cancer originates in the cells of the lobules, which are the milk-producing glands, or in the ducts, which are the routes that transport milk from the lobules to the nipple. Less frequently, breast cancer can originate in the stromal tissues, which include the fatty and fibrous connective tissues of the breast.

Over time, cancer cells may invade healthy surrounding breast tissue and reach lymph nodes in the armpits, and from there can access to other parts of the body. The stages of breast cancer indicate how far the cancer cells have spread beyond the original tumor.

Breast cancer is always caused by a genetic abnormality. 5-10% of the cases are the product of an inherited anomaly and 85-90% of breast cancer cases have their origin in genetic anomalies linked to the aging process.

These are the signs and symptoms that must be observed:

  • New nodules in breast.
  • Thickening of the breast or under the arm.
  • Sensitivity, secretion.
  • Physical changes in the nipple (inverted nipple, change in size or persistent sore).
  • Irritation or changes in the skin (roughness, dimples, scaly).
  • reddness, swollen and warm to the touch, skin rash that resembles the skin of an orange.
  • Breast pain that does not go away.

The following factors can raise a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer:

  • Age. At ages 30 to 39, the risk is 1 in 227, that is, 0.44%. After 60 years, the risk becomes 1 in 28, that is, 4%.
  • Start menstruating at an early age (before age 12)
  • Enter menopause (end of monthly cycles) an advanced age (after age 55).
  • Sex. Being a woman is the biggest risk factor for breast cancer. While men may suffer from the disease, women’s breast cells grow and change constantly, mainly due to the activity of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.
  • Family history of breast cancer. If you have a direct line relative (mother, daughter, sister) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer or you have several relatives who have had breast or ovarian cancer (especially before age 50), you may have an increased risk of developing the illness.
  • Personal history of breast cancer. If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer in the past, the risk of reoccurrence, is greater than if you ever had the disease.
  • Race. White women are a bit more likely to develop breast cancer than African-American women.
  • Pregnancy and lactation. Pregnancy and lactation reduce the total number of menstrual cycles in a woman’s life, and this seems to reduce the risk of breast cancer in the future.
  • Alterations of the mammary cells. Any alteration of the mammary cells detected in a biopsy can be a risk factor. These alterations include the proliferation of cells (called hyperplasia) and the abnormal (atypical) appearance of the cells.
  • Breast self-examination should be part of your monthly routine. Consult your doctor if you experience any breast alteration.
  • Screening tests: Screening tests (such as annual mammography) are prescribed to healthy-looking people with no evidence of breast cancer. The goal is to detect breast cancer at its earliest stage, before any symptom can develop.
  • Diagnostic tests: Diagnostic tests (such as biopsies) are indicated in people with suspected breast cancer, either by the symptoms they experience or by a screening test result. These tests are used to determine if breast cancer exists and, to determine if it has extended beyond the breast.
  • Control tests: Once breast cancer is diagnosed, numerous tests are performed during and after treatment to control the effectiveness of the therapies. These control tests can also be used to check for signs of recurrence.

Currently a variety of treatment options are available to combat the cells in each tumor.

  • Surgery.
  • Chemotherapy.
  • Radiotherapy.

The doctor will adapt the treatment specifically for each patient and breast cancer type.

  • Balanced diet.
  • Moderate alcohol consume.
  • No Smoking.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Keeping a healthy weight.
  • Breast self-exam every month, one week after the menstrual cycle.

Healthy eating habits are vital for the body to function well.