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Breast cancer – symptoms, causes and other risk factors

Eating habits and different lifestyle are also factors which are leading to breast cancer [1]. In the lobules which are supplying the milk ducts with milk or in the inner lines of the milk ducts which are the both places where usually is starting this disease. When you have a malignant tumor, then it is spreading to all parts of your body. The breast cancer which is starting in the ducts is known as ductal carcinoma. The breast cancer which is starting in the lobules is known as lobular carcinoma. In the most cases women are affected by this disease. This is the most common type of cancers in women. 22.9% are invasive cancers in women and 16% are all female cancers [2]. There is also percentage from both male and female cancer which is death percentage from this disease and it is calculated as 18.2% of breast cancers which are leading to death [3]. Nations which are developed are having increased chances of getting breast cancer compared with nations which are developing. This kind of cancer is affecting the elderly women at most [4]. Women which are living in the rich countries are having more chances to reduce the risk of this disease and they are also living longer compared with women who are living in poorest nations.

Symptoms of breast cancer

Symptoms are felt by people who are suffering from breast cancer such as pain and headache. While sign is something that patients and doctors can see it such as swelling or rash. The first symptom of this disease is a lump or it is usually in the area of thickened tissue in the woman’s breast. In the most cases lumps are not cancerous. But if you have notices lumps in your breasts, then you should visit your doctor. Here are signs and symptoms of this disease [5]:

  • You have noticed a rash around your nipples
  • You have noticed a rash on your nipples
  • You are having a lump in your breasts
  • You have noticed that the skin of your breast or the skin of your nipple is flake, scale or it has started to peel
  • You have lump or swelling in one of the armpits
  • When you are feeling a pain in your armpits and you are not in your menstrual period
  • You are feeling an area of thickened tissue in your breasts
  • You have noticed that the shape and the size of your breasts is changed
  • You are having a redness or pitting of the skin of your breasts which is associated with the skin of the oranges
  • You have noticed that one of your nipples is having a discharge
  • In some cases when you have nipple discharge you can have blood in
  • You have noticed that your nipples are changing in their appearance which means that they are becoming inverted or sunken

If you have noticed some of the mentioned signs and symptoms, then you should visit your doctor. You should tell him or her everything that you have felt because in this way he or she will know how serious your condition is.

Breast cancerCauses of breast cancer

There are many studies and experts are not sure which the real cause for this kind of disease is. In some case patients are having breast cancer as result from one cause and in other cases patients are having breast cancer as result from other cause. There are some causes for breast cancer which are most common in women:

  • Getting older: When women are getting in their old ages, then they are having increased risk of getting breast cancer. Women who are in their menopause period or who are in the age above 50 are having the biggest chances of getting breast cancer. 80% of breast cancer is developed in women who are 50+. [6]
  • Dense breast tissue: Women who are having more dense breast tissue are having the biggest chances of getting breast cancer.
  • A history of breast cancer: Women who had a non – invasive cancer or who had a breast cancer in their past are having the biggest chances of getting breast cancer again compared with women who have not cancer in their past. [7]
  • Obesity: Women who are obesity and who are in their menopausal period are having the biggest chances of getting breast cancer. [8]
  • Height: Women who are taller than average height are having more chances to get breast cancer. [9]
  • Alcohol consummation: If you drink alcohol as your normal drink, then your risk of getting breast cancer is increased. [10]


[1] Taha Z, Eltom SE. The role of diet and lifestyle in women with breast cancer: An update review of related research in the Middle East. Bioresearch Open Access. 2018;7(1):73–80.

[2] Calamba Medical Center. Breast cancer. Retrieved from

[3] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Deaths from breast cancer — United States, 1991. MMWR Weekly. 1994;43(15);273,279-81. Retrieved from

[4] VanderWalde A, Hurria A. Early breast cancer in the older woman. Clinics in Geriatric Medicine. 2012;28(1):10.1016/j.cger.2011.10.002.

[5] Koo MM, von Wagner C, Abel GA, et al. Typical and atypical presenting symptoms of breast cancer and their associations with diagnostic intervals: Evidence from a national audit of cancer diagnosis. Cancer Epidemiology. 2017;48:140–6.

[6] Breast Cancer Now. Breast cancer causes. Retrieved from

[7] Shiovitz S, Korde LA. Genetics of breast cancer: a topic in evolution. Annals of Oncology. 2015;26(7):1291–9. doi:10.1093/annonc/mdv022

[8] Basen-Engquist K, Chang M. Obesity and cancer risk: Recent review and evidence. Current Oncology Reports. 2011;13(1):71–6.

[9] Zhang B, Shu XO, Delahanty RJ, et al. Height and breast cancer risk: Evidence from prospective studies and Mendelian randomization. JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 2015;107(11):djv219.

[10] Liu Y, Nguyen N, Colditz GA. Links between alcohol consumption and breast cancer: a look at the evidence. Womens Health. 2015;11(1):65–77. doi:10.2217/whe.14.62

Hanan Marshal
Hanan Marshal
Hanan, a medical student (MBBS) having passion for writing and is very much interested in holistic living along with nature. He is very much interested in doing community service and watches anime and play PS4 during his free time. You can reach him through [email protected]


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