Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer – Symptoms, Causes, Types, Treatment, and Prevention

Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women, but it can also occur in men.


The most common symptoms of breast cancer are a new lump or mass, a change in breast shape, dimpling of the skin, fluid coming from the nipple, and redness or thickening of the nipple or breast skin.

Types of Breast Cancer

Most breast cancers are classified into two categories:

  • Invasive breast cancer
  • Non-invasive breast cancer

Invasive Breast Cancer

Invasive (or infiltrating) breast cancer is the most common type of breast cancer. It begins in the milk ducts and then spreads to other tissues in the breast. This type of breast cancer is more aggressive than non-invasive breast cancer, and can spread to other organs in the body.

Non-Invasive Breast Cancer

Non-invasive (or in situ) breast cancers have not spread beyond the milk ducts. This type of breast cancer is less aggressive than invasive breast cancer, and has a lower risk of spreading to other parts of the body.

Risk Factors

In most cases, the cause of breast cancer is unknown. However, there are some risk factors that can increase a person’s chances of developing breast cancer, such as:

  • Age – Risk increases with age
  • Genetics - Family history of breast or ovarian cancers
  • Hormones - Exposure to estrogen or progesterone
  • Radiation - Exposure to radiation therapy
  • Alcohol – Consuming alcoholic beverages
  • Obesity - Being overweight or obese

Treatment and Prevention

Treatment for breast cancer depends on the type of cancer and its stage. Common treatments for breast cancer include:

  • Surgery - To remove the tumor and any surrounding tissue
  • Chemotherapy - To kill cancer cells
  • Radiation - To damage cancer cells
  • Hormone therapy - To block hormones that can cause cancer cell growth

Prevention of breast cancer includes lifestyle changes such as exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy body weight, eating a healthy diet, avoiding alcohol, and reducing exposure to environmental pollutants.