Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common type of invasive cancer in women worldwide, though a small number of men too suffer from it. It is more prevalent in developed countries than developing ones.

Breast cancer can develop in any part of the breast. Most women have Ductal Carcinoma, which develops in the cells of the ducts (tubes that carry milk to the nipple). Lobular Carcinoma, i.e. cancer that starts in the lobules (glands which produce milk) is less common.

Risk factors for breast cancer include family history, age, race and ethnicity, certain benign breast conditions, early onset of menstruation, late menopause, hormone therapy after menopause, alcohol consumption, lack of physical activity and obesity. Though most breast cancers present as lumps in breasts, there are other symptoms as well. Pain in breasts or armpits, redness of the skin around breasts, change in the shape or appearance of breasts or nipples, discharge of fluid from the nipple, and thickened tissue around breasts are some common symptoms you should look out for.

Treatment for breast cancer can be broadly divided into local and systemic treatment depending on the stage of cancer. Local breast cancer treatment includes surgery and radiation therapy, while chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy are different kinds of systemic treatments.