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What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is a disease where cells in the breast begin to grow out of control. Breast cancer can spread outside of the breast and spread through blood vessels and lymph vessels.

Breast Cancer Symptoms

  • Breast lump – it is important that your physician examine it to determine whether it is cancerous
  • Thickening in an area of the breast
  • Change in the size or shape of a breast
  • Dimpling of the skin
  • Change in the shape of the nipple – if it turns in, has an irregular shape, or sinks into the breast
  • Blood stained discharge from the nipple
  • Rash on a nipple or surrounding area
  • Lump or swelling in your armpit

Breast Cancer Causes

  • Age – usually takes place following menopause
  • Family history – this doubles the risk when a primary relative has breast cancer
  • Breast cancer genes – These include BRCA1, BRCA2, TP53, and PTEN. It is possible to test for these faulty genes
  • Sex hormones and other hormones – women with high levels of estrogen and testosterone in their blood are more likely to develop breast cancer
  • Hormone replacement therapy – 3 out of 100 breast cancers in women in 2010 were linked to HRT use, based on a study from 2011
  • Contraceptive pills – there’s a small increase in risk while taking contraceptive pills, however this risk goes back to normal 10 years after stopping the intake of these pills
  • Alcohol abuse and smoking