Breast cancer (tumor)

Chest | Oncology | Breast cancer (tumor) (Disease)


Breast cancer or malignant breast neoplasm is a type of cancer originating from breast tissue.

There are two main types of breast cancer. Ductal carcinoma starts in the tubes (ducts) that move milk from the breast to the nipple; most breast cancers are of this type. Lobular carcinoma starts in the parts of the breast, called lobules, which produce milk. Breast cancer may be invasive or noninvasive. Invasive means it has spread from the milk duct or lobule to other tissues in the breast. Noninvasive means it has not yet invaded other breast tissue. Noninvasive breast cancer is called in situ.

As the cancer grows, symptoms may include: breast lump or lump in the armpit, has uneven edges, and usually does not hurt; change in the size, shape, or feel of the breast or nipple, fluid coming from the nipple that may be bloody, clear to yellow, green, and look like pus, such as dimpling, peeling, scaling or flaking of the nipple or breast skin. Symptoms of advanced breast cancer may include: bone pain; breast pain or discomfort; skin ulcers; swelling of one arm next to the breast with cancer; weight loss.

Causes and Risk factors

The causes of breast cancer are not yet fully known although a number of risk factors have been identified. Factors that are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer include: increasing age, a personal history of breast cancer, a family history of breast cancer, inherited genes that increase cancer risk, radiation exposure, obesity, beginning period at a younger age, beginning menopause at an older age, having first child at an older age, postmenopausal hormone therapy, drinking alcohol. Other risk factors of breast cancer include tightfitting bras, antiperspirants, breast implants and shift work.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Breast cancer is usually treated with surgery and then possibly with chemotherapy or radiation, or both. ...

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