Breast Cancer Symptoms and Risk Factors

While there is no cure for breast cancer–yet, I believe treatment is more effective when it is detected early.

Breast cancer has no borders; it doesn’t discriminate and when I say it doesn’t discriminate I mean it literally, because men can get breast cancer too.

Yearly mammograms don’t always detect breast cancer so it’s equally important to know your body well and to perform monthly breast self-exams (BSE). Doing BSE doesn’t mean it increases your chances of treatment working better. A lot of women take it more as an extra precautionary measure of detecting breast cancer sooner and it makes complete sense.

These are common symptoms, but it’s not concrete until you check it with your doctor.

Breast Cancer Symptoms

– Lump in the breast. Not all lumps are cancerous. Benign tumors are non-cancerous and they don’t spread. Malignant tumors are cancerous and can spread to other parts of the body. It’s normal for breasts to feel lumpy because of the tissues so don’t be alarmed. Noticeable and or hard lumps should be brought to the attention of your doctor.

– Swelling in the armpit can produce warmth and darkening of the breast.

– Pain in the breast, but again not all pain means cancer. There may be some other medical condition.

– Redness or rash on the breast.

– Change in the size or shape of the breast.

– Inverted nipple.

– Bloody or clear discharge from the nipple. A clear discharge may mean an infection of some sort.

– Dimpling of the skin on the breast.

– Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple.

What causes breast cancer?

No one knows what causes breast cancer, but you have to wonder if the environment we live in, the foods we eat, the medications we take, the air we breathe may be a contributing factor.

Here are some risk factors that increases or decreases a person’s chance of getting breast cancer:

Strong increase:
– A mother and sister who had or has it
– Age. According to “Breast Cancer Deadline 2020”–other/

“Older women are much more likely to get breast cancer than younger women. From 2004-2008, the median age for a breast cancer diagnosis was 61 years of age.  Approximately 0.0% were diagnosed under age 20; 1.9% between 20 and 34; 10.2% between 35 and 44; 22.6% between 45 and 54; 24.4% between 55 and 64; 19.7% between 65 and 74; 15.5% between 75 and 84; and 5.6% 85+ years of age.”

– Gene mutation
– Being female
– Family history which also includes prostate cancer and ovarian. This goes back to gene mutations

Moderate increase:
– A mother or sister who had or has it
– Never had kids
– Having a first child after 35

Weak increase:
– Breastfeeding

There are many ways to decrease the risks because people who fall in the risk category doesn’t mean one will develop breast cancer. Being aware of what you eat and how you live your life has great benefits.

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  1. Barbie on October 4, 2011 at 1:04 am

    Thank you for posting this. Reminds me that I am late for my Mammo!

  2. Lisa on October 4, 2011 at 7:16 am

    This is one of the great article about risk of breast cancer that i found something unique idea. You are right, so many causes of getting higher risk of breast cancer such as excess weight or non healthy diet. proper understanding the cause cancer in breast is the first step to prevent risk of breast cancer.

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