Breast cancer symptoms

If breast cancer is diagnosed and detected on time it is completely curable. Cancer is the most common malignant tumour which affects women, and every year 4,000 new cases are discovered in some parts of the world. Early detected breast cancer includes a high percentage of successful treatment, despite that fact in some countries 1,600 women die annually from the consequences of this malignant disease, which is rare before the age of 20, and the most common of 50 to 70 years.


Mass morbidity of these malignancies is contributed to poor knowledge of patients, lack of health education, but also irregular check-ups. When it comes to risk factors, most attention should be paid to genetic predispositions, as they are exposed to greater risks in women whose families have recorded breast cancer. The best cancer prevention is to be well-informed.


The causes of breast cancer are not known, but research shows that statistically it is more frequent in women carriers of pathological breast cancer genes - BRCA1 and BRCA2. Mutations of BRCA1 gene also increases the risk of ovarian cancer. It has been determined also that the risk of breast cancer increases if a woman had their first menstrual period before the age of 12, and entered menopause before 50, has not given birth or gave birth after 30 years of age. Statistics show that breast cancer is more common in people in whom the disorder of normal cell structures is discovered during breast biopsy.

We should not forget that breast cancer can occur in men, but among women it occurs a hundred times more.


Breast is made out of glandular tissue that is composed of mammary glands and ducts, and adipose and connective tissue. Breast cancer usually affects just glandular tissue. Often in the upper outer quadrant and spreads to the armpit. As it grows, breast tumour invades and destroys surrounding healthy tissue. In the later stages of the disease cancer cells usually are separated from the tumour and travel through the blood and lymphoma to other body parts. Metastases most often affects the lungs, liver, bones and brain, and particularly vulnerable are endocrine glands - ovaries and adrenal glands.


The early stages of breast cancer are painless, and the breast cancer symptoms to look for are a breast lump or hardening of the breast, deformation and bumps, redness; bumps are the changes around the nipple.

Breast cancer SYMPTOMS

A very frequent symptom is a phenomenon of occurrence of watery, purulent ooze from the nipple. It takes six years for a breast tissue to grown into a carcinoma, so it means that a regular check-up saves lives. 


Based on the microscopic structure of breast cancer it can be classified into two groups. The first is called Breast Cancer "in situ" and implies to the abnormal growth of cells retained in the milk duct. This breast cancer did not affect the surrounding tissue or metastasized to other organs, but over time can turn into invasive cancer that spreads beyond the breast and through the blood and lymph can also affect other organs.


Oncologists distinguish three clinical forms of breast cancer:
  1. Early cancer - tumour is confined to the breast and axillary lymph nodes and can be removed by surgery without problems.
  2. Locally advanced breast cancer-no metastases in other organs, but the operation is difficult or impossible because of the size of the tumour, and because of that it has affected a large area of ​​the chest wall.
  3. Metastatic breast cancer involves spread of tumour tissue (metastasis) to other parts of the body.


When it comes to the diagnosis of breast cancer the first method is certainly breast palpation (to feel it with your hand).


Breast mammography is a very reliable diagnostic procedure (detects breast cancer in 85% of cases) and healthy women 45 to 70 years of age should undergo such a review every two years. Before the mammogram could not determine what kind of changes are present so ultrasound, especially in younger women needed to be included because their breast glandular tissues are abundant and are not suitable for mammography examination. It should be noted that the benefit of mammography radiation is much greater than the potential risks of other device that emit radiation. In the diagnosis of breast cancer using the scanner, magnetic resonance imaging or scintigraphy is rare. Confirmation of the diagnosis of breast cancer can only give a histopathological examination of tissue.


Only part of the patients affected area can be surgically removed (sparing surgery) or, if the disease is in its advanced stages - complete breast would be removed- breast mastectomy. After intervention and analysis of the removed tumour tissue, professional consulting team evaluates the importance of individual prognostic factors and determines the radiation therapy and medications. As it is not possible to determine whether there are some remaining individual tumour cells in the organism, the so-called adjuvant therapy with cytostatic or hormones is recommended. Breast reconstruction after mastectomy and breast conserving surgery have a great impact on the psychological state of the patient's recovery. It is performed during the surgery (mastectomy or breast conserving surgery) or after with implants or muscle-cutaneous flap.


It is very difficult to predict with certainty whether there will be a so-called relapse recurrence of the tumour tissue, or metastases, which can occur after several months or even years.

Breast self-Examination

For breast cancer an essential part of prevention is certainly a breast self-examination, which women should be subjected to one month after cessation of menstruation, and if there is no cycle then it should be done at regular intervals which the patient will determine alone. 


Immunotherapy or biological therapy restores, stimulates or enhances the natural anti-tumour function of the immune system. One of the better known forms of this method of treatment of malignant disease is the application of cytokines, proteins that block the growth of tumour cells and thereby stimulate activity of immune cells. Other forms of immunotherapy are the use of so-called monoclonal antibodies that bind to specific antigens of the tumour cells and thus stop the growth of tumours. Related articles: nutrition against cancer, cancer of the lymph nodes.