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What are Breast cancer Symptoms and causes?

There is no surefire way to prevent breast cancer, but there are some risk factors and symptoms you should be aware of so that you can identify red flags for yourself or your loved ones.

What are Breast cancer Symptoms and causes?


While it can be difficult to tell which breast cancer symptoms are unique for each person, the list below is a compiled list of the most common signs that something may not be right. Any one of these symptoms could signal that you need to see your doctor sooner rather than later.


A new lump- A lump on the breast is typically indicative of some sort of benign tumor on the glandular tissue resulting in cysts, inflammatory disease processes or more malignant estrogen-related tissue changes. Do not wait for any symptom before having any abnormality found on ultrasound or mammogram evaluated by a physician!  -If an individual has family risk factors, abnormal hormone levels confirmed by lab tests, or both benign lumps.


A common symptom of breast cancer is a lump or thickening in the breast that is not related to menstruation. Other symptoms include changes in size, shape and/or consistency of breasts. Common causes can be erratic production of estrogen and progesterone by the ovary, HPV infection, excessive alcohol consumption and overexposure to radiation.


There is no surefire way to prevent breast cancer, but there are some risk factors and symptoms you should be aware of so that you can identify red flags for yourself or your loved ones.


Symptoms of Breast Cancer:

  • Nipple discharge (usually coming from only one side) -Breast pain -Reddish, rashlike patches on the skin of the breast--Sometimes this is a sign before the cancer advances and ulcerates on the skin. This occurred in my situation. -Any changes to a woman's normal monthly period schedule-This could mean no periods within 3 months or more than one menstrual period during a calendar year. Some women never see any impact from having abnormal periods as a result


Breast cancer symptoms and causes vary and depend on the location and stage of the cancer. Symptoms for breast cancer can include:

  • Swelling, mass or lump in one breast
  • Pain in one breast-like pain below the ribs
  • Nipple problems - crusty nipple, inverted nipple
  • Unusual discharge from duct, including brownish discharge that looks like coffee grounds
  • Thickening or redness of skin on or near a nipple
  • Dimpling near an areola
  • Change in size of an area with skin change around it


The most common symptom of breast cancer is a lump or thickening in the breast, which sometimes can't be seen--it's felt or detected by touch Very few women with breast cancer have no physical symptoms.

A change in size, shape, color, firmness, or skin texture of one or both breasts benign changes are usually due to body fat deposition which may include an accumulation under the arm (called "bra-strap") skin creases. A red lesion on the nipple could also signify skin cancer) enlargement of one breast. Nipple discharge-- fluid from nipples often contains blood and pus if massaged gently with fingers for ten seconds.

Drugs that increase the level of oestrogen in a woman's body, such as hormone replacement therapy and oral contraceptive pills, can raise the risk of breast cancer.


In addition to this, there are several other predisposing factors that make an individual more prone to developing Breast cancer. The three most common symptoms of breast cancer are a breast lump, nipple discharge, and pain. Other related symptoms might be skin irritation, arm swelling or tingling in the fingers. Most patients will first notice what feels like normal breast tissue; other patients report open areas on the skin, sudden changes in size or shape of one side's breasts (before and after), nipple retraction (turning inward) or any type of rash on or near the breasts.


Approximately 5 to 10% of mammography reports are indeterminate for multiple reasons; differential diagnoses include cellulitis (inflammation of tissues), hemangioma (a benign tumor that grows blood vessels), trauma (an injury that causes bleeding inside muscles) The majority of the time there are no symptoms. The most common symptom is a lump in one area of the breast. This may be present for months or years before any other signs or symptoms appear, leading many women to mistake it for a benign swelling or cyst that goes away by itself. As the tumor grows, though, there are typically other telltale signs including nipple discharge (called bloody show), which can start up weeks to months before labor; thickening of breast skin; dimpling on your skin caused by an underlying deposit of fat surrounding an adenoma; nipple retraction when you pull back on your nipples with your fingers; and shoulder tip pain not relieved by medication.


Breast cancer symptoms are many and varied, depending on the type of breast cancer, its stage (the extent to which it has spread), and how it affects the patient. Pain may be the only symptom in the early stages of noninvasive ductal carcinoma. Later stages may include constricted arm or leg movement due to nerve pain; rigid chest wall muscles; anemia; bone-weakening leading to fractures due to osteoporosis (thinning) of bones (most common complication); enlarged liver or spleen; altered bladder habits; inflammatory condition near breast called lymphocytic or phlegmonous mastitis; or injection-site reactions that require phototherapy for 2 weeks twice weekly.

Breast cancer symptoms can be many and varied, and there may not always be any symptoms at all. Men, too, should check their breasts monthly because breast cancer is not just a woman's disease.

Doctors and scientists hypothesize that a complex mix of environmental, hormonal, and genetic factors can cause a woman's body to develop breast cancer.

Factors with not enough evidence to link them strongly with developing breast cancer: At what age do women get their first period? - Just because there is no strong evidence linking every early puberty occurrence to increased breast cancer does not mean it doesn't happen. Larger studies are needed in order to find out definitively whether or not this is linked for some girls without question to mammary gland tissue development.

Most types of breast cancers seem to be the result of a break in the cells' DNA caused by drugs, hormone replacement therapy, radiation, and/or other environmental factors such as pollutants. Other types may be inherited from someone’s parents or triggered by an abnormal gene mutation.


There are three main causes of breast cancer: genetics, hormones, and environment. Heredity is the strongest risk factor for developing breast cancer; however, this is not relevant to most people because we can't choose our family. Hormones and the environment only affect a relatively small number (less than 5%) of women with breast cancer each year. The two big downsides to these two causes is that they affect active women more than inactive women and they don't give signs or symptoms before the diagnosis.

The main risk factors are

  • Family history of breast cancer (especially lifelong exposure to higher-than-normal levels of estrogen)
  • Genetic mutations

Medications that change hormones in your body too much or give you hormone therapy. For example, taking birth control pills for a long time, leading to an increased risk of breast cancer. Birth control pills also seem linked with an increased level of developing other cancers later on in life. IUDs and Implanon are less likely than birth control pills to raise your risk for developing this disease because they work by producing small amounts of estrogen over the course of several years rather than flooding it all at once.



There are many factors that are known to increase the chances of breast cancer. Here are just a few of them:

  • being female. Women have 12 times the risk of developing breast cancer than men do due to steroid hormones
  • age- there is an increased incidence in older women, but most cancers present before 50 years old
  • if your mother had breast cancer, you have about a 4% chance of developing it yourself- thought to be related to genetics or environmental factors common in families with hereditary cancers
  • chemicals found in plastics and pesticides including not just DDT but also others like higher exposures among farmworkers and agricultural populations who are constantly exposed
  • less exercise or more body fat can lead to


The exact cause of breast cancer is still under investigation, but it may be the result of mutations in the genes that regulate cell division and other processes within cells such as DNA repair.


Cancer is caused by several factors that "mutate" or change one's DNA for no reason. Sometimes this mutation does not go away and can become worse over time creating a number of problems internally and externally. The process starts with a damaged gene causing genetic instability, which means bad versions (mutations) of DNA start replicating faster than normal versions (leading to more chaotic changes). And eventually, if it's allowed to continue, these mutations could lead to cancer development. Breast cancer has been traced back to environmental causes, such as x-rays



This is a question epidemiologists have been working to answer for a hundred years. Over that time, they've answered parts of the question but haven't found a single cause that seems able to account for all breast cancers. It's thought that many different low-risk factors may combine together to raise the risk of breast cancer over anyone's lifetime.

The following are likely suspects one you look at them as isolated factors: male gigantism (height and weight), intraductal carcinoma in situ, family history, obesity, under-developed brain connections between amygdala and orbito frontal cortex during early development, alcohol consumption, exposure to vinyl chloride or other organochlorines which can disrupt estrogen balance and hormonal production.


Multiple causes have been suggested, including genetics and environmental factors such as diet, reproductive history, and female hormonal changes. These factors increase the risk of developing breast cancer later in life. Many other things may contribute to a person's risk of getting breast cancer. There can be a number of underlying factors that lead to the development of breast cancer, ranging from genetic traits, lifestyle factors, and environmental exposures.

While a relatively small population, those who have a mutation on BRCA 1 or 2 may develop breast cancers as early as age 40. Another possible cause of breast cancer could be an under-functioning immune system thanks to something like HIV or HPV. HIV has been shown at being linked strongly with women whose diets lacked diversity in protective micronutrients such as iron, folate, and other vitamins designed to help fight off infections at their source instead of just attacking it once it reaches our bloodstreams.

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