Breast Cancer and Symptoms

Being the one of the most common cause of death to women, breast cancer can also be acquired by men. Men can also develop a malignant tumor in their breast that can be felt as a lump. This malignant tumor is composed of cancer cells that initially spread on the person’s chest. The rapid growth of the cells is what causes cancer.

According to WCRF (World Cancer Research Fund International), about 1.7 million breast cancer new cases diagnosed in 2012. Statistically, breast cancer is the second most common cancer overall worldwide. The mortality rates and breast cancer incidence may vary to different countries. Unfortunately, the death rate for undeveloped nation is higher compared to nations that has impressive improvement in medical aspects and can afford the cost of new machine or tools necessary for breast cancer treatments. In 2012 stats, from research in WCRF, Belgium had the highest rate of breast cancer, followed by Denmark and France.

The numbers also show that nearly 22% cases of breast cancer in Brazil can be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise, healthy diet to attain healthy weight.

In 2012, nations with advanced medical care had an estimation of 80-90% survivors in early stage breast cancer and 24% for more advanced stage. Although, Belgium had the highest rate of breast cancer, this country was also the highest proportion in terms of survival.

Breast cancer can be categorized as Invasive and Non-invasive. Invasive breast cancer is when cancer cells erupt from lobules or ducts and invade near tissues while non-invasive cells stay on its origin. The bad news is, non-invasive cancer cells can grow into an invasive breast cells.

Which part of the breast can the cancer start?

The cancer cells can start to any part of the breast. Most common cases, the cancer start from the ducts that carry milk to the nipple. These are called Ductal carcinoma.

When the cancer cells begin in the lobules, it is called Lobular carcinoma.

Other cases, and in minimal percentage, the cancer starts in other tissues in the breast. These are known to be sarcomas and lymphomas.

RISK FACTORS of Breast Cancer

Although, the main cause of the said disease is not specified, there are many risk factors that you need to know. These are what I have gathered:

Age – Most of the time, breast cancer occurs at the age of 50 or after menopause. As the age of 70, the chance of getting breast cancer also goes up to 3.84 percent.

Obesity – Studies have shown that women who are overweight or obese after menopause has a higher risk of developing breast cancer. This is because after menopause, majority of woman’s estrogen comes from fat tissue. When you have more fat tissue after menopause it can elevate your estrogen levels and this may cause a higher risk of acquiring breast cancer.

Men who are overweight have a higher chance of getting not only breast cancer but also other cancers and disease.

Genetics-There are cases of breast cancer that are hereditary; this means their family members have history of cancer. It is about 5 – 10% cases were from gene –defects passed on from parents.

History of breast cancer and/or any kind of cancer – There is a higher risk to get breast cancer again if a woman has had breast cancer before.

Oral Contraceptives- According to most studies, it is irrefutable that birth control pills can cause a higher risk of acquiring breast cancer unlike woman who never takes oral contraceptives. It was also mentioned in a research that this is found on a certain form of oral contraceptives.


  • Excessive Alcohol Consumption-According to studies, women who take in more than 3 drinks a day have 1.5 higher risks. It is 20% higher than women who don’t drink at all.

  • Cigarette- The studies have shown that this is not only risky to smoker but also heavy second hand smoker, premenopausal women.

  • No proper exercise – We all know that exercise benefits our body. Lack of exercise can cause varieties of problem physically.

But if you stay physically active it will reduce the risk of breast cancer and other diseases. Studies show that exercising regularly like 4 or 7 hours a week can control the blood sugar and lessen the blood levels of insulin growth factor. This is a hormone that can affect how breast cells grow and behave.

  • Unhealthy Diet – Proper nourishment and good eating habits has a big role in fighting diseases. Food that can boost your immune system also helps in killing cancer cells.

Symptoms for Male Breast Cancer

Even so, the numbers of men getting breast cancer are not alarming; men have a higher death rate than women because of lack of knowledge and awareness. Male breast cancer usually happens in men over 60 years of age.

A ratio of only one man in a thousand will ever be diagnosed with breast cancer.

Symptoms for Male breast cancers are:

  • Thickening on breast tissue. A lump, normally painless but there are some instances that the patient can feel pain.

  • Skin breast discoloration like dimpling, redness and puckering.

  • Discharge from nipple

  • Scaling of the nipple

Symptoms for Female Breast Cancer

It is essential to learn and spread awareness on how should a normal and healthy breast looks like. An early diagnosis can give you a better chance of treatment and surviving the disease. It is said that a woman’s body is consistently changing but some of the changes that looks normal can be a sign of cancer.

You might want to check this out:

  • Swelling all over the breast(bloating) and/ or thickening inside the breast or under arm .
  • Skin dimpling
  • Nipple discharge
  • Redness or scaling of the breast skin or nipple
  • Size changes and /or shape of nipples turn inward
  • Abnormal new pain on a specific spot that does not go away
  • Experiencing bleeding in between period

If you ever encounter any of the symptoms, go to a specialist as early as possible so that the cause may be determined and treated.