Breast Cancer: Types, Causes & Symptoms

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

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Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of invasive cancer that affects women worldwide, being the second leading cause of death in the female population.

What is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is the malignant growth of tissues within the breast. The uncontrolled proliferation of cells can ultimately lead to the death of an individual if it becomes metastasized or if it is not removed by surgery.

Types

Breast cancer is categorized into 3 types based on the place of origin:

  • Ductal breast cancer: It originates in the ducts and is the most common type.
  • Lobular breast cancer: This type begins in the lobes of the breast.
  • Inflammatory breast cancer: It refers to those in which breasts are swollen, warm, and red.

A young woman wearing a plain T-shirt with pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness

Causes

Recent research provides information on ‘high-priority’ chemicals that may cause breast cancer in women. It can be caused due to a number of factors like:

  • Consumption of alcoholic beverages
  • Old age
  • Changes or mutation in circadian rhythm (body’s internal clock)
  • Radiation therapy of the breast
  • Intake of progesterone or estrogen
  • First childbirth at an old age
  • Family history
  • Prior breast treatment with radiation therapy
  • Intake of progesterone and estrogen hormones
  • Other unspecified health factors and behavioral habits

Symptoms

Breast cancer is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Lump in the underarm region or near the breast
  • Regular discharge from the breast
  • Nipples become inverted
  • Change in texture or morphology of breast like scaliness, unevenness, swelling, or reduction in size
  • Increased heat radiating from the breast
  • Pain is not felt even when pressure is applied
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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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