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The details we know about breast cancer!

breast cancer

Breast cancer is caused by damage or mutation to the DNA in breast cells. This change is trigger by what is unknown. What is known is there are risk factors that may increase the chance of breast cancer. Some of them, dense like breasts, family history, and age, can’t be changed. Others factors are related to lifestyle that can be controlled. In the US, it’s estimated that around 30% of new cancer diagnoses in women will be breast cancer. This makes prevention and early detection very important.

In breast tissue, breast cancer originates. It’s caused by mutation or changes in breast cell DNA. These mutations cause cells to grow abnormally and divide quicker than healthy cells do. The abnormal cells accumulate, form a lump (a malignant breast mass). Some abnormal cell immune systems can fight successfully, but one that continues to grow may metastasize or spread throughout the breast to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body. When breast cancer spreads, the malignant tumors caused in other parts of the body are still breast cancer. What exactly triggers DNA changes in breast cells isn’t clear. Two people can have similar or some risk factor, but only one might develop breast cancer.

The risk factor in breast cancer –

Age is one of the main factors for breast cancer. For people over 55 years of age, most breast cancers are detected. But genetics and external factors like smoking also have an impact. Genetic factors cannot be changed, but a lifestyle risk factor can be changed. For many people, multiple risk factors are there, which include both genetic and environmental factors.

People born with a vagina have a higher risk of breast cancer than those born without one. According to CDC, only about 1 in 100 cases of breast cancer in men in the US. One can inherit a gene mutation that can put into a higher risk of breast cancer from either biological parent. Hereditary gene mutations cause about 5 to 10% of breast cancer. The most common type is a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. If one has a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, then the risk of ovarian cancer is also high. Other inherited gene mutations that increase the chances are CDH1, ATM, TP53, PTEN, PALB2. 

If several close relatives have breast cancer, then the chances of developing breast cancer increase. If one or more 1st-degree relatives has breast cancer, then the chances are more. ER-positive breast cancer is more likely to develop if menstruating happens at a younger age or started menopause later than usual. This is because, for an extended period, breast cells are affected by estrogen and, possibly, progesterone.

External risk factors include smoking, alcohol consumption, environmental exposure to a toxin, diet, obesity, hormone-based medication.