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Breast Cancer

Ans.: Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of mortality among women in the world today. The actual cause of breast cancer is not fully known and is probably due to a multitude of factors. Breast cancer today is the most common cancer among women throughout the world. The incidence is much higher for women over 65 years of age when compared to those in the 45 to 64 age group. However, the incidence of breast cancer is increasing in younger women and many cases of this disease are being reported in women in their twenties and thirties. The incidence of breast cancer among women across all ages is also continuing to rise.

Ans.: The actual cause of breast cancer is not known and is probably due to a variety of factors. A large proportion of women diagnosed with breast cancer do not exhibit any known risk factors, which include familial history, early menarche or late menopause, nulliparity or first child born after the age of 30, exposure to ionising radiation, personal history of cancer or atypical hyperplasia, and excessive tobacco consumption. Other factors like hormonal imbalances, genetic predisposition or viruses may also play a part.

Ans.: Women with breast cancer may experience the following symptoms. Sometimes, women with breast cancer do not show any of these symptoms. Or, these symptoms may be caused by a medical condition that is not cancer. If you are concerned about a symptom on this list, please talk with your doctor.

However, most women who develop breast cancer have no signs or symptoms. The signs and symptoms to look for include:
  • New lumps (many women normally have lumpy breasts) or a thickening in the breast or under the arm
  • Nipple tenderness, discharge, or physical changes (such as a nipple turned inward or a persistent sore)
  • Skin irritation or changes, such as puckers, dimples, scaliness, or new creases
  • Warm, red, swollen breasts with a rash resembling the skin of an orange (called peau d'orange)
  • Pain in the breast (usually not a symptom of breast cancer, but should be reported to a doctor)