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Breast Cancer

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Breast cancer is the disorder of cells resulting in uncontrolled cell reproduction that originates in the breast. Cancer cells crowd out normal cells and interfere with many of the body's normal activities. If they block out too many vital functions, the body may die.

Breast cancer symptoms may include a lump in the breast, skin dimpling, change in skin colour or texture, leakage of body fluid from the nipple and that change in look of nipple. This can be seen from diagram...

According to the Breast health centre, the peak at which breast cancers are diagnosed is at the age band of 50-59 years of age. (refer to the table.)

Breast cancer is a very complex disorder. It does not have a single cause but has many causes that interact with each other overtime. There are a few factors that interact with each other to form breast cancer. These include

* Genetics- family history of breast cancer.

* The work of female hormones.

* Exposure to radiation or some harmful chemicals.

* Something in our diet.

In some cancer-prone families, heredity plays a major role.

The greatest risk factor for women is their gender. Some men get breast cancer, too. However, having female hormones increases the risk of breast cancer. . The rise and fall of hormone levels stimulates the growth of breast cells. Female hormones alone are not cancer-causing agents. But they are cancer-promoting agents. They set the stage for cancer to occur and they can fuel the growth of cancer cells.

The longer a woman is exposed to monthly hormonal changes, the greater her risk of developing breast cancer. Women who begin menstruating before the age of twelve have a slightly greater chance of developing breast cancer than those who started their first periods at a later age. Women with a late menopause- after 55 yrs- also have a slightly increased likelihood of developing breast cancer than women with an earlier menopause. There is some suspicion that women who take additional estrogen hormones after menopause have a higher risk of breast cancer than those who do not take estrogen.

Other possible risk factors include environmental pollutants and radiation. Lifestyle choices such as poor diet and drinking alcohol may also have a strong effect upon your chance of getting breast cancer



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