Breast Cancer


Breast cancer is the most common cancer found in women, according to the National Cancer Institute accounting for 37% of all cancer cases. It also has the second highest death rate after lung cancer. Taking proper care of your health can greatly reduce the risk of cancer; especially important is early diagnosis of cancer while the tumor is still at a small size, isolated in the breast, and has not spread to the lymph nodes. Early detection increases the chances of successful treatment, once the cancer has spread (and increased in size) to other vital areas such as the lymph nodes the survival rate is at 98% (who will live over 5 years). However, once the cancer spreads further the chances of surviving for 5 years or more drops to 23%. As such early detection is pivotal to a full recovery.

The human breast is composed of fat, tissue and milk glands. Ductal Carcinoma refers to the presence of abnormal cells inside a milk duct in the breast. DCIS is considered the earliest form of breast cancer; it may spread to bones, liver, lungs, and throughout the vascular.

Breasts will experience changes with age and menstruation cycles, being vigilant with self-diagnosis for breast cancer can help with early detection, increasing the chances of successful treatment.

Your breasts will vary according to menstruation cycles, prior to menstruation the breasts may feel be tight, after menstruation your breast will become tender. Breasts in women who have gone through menopause will become saggy due to the milk glands no longer functioning. For women who have had hysterectomy without oophorectomy your breasts should remain firm.

Risk Factors

  1. Menstruation at a very early age
  2. Infertility or having a first child at a very early age
  3. Previous history of breast cancer
  4. Family history of breast cancer
  5. Has received treatment that incorporated radiation around the chest area
  6. Abnormalities found after mammogram
  7. Consumption of estrogen or progestogens
  8. Obesity


  1. Pain or uncomfortability
  2. If you feel a lump in your breast or armpit
  3. Changes in nipple features
  4. Abnormal liquid secreting from nipple
  5. Bleeding
  6. Nipple becomes deformed or in an abnormal position
  7. Rashes around the nipple

In more severe cases symptoms may include:

  1. Pain in bone
  2. Weight loss
  3. Skin irregularities
  4. Swollen arms


There are several diagnostic techniques for breast cancer which include:

  1. Mammogram, considered one of the best technologies for breast cancer detection
  2. Medical check-up by oncologist or nurse
  3. Breast Self-Exam (BSE)


The exact causes of breast cancer are unknown; however the following can help to reduce risk factors:

  1. A healthy diet of fruit and vegetable
  2. Maintaining a healthy weight
  3. Try to exercise 5 times a week for 30 minutes a day
  4. Avoid smoking and alcohol


  1. Surgery
  2. Radiation therapy
  3. Chemotherapy
  4. Hormonal Therapy
  5. Palliative care


Medical oncology