Breast Cancer

OVERVIEW OF Breast Cancer :

Breast cancer is an abnormal growth of the cells in the breast region. It is a lump or tumour  in the breast region

STRUCTURE of Breast Cancer :

Structure of Breast:

A breast is made of fat cells and lobules. The breast is not made of muscle but it rest on the muscle and these muscles cover the ribs. A breast is made of three parts namely lobules, ducts, and connective tissues. The lobules are the glands that produce milk. The ducts are the tubes that carries the milk to the nipple. The connective tissue which consists of fibrous and fatty tissue surrounds thses lobules and hold everything together. Most breast cancer is initiated at the duct or lobules level. Fat fills the spce between lobules and ducts. Each breast contains blood vessels and also the lymph vessels. These lymph vessels drains into the lymph nodes. These lymph nodes are also found in groups underneath the arms, above the collarbone, and in the chest. These lymph nodes is also present in other parts of the body


It is more common among the women when compared to men.



  The age acts an vital factor in developing the breast cancer. At the age of 50 -70 years the chances of getting breast cancer is 30-40%

2) Genetics:

Genes also plays an vital role in development of the breast cancer. Women who has mutation in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have a higher chances of developing the breast cancer,ovearian cancer and also both.

Mutations in the TP53 genes also play a major role in development of breast cancer.

In family if anyone has the breast cancer then the chances of having breast cancer increases with the surroundings.


3)A history of breast cancer or breast lumps:

 Women who have breast cancer earlier might tend to have breast cancer in the later stages also that is the breast cancer has higher chance for recurrences.

A benign condition s also paves the way for the breast cancer in the future. Examples include atypical ductal hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma insitu.


4Dense breasst tissue :

 Women who has the dense breast tissue and also who has fatty breast tends to develop the breast cancer.

5)estrogen exposure and breastfeeding:

  Breast feeding the child over one year of age has the lower chances of suffering from the breast cancer. During breastfeeding the exposure to the estrogen level is reduced and this leads to the decrease in chance of developing breast cancer in breastfeeding women.

Extended exposure to the estrogen also tends to increase the chances for getting breast cancer in women. This states that the women entering the menopausal period later than normal age or starting the periods at an earlier age increses the chances of getting breast cancer.

6) Body weight:

Women who gained weight after the menopause can have a higher chances of developing breast cancer. This is due to increase in the level of estrogen. High amount of sugar intake also palys a role in the development of cancer.

7)Alcohol consumption:

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), studies have consistently found that women who consume alcohol have a increased risk of breast cancer than those who do not. Those who drink moderate to heavy levels of alcohol have a higher risk than light drinkers.

A higher rate of alcohol consumption in the women appears to play a role in the development of the breast cancer.

8) Radiation exposure:

Undergoing the radiation treatment for the different types of cancer in the pther parts of the body has the chances of increasing the exposure to breast cancer.

9) Hormone treatments:

Ingestion of the oral contraceptive pills increase the chances for acquiring the breast cancer.

Some studies suggest that the hormonal replacement therapy such as the estrogen and progesterone therapy induces the chances of getting the breast cancer.

10) Physical activity:

Being physically active decreases the chances of having the breast cancer.

Myth in the causes of breast cancer:Deodorant
Underwire Bra
Breast Injury
Nipple Piercing
Rays such as radio waves from mobile phones
IVF( invitro fertilization)

Exposure to chemicals



  • pain in the armpits or breast that does not change with the monthly cycle
  • pitting or redness of the skin of the breast, similar to the surface of an orange
  • a rash around or on one of the nipples
  • discharge from a nipple, possibly containing blood
  • a sunken or inverted nipple
  • a change in the size or shape of the breast
  • peeling, flaking, or scaling of the skin on the breast or nipple



In this type of investigation the sound waves are used. The sound waves penetrate the breast and notifies the affected areas. The echoes are not heard by the humans but the echoes are utilized by the computers in processing the abnormalities of the breast.

An ultrasound can say if the lump consists of an solid mass or the cyst filled with the fluid or the combination of the both.

Exact size and the location of the lump can be revealed.


A mammogram is a x ray of the breast tissue. The radiologist who is doing the test zoom the specific area of the breast where the abnormality is more.

The mammogram also reveals the ductal carcinoma insitu. Ductal  carcinoma insitu is a cancer which is developed by the cells lining the ducts. These cells later might invade the ductal cells and becomes invasive cancer in future.

Nowadays the 3D MAMMOGRAMS OR TOMOSYNTHESIS are used which reveals the breast cancer more accurately than the normal x ray analogue mammogram.

Magnetic resonance imaging:

This can be used to assess the extent of the disease.

Magnet is connected to the computer and this magnet help in the emission of magnetic energy and radio waves through the tissues,with the help of this the abnormality is ruled out.

Blood/Lab test:

The two most common lab tests are the HORMONE RECEPTOR TEST AND THE HER2/NEU TEST.

The test which shows positive for both estrogen and progesterone receptors shows good prognosis than others.

 Similar to the hormone receptor test, the HER2/neu test looks for a specific kind of protein that is found with certain types of cancer cells and the gene that produces it. The formal name of that gene is the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, and it makes HER2 proteins. These proteins are receptors on breast cells.


The fluid or cells are drawn from the breast and the alteration in the morphology of the cells are seen.




  • Lumpectomy. This is the removal of the tumor and a small, cancer-free margin of healthy tissue around the tumor. Most of the breast remains. For invasive cancer, radiation therapy to the remaining breast tissue is often recommended after surgery, especially for younger patients, patients with hormone receptor negative tumors, and patients with larger tumors..
  • Mastectomy. This is the surgical removal of the entire breast. There are several types of mastectomies. Talk with your doctor about whether the skin can be preserved, called a skin-sparing mastectomy, or whether the nipple can be preserved, called a nipple-sparing mastectomy or total skin-sparing mastectomy.
  • Chemotherapy:
  • A chemotherapy is after the sugery or before the surgery to shrink the cancer cells. A chemotherapy is nothing but the delivery of drug intravenously.
  • The following are the certain type of drugs which are used in the chemotherapy:
  • It includes:
  • Cisplastin
  • Paclitaxel
  • Radiation therapy:
  • It uses powerful x rays or emission of protons to destroy the cells. The radiation therapy also aids  in shrinkage of the cells and also relief the symptoms caused by the cancer.
  • Immunotherapy
  • it is a drug treatment that uses your immune system to fight cancer. Your body's disease-fighting immune system may not attack your cancer because the cancer cells produce proteins that blind the immune system cells from recognizing the cancer cells. This immunotherapy boos those cells and helps the body to fight against it.
  • Targeted therapy:
  • This therapy involves targeting the specific organs. It involves the emission of rays.




The average 5 year survival rate of non invasive(not spreading to other part) is 90%.

The 5 year survival rate of invasive cancer is 5-6%.


Follow healthy diet

Screening is must for the people who have crossed 40 years of age

Avoid smoking and consumption of alcohol

Reduces the stress

Reduce the weight

Intake large amount of fiber containing foods

Be physically active

Medicines used in the Treatment :

  • Cisplastin
  • Paclitaxel
  • Carboplatin Methotrexate
  • vinblastine
  • doxorubicin
  • Topotecan
  • 5 -fluorouracil