Breast cancer is on the rise, both in rural and urban India. A 2018 report of Breast Cancer statistics recorded 1,62,468 new registered cases and 87,090 reported deaths. Cancer survival becomes more difficult in higher stages of its growth, and more than 50% of Indian women suffer from stage 3 and 4 of breast cancer.
Where breast cancer starts
Breast cancers can start from different parts of the breast.
The type of breast cancer is determined by the specific cells in the breast that are affected. Most breast cancers are carcinomas, which are tumors that start in the epithelial cells that line organs and tissues throughout the body. When carcinomas form in the breast, they are usually a more specific type called adenocarcinoma, which starts in cells in the ducts (the milk ducts) or the lobules (milk-producing glands).
The type of breast cancer can also refer to whether the cancer has spread or not. In situ breast cancer (ductal carcinoma in situ or DCIS) is a cancer that starts in a milk duct and has not grown into the rest of the breast tissue. The term invasive (or infiltrating) breast cancer is used to describe any type of breast cancer that has spread (invaded) into the surrounding breast tissue.
Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS; also known as intraductal carcinoma) is a non-invasive or pre-invasive breast cancer.
Invasive (or infiltrating) breast cancer has spread into surrounding breast tissue. The most common types are invasive ductal carcinoma and invasive lobular carcinoma. Invasive ductal carcinoma makes up about 70-80% of all breast cancers.
Some invasive breast cancers have special features or develop in different ways that affect their treatment and outlook. These cancers are less common but can be more serious than other types of breast cancer.
Triple-negative breast cancer is an aggressive type of invasive breast cancer that accounts for about 15% of all breast cancers. It is a difficult cancer to treat.
Breast pain can be a symptom of cancer. If you have any symptoms that worry you, be sure to see your doctor right away.
Different people have different symptoms of breast cancer. Some people do not have any signs or symptoms at all.
Some warning signs of breast cancer are—
Many factors over the course of a lifetime can influence your breast cancer risk. You can’t change some factors, such as getting older or your family history, but you can help lower your risk of breast cancer by taking care of your health in the following ways—
Staying healthy throughout your life will lower your risk of developing cancer, and improve your chances of surviving cancer if it occurs.
Doctors often use additional tests to find or diagnose breast cancer. They may refer women to a breast specialist or a surgeon. This does not mean that she has cancer or that she needs surgery. These doctors are experts in diagnosing breast problems.