Breast cancer

By Cicle Health on 30 Nov, 2022
Breast cancer

If you see a lump in any part of the breast or if you have swollen, patchy skin or there is discharge from the nipple, then contact the doctor immediately.Click here to book an appointment with our doctor from the comfort of your home.

What is breast cancer?

Mutations are seen in the genes that regulate cell development are the cause of cancer. Cells can proliferate and divide uncontrollably thanks to mutations.

Breast cancer is a form of cancer that arises in breast tissue. Usually, breast lobules or ducts are where breast cancer develops.

The channels that deliver milk from the gland to the nipple are known as ducts and lobules, respectively. The fatty tissue and fibrous connective tissue of the breast are both susceptible to cancer.

The lymph nodes under the arms are frequently invaded by unchecked cancer cells, as well as other healthy breast tissue. Once cancer has reached the lymph nodes, it has access to a route to other bodily regions.

Symptoms of breast cancer

There may be no symptoms of breast cancer in the early stages. In many cases the tumor may be too small to be felt, but an issue can be seen on a mammogram.

The first sign of a tumor is usually a lump. However, not all lumps are cancerous. Each type of breast cancer can cause a variety of symptoms. Many of these symptoms are similar, but some may be different. Common symptoms include the following:

  • A lump
  • Reddish or discolored breasts become patchy skin.
  • Swelling may occur in all or part of the breast.
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk.
  • Discharge of blood from the nipple.
  • Peeling, scaling, or flaking of the skin on the nipple or breast.
  • Sudden change in breast size or shape.
  • Nipple inversion.
  • Changes in the appearance of the skin on the breast.
  • A lump or swelling under the arm.

If any of these symptoms are present, it does not mean that breast cancer is there. For example, breast pain can be caused by lumps or cysts. However, if you find lumps in your breast or have other symptoms, contact our doctor for further tests and tests.

Causes of breast cancer

The aberrant growth of specific breast cells is what causes breast cancer, according to doctors. These cells multiply more quickly than healthy cells and build up to create a bulk or lump. Cells might migrate from the breast to the lymph nodes or to other body areas (metastasized). Cells in the milk- producing ducts are frequently where breast cancer starts (invasive ductal carcinoma). Breast cancer can also begin in other cells or tissues inside the breast, such as the glandular tissue known as lobules (invasive lobular carcinoma). Numerous researchers have found environmental, behavioral, and hormonal factors that can raise the risk of breast cancer in the context of cancer. However, it is unclear why some individuals without risk factors get cancer while others do so.

Stages of breasts cancer

Staging makes it possible to determine the cancer's stage within the body. The size, location, and extent of the tumor, as well as if the cancer has spread to other parts of your body, all play a role in this. The stages of breast cancer are as follows:

This illness is non-invasive in stage 0. This demonstrates that it hasn't exited your breast duct.

Stage I:- Nearby breast tissue has been infiltrated by cancer cells.

Stage II:- The tumor is either less than 2 cm in size or it has progressed to the lymph nodes in the underarm.

Stage III :-At this stage the cancer has spread beyond the point of origin. It can invade nearby tissue and lymph nodes, but it has not spread to distant organs. Stage III is commonly known as locally advanced breast cancer.

Stage IV :-Cancer has spread to areas distant from the breast, such as the bones, liver, lungs, or brain. Stage IV breast cancer is also called metastatic breast cancer.

Risk factors

A breast cancer risk factor is anything that makes breast cancer more likely. But having one or multiple breast cancer risk factors does not mean that you will get breast cancer. Many women who develop breast cancer have no known risk factors other than just being female.

Factors associated with an increased risk of breast cancer include:

Previous issues with the breasts:-

There is an increased risk of breast cancer if a previous breast biopsy has been performed to find lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) or atypical hyperplasia of the breast.

Previous history of breast cancer:-

If cancer occurs in one breast, the risk of developing cancer in the other breast increases.

Family history of breast cancer:-

If a mother, sister or daughter is diagnosed with breast cancer, especially at a young age, the risk of breast cancer increases. Yet most people with breast cancer do not have a family history of the disease.

Hereditary genes that increase the risk of cancer:-

Certain gene mutations that increase the risk of breast cancer can be passed down from parents to children. The most prevalent gene mutations are known as BRCA1 and BRCA2. These genes can greatly increase the risk of breast cancer and other cancers, but they do not make cancer inevitable.

Radiation Exposure:

There is an increased risk of breast cancer if you had radiation treatment on your chest as a child or as an adult.


Being obese increases the risk of breast cancer.

Early onset of menstruation:-

The risk of breast cancer increases if the period starts before the age of 12 years.

Early onset of menopause:-

If menopause starts at an early age, then there is a higher chance of developing breast cancer.


Tests and procedures used to screen for breast cancer include:

Breast Exam :-

The doctor will examine lymph nodes in both the breast and armpits, checking for any lumps or other abnormalities.


A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. Mammograms are usually done to check for breast cancer. If a screening mammogram reveals an abnormality, our doctor may recommend a diagnostic mammogram to further evaluate that abnormality.

Breast ultrasound:-

Ultrasounds use sound waves to create images of structures deep inside the body. Ultrasound can be used to determine whether a new breast lump is a solid mass or a fluid-filled cyst.

Taking a sample of breast cells for test (biopsy):-

The only sure way to check for breast cancer is a biopsy. During a biopsy, the doctor uses a special needle device guided through an X-ray or another imaging test to remove a core of tissue from the suspicious area. Often a small metal marker is left at the site inside the breast so that the area can be easily identified on future imaging tests.

The biopsy samples are sent to a laboratory for examination where experts determine whether the cells contain cancer. A biopsy sample is also analyzed to determine the type of cells involved in breast cancer, the aggressiveness (grade) of the cancer, and whether the cancer cells have hormone receptors or other receptors that may affect your treatment options.

Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI):-

An MRI machine uses a magnet and radio waves to make pictures of the inside of the breast. Before a breast MRI, you are given an injection of dye. Unlike other types of imaging tests, radiation is used to produce an MRI image.

Breast cancer prevention

Drink alcohol in moderation:-

If you drink alcohol, limit the amount of alcohol you drink.


Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. Keep yourself physically active.

Limit postmenopausal hormone therapy:-

Combination hormone therapy may increase the risk of breast cancer. Talk to our doctor about the benefits and risks of hormone therapy.

Some women experience troubling signs and symptoms during menopause, and it may be acceptable for these women to relieve the signs and symptoms of menopause at increased risk of breast cancer.

To reduce the risk of breast cancer, use the lowest dose of hormone therapy for the shortest time possible.

Maintain a healthy weight:-

If you have a healthy weight, work to maintain that weight. If you need to lose weight, talk to our doctor to get it done. Reduce the number of calories you eat each day and gradually increase the amount of exercise.

Choose a healthy diet:-

Women who follow a Mediterranean diet with extra virgin olive oil and mixed nuts may have a lower risk of breast cancer. The Mediterranean Diet focuses mostly on plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts.

Preventive surgery:-

Women at high risk of breast cancer may choose to have their healthy breasts surgically removed (prophylactic mastectomy). They may also choose to have their healthy ovaries removed (prophylactic oophorectomy) to reduce the risk of both breast cancer and ovarian cancer


Breast cancer surgery

Operations used to treat breast cancer include:

Removal of breast cancer (Lumpectomy):-

During a lumpectomy, which may be referred to as breast-conserving surgery or local excision, surgeons remove the tumor and a small portion of surrounding healthy tissue. A lumpectomy may be recommended to remove small tumors. Patients with large tumors may undergo chemotherapy before surgery to shrink the tumor and make it possible to completely remove it with a lumpectomy procedure.

Removal of entire breast (mastectomy):-

Mastectomy is an operation to remove all breast tissue. Mastectomy procedures remove all tissue in the breast – lobules, ducts, fatty tissue and some skin, including the nipple and areola (total or simple mastectomy).

Removal of a limited number of lymph nodes (sentinel node biopsy):-

To determine whether the cancer has spread to your lymph nodes, surgeons will discuss removal of the lymph nodes that are the first to receive lymph drainage from your tumor.

If no cancer is found in those lymph nodes, then any remaining lymph nodes are less likely to be cancerous and no other nodes need to be removed.

If cancer is found in the sentinel lymph nodes, the surgeon will go about removing the extra lymph nodes in the armpit.

Removal of both breasts:-

Some women with cancer in one breast may choose to have their other (healthy) breast removed if they have a high risk of cancer in the other breast due to genetic predisposition or family history.


In breast cancer, the body becomes weak, some things have to be avoided during chemotherapy and radiation procedures, in such a situation a dietician can help, so that by taking the right diet, full energy can be returned to the body. If you are confused, consult a doctor. It is necessary to get complete treatment from the doctor. Diet plays a big role in hormonal changes. If you want, contact our dietician for information related to diet.

Best treatment for you

If you see any symptoms, see a doctor immediately and get tested. Timely screening can make the treatment a little easier, choose the treatment option according to your preference and the stage of the cancer.

Why choose Cicle?

Cicle is a health friendly application, where you can chat with our health service provider and get answers to your questions even if you keep your identity a secret. By joining Cicle, you will be able to save both your time and money. Normally you have to travel for consultation to the doctor, for this there is a separate cost, but by downloading Cicle, you can discuss your health by taking an appointment with the doctor according to your convenience at home. Click here to book appointment.

Frequently asked Questions

Can men get breast cancer?

Yes, men can get breast cancer. Anyone with breast tissue can develop breast cancer. Although it is less common, one in every 100 breast cancer cases in the US develop in men.

Breast cancer in men is often a type known as invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), which begins in one of the breast ducts and spreads to other areas of the breast.

Does mammography cause pain?

Compression of the breast during mammography may cause some discomfort. Doctors always advise patients to do the test a week after their periods, so that the breasts are less tender and there is less injury. To prevent discomfort, the doctor may also prescribe a pain reliever about 45-60 minutes before the test.

Are ovarian cancer and breast cancer related?

Ovarian cancer and breast cancer may be related to gene mutations inherited from a blood relative. Ovarian cancer can sometimes spread from the ovaries to the breast or other areas of the body.

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