Breast cancer cells are formed due to mutation or error in the DNA code of the genes of the nucleus of the cells in the breast region; a situation that leads to abnormal repetition of breast cells that may lead to the formation of lumps in the lobules or in the connecting ducts from the milk-producing glands to the nipple. The former is called Lobular Carcinoma and the latter is called Ductal Carcinoma.
In either case, eventually the cancer spreads to the lymph nodes near the underarm and invade the rest of the cell system through that passage.
Metastasis is the ultimate fate of such a condition. Early detection however may help prevent breast cancer. Women over 50 years of age have a higher propensity of breast cancer. Though the causes of breast cancer have not yet reached a common consensus amongst doctors, few statistics have revealed that a woman with a family history of breast cancer is more likely to develop malignant tumor.
Inheritance of cell abnormality through gene is still under consideration and research work is on and no conclusion could be drawn as many cases without any family history of breast cancer are diagnosed with the same.
Though lump formations may not necessarily be a precursor of malignancy as they in most of the cases are benign tumours, regular breast self-examination may help detect some of the early symptoms of breast cancer, including pre-malignant or malignant lumps. If any of the following symptoms are observed, one should consult a doctor or do a mammogram without a day’s delay.
Early Signs And Symptoms Of Breast Cancer
Abnormal swelling of the breast is often the first noticeable change due to formation of lumps. Such lumps are usually not entirely round and may have a rough surface. Lumps are usually painless.
However some patients experience one-sided pain.They may be found in any part around the breast region or hear the arm-pit. In most cases swellings are large and easily palpable. The condition leads to asymmetry of the breast.
The skin color around the breast region changes, often perceptible reddish or darkened texture is detected. Discolouring of breast tissue is also observed in patients.
The temperature in and around the pre-cancerous or cancerous issue is almost always higher than the normal condition. Breast thermography detects early changes in cancer patients. It has been a useful tool for detection in the recent past.
A patient may experience occasional discharge from the nipple, which can be a clear fluid or with traces of blood. Unusual nipple discharge, usually in middle-aged women, has almost always confirmed malignancy.
Changes in the tissue texture, nipple inversion or flattening, tenderness, dimpling or indentations in the breast are often observed at an early stage, even when any breast mass is noticed.
Itching, ridge formation, skin irritation may be felt in and around the nipple. Though similar symptoms may be observed due to other non-cancerous lump formations, it is always advisable to take regular self-examinations and go for immediate medical aid even if with the slightest doubts about any abnormal change. Look for the symptoms and never procrastinate in consulting a doctor.