Breast Cancer

Breast cancer - Symptoms and treatment

Breast Cancer

  • In the Uk Breast Cancer is Currently the most common cancer in Woman
  • The First Symptom of breast cancer is usually a lump
  • Is not only affects woman, Men can also be effected by breast cancer
  • There is a combination of surgery available for breast cancer – Most commonly Surgery, Radiotherapy, chemotherapy or drugs (Hormonal Therapies)
  • Treatment types will depend on a range of factors including the tumour size and if you have had your menopause yet.

Risk Factors and Possible Causes

As of now the causes of breast cancer is still unknown. However there are certain things referred to as risk factors which can affect a woman’s chances of contracting breast cancer.  However it is worth considering that risk factors do not ultimately mean you will get breast cancer; some woman will not get it even though they have the same risk factors as some who do.

Breast cancer more is more likely caused by a combination of risk factors not just one.

Previous Cancer or other Breast Conditions.

Those who have had cancer or any other breast conditions in their medical history have a higher risk of developing breast cancer.


With an increase in age there is also an increase in the risk of breast cancer, it’s uncommon in woman under the age of 35, and 80% of breast cancers are diagnosed in women 50 or over.


These following lifestyles choices can increase your risk of breast cancer.

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol  (More than 2 units every day over long periods)
  • Being Overweight

Hormonal Factors

The Hormones Oestrogen and progesterone can increase the risk factor of breast cancer if someone is exposed to either of them for long periods of time without interruption. Other Direct factors that increase breast cancer risk are as follows;

  • Starting periods before the age of 12, Or having a later menopause over the age of 50
  • Not having children or having them later in life
  • Taking the contraceptive Pill (Risk lowers then you stop)
  • Not having ever breast fed or breast feeding for under a year
  • Family History Genetic Factors

Less than 1 in 10 breast cancers are believed to be linked to an inherited breast cancer. Genes store biological data that we inherit from our parents. The specific Genes that are related with increased breast cancer risk are BRCA1 and BRCA2. For there to be an increase in the risk of breast cancer or genetic mutation, its only likely to occur in a family if the followings occurs;

  • Two Close relatives on the one side of the family developed breast cancer under the age of 50
  • There is a close male relative with breast cancer
  • There is a relative with breast cancer in both breasts
  • Three close relatives on the one side of the family developed breast cancer
  • A close relative developed ovarian cancer on the same side of the family as a relative who developed breast cancer.
  • A close relative has developed breast cancer before the age of 40


The Symptoms of breast cancer are the following

  • A lump is present in the breast (remember most are benign- not cancerous)
  • The breast changes in size or shape
  • A Rash on the nipple
  • Discharge occurs from the nipple
  • Thickening of the breast tissue or dimpling of the skin
  • Swelling or a lump present under the armpit


The Main treatment currently for breast cancer is Surgery to remove it. There are also a range of other treatments often used to reduce the risk of cancer re-occurring. These include

  • Radiotherapy
  • Hormonal Therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Biological Therapy with Herceptin.
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