The available evidence suggests that breast cancer may begin to grow around 10 years before it is detected. However, the time for development differs from tumor to tumor.
What are the initial signs and symptoms of breast cancer?
Breast cancer is a disease in which cells in the breast grow uncontrollably and destroy the normal cells. When breast cancer spreads to other parts of the body, it is called metastasized cancer. The initial signs of breast cancer include:
- A lump in the breast or underarms is often the first sign. It may also be associated with pain, itching and tenderness.
- Changes in the nipple area, nipple retraction and inverted nipple are common warning signs of breast cancer.
- Bleeding from the nipple may be limited and difficult to see, but if an individual notices bloodstains on bra and if the secretions are unusual, bloody or continuous, the individual may need urgent medical attention.
- Change in color and/or thickening of the skin on the breast is a warning sign of breast cancer. If the breast skin changes color, typically to a pink or reddish hue that covers more than half of the breast, you need to show your doctor.
- A nonhealing sore anywhere on the breast, including the nipple with or without blood or fluid from the nipple, maybe a warning sign of breast cancer.
- Increased warmth in the breast with change in size and appearance of the breast is a sign of breast cancer.
How can we detect breast cancer in the early stage?
Regular mammograms can help an individual detect breast cancer in early stages. Mammogram is a screening test that usually detects breast cancer when it’s about one-quarter inch in size or smaller. Mammograms can also diagnose some early precancerous conditions and early-stage cancers that appear as tiny calcifications (microcalcifications) on mammography but are not detectable by physical examination. There are two types of mammogram:
- Screening mammogram: It is usually performed annually in cases where there is no known problem.
- Diagnostic mammogram: It is performed when there is a known problem that requires careful evaluation. Diagnostic mammograms provide much more extensive images than screening mammograms, such as views from additional angles and compression or blow-up views. Often, an ultrasound will be performed in addition to the mammogram if there is a palpable lump.
- Screening ultrasound and biopsy of the lump are performed when the lump is noticed and to confirm if the lump is cancer or aggressive.
What are the different stages of breast cancer?
The stages of breast cancer are as follows:
- Stage 0: Doctors consider breast cancer at this stage noninvasive, and it is only present in the ducts or the lobules. Ductal carcinoma in situ is a form of stage 0 breast cancer.
- Stage 1: Breast cancer at this stage is invasive, but it remains small and near the primary site. Stage 1A involves tumors that are 2 cm or smaller and have not reached the lymph nodes. At stage 1B, the cancer has reached the lymph nodes.
- Stage 2: Stage 2 breast cancers are invasive. Tumors may be larger than that in stage 1 and the cancer may have spread to the lymph nodes.
- Stage 3: Stage 3 breast cancer is invasive, tumors may be larger and cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, possibly to several lymph nodes. Breast cancer at this stage has not spread to further organs.
- Stage 4: Breast cancer has developed in other areas of the body outside the breast and lymph nodes, often in the bones, lungs, brain or liver. Treatment at this stage focuses on controlling the cancer and preventing it from spreading any farther.
- U.S. States With Tighter Access to Welfare Payments Have More Kids in Foster Care
- 1 in 10 Teens Have Sexted, Many See Porn by 6th Grade: Study
- Eating Lots of 'Ultra-Processed' Foods Could Harm Your Brain
- Record Number of Fatal Drug ODs for Pregnant, Postpartum Women
- Concerns Around Sex, Fertility Often Ignored in Breast Cancer Care: Survey
- More Health News »
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top Breast Cancer Growth Rate Related Articles
Abraxane (paclitaxel protein-bound particles)Abraxane is a prescription medicine used to treat advanced breast cancer in people who have already received certain other medicines for their cancer, advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), in combination with carboplatin in people who cannot be treated with surgery or radiation, and advanced pancreatic cancer, when used in combination with gemcitabine as the first medicine for advanced pancreatic cancer. Serious side effects of Abraxane include severe decreased blood cell counts, severe nerve problems (neuropathy), severe infection (sepsis), lung or breathing problems, and severe allergic reactions.
Breast cancer is an invasive tumor that develops in the mammary gland. Breast cancer is detected via mammograms, breast self-examination (BSE), biopsy, and specialized testing on breast cancer tissue. Treatment of breast cancer may involve surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Breast cancer risk may be lowered by managing controllable risk factors.
What you should know about breast cancer
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women.
- One in every eight women in the United States develops breast cancer.
- There are many types of breast cancer that differ in their capability of spreading (metastasize) to other body tissues.
- The causes of breast cancer are unknown, although medical professionals have identified a number of risk factors.
- There are many different types of breast cancer.
- Breast cancer symptoms and signs include
- a lump in the breast or armpit,
- bloody nipple discharge,
- inverted nipple,
- orange-peel texture or dimpling of the breast's skin (peau d'orange),
- breast pain or sore nipple,
- swollen lymph nodes in the neck or armpit, and
- a change in the size or shape of the breast or nipple.
- Breast cancer can also be symptom free, which makes following national screening recommendations an important practice.
- Breast cancer is diagnosed during a physical exam, by a self-exam of the breasts, mammography, ultrasound testing, and biopsy.
- Treatment of breast cancer depends on the type of cancer and its stage (0-IV) and may involve surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.
Breast Cancer and Coping With StressBeing diagnosed with breast cancer is stressful. Learning relaxation techniques, exercising, eating well, getting adequate sleep, receiving psychotherapy, and maintaining a positive attitude can help you cope. Creating documents, such as an advance directive, living will, and durable power of attorney will outline your wishes in the event that you are no longer able to make decisions regarding your care.
Young Women & Breast CancerIs breast cancer genetic? Should I get tested for the BRCA gene? What every young women should know about breast cancer. Discover the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and other crucial breast cancer facts.
Where Breast Cancer SpreadsWhen breast cancer spreads, or metastasizes, it often goes to these five places: the lymph nodes, bones, liver, lungs, and brain. See how breast cancer metastasis affects the body, possible symptoms, and treatment.
Breast Cancer SlidesLearn about breast cancer causes, symptoms, tests, recovery, and prevention. Discover the types of treatments such as surgery and drug therapies as well as the survival rate for breast cancer.
Breast Cancer PreventionLifestyle changes, a healthy antioxidant-rich diet, exercise, and weight reduction can help reduce a woman's risk of developing breast cancer. It's important to be aware of how risk factors such as family history, lifestyle factors, breast conditions, radiation therapy, and hormonal factors may influence your chances of developing breast cancer. Mammography and breast self-examinations are crucial steps in breast cancer prevention.
Breast Cancer QuizThis Breast Cancer Quiz features signs, symptoms, facts, causes, common forms, terms, risk factors, statistics, and more. Increase your awareness of breast cancer now!
Breast Cancer StagesBreast cancer staging is the determination of the extent and spread of the cancer. An individual's health care team uses stages to summarize the extent of the cancer in a standardized way that is recognized by all health care providers. They use this staging to determine the treatment most appropriate for the type of cancer. Cancer staging helps to determine the prognosis, or outlook, of a cancer, including rates of recurrence and survival rates.
Can You Live a Normal Life After Breast Cancer?With today's advanced treatment and early detection, breast cancer survivors can live a long and full life after breast cancer treatment.
Faslodex (fulvestrant) InjectionFaslodex (fulvestrant) is a prescription medicine used to treat advanced breast cancer or breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic). Serious side effects of Faslodex include injection site-related nerve damage. The most common side effects of Faslodex include injection site pain, nausea, muscle, joint, and bone pain; headache, back pain, tiredness, pain in arms, hands, legs, or feet; hot flashes, vomiting, and others.
Kadcyla (ado-trastuzumab emtansine)Kadcyla (ado-trastuzumab emtansine) is a second- or third-line chemotherapy treatment for HER-2 breast cancers. It's used in combination with other drugs or on its own after other drugs have failed.
Lynparza (olaparib)Lynparza is a prescription medicine used to treat adults who have advanced ovarian cancer, fallopian tube cancer, primary peritoneal cancer, a certain type of abnormal inherited BRCA gene, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative breast cancer, or metastatic pancreatic cancer with a certain type of abnormal inherited BRCA gene. The most common side effects of Lynparza are nausea or vomiting.
Margenza (margetuximab-cmkb)Margenza (margetuximab-cmkb) is a HER2/neureceptor antagonist indicated, in combination with chemotherapy, to treat adult patients with metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer who have received two or more prior anti-HER2 regimens, at least one of which was for metastatic disease.
Nerlynx (neratinib)Nerlynx (neratinib) is a prescription medicine used alone to treat adults with early-stage human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer and HER2-positive breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic). Serious side effects of Nerlynx include liver problems.
What Is the Difference Between a Radical Mastectomy and Modified Radical Mastectomy?In a radical mastectomy, the entire breast tissue along with the nipple, covering skin, lymph nodes (filter organs for harmful substances) in the armpit and chest wall muscle under the breast is removed. It is known as a standard treatment for breast cancer. In a modified radical mastectomy (MRM), the entire breast is removed, including the skin, areola (surrounding the nipple), nipple and most armpit lymph nodes. The underlying chest wall muscles (the pecs) will be left intact. Additionally, the skin covering the chest wall may or may not be removed.
What Are the Risk Factors for Developing Breast Cancer?Breast cancer refers to the uncontrolled growth of cells within the breast. The risk factors for developing breast cancer include age, genetics, family history, personal history, menstrual history, breast density, previous radiation therapy, ethnicity, body weight, physical activity level, reproductive history, alcohol consumption and hormone pill use.
What Are the Three Top Cancer Killers?Cancer is a group of diseases that occur when abnormal cells spread uncontrollably throughout the body. The top three cancer killers are lung cancer, colorectal cancer, and breast cancer.
Zoladex (goserelin acetate)Zoladex (goserelin acetate) implant is a GnRH agonist used to treat advanced breast cancer, prostate cancer, endometriosis, and endometrial thinning. Serious side effects vary depending on the condition treated.