What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is a type of cancer where cells in the breast tissue divide and grow without the usual controls on cell death and cell division.
What are the signs of breast cancer?
The signs of breast cancer are not the same for all women. In fact, some women have no signs that they can see. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor right away:
- A lump, hard knot or thickening
- Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening
- Change in breast size or shape
- Dimpling or puckering of the skin
- Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
- Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast
- Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
- New pain in one spot
What causes breast cancer?
It's a question women want a straight answer to. At the present time, scientists believe that breast cancer is caused by a combination of both known and unknown factors including genetics (such as family history of breast cancer), lifestyle choices (such as diet and alcohol use) and reproductive factors (such as age of menarche and menopause). For more information regarding risk factors, please click here.
What are fibrocystic changes?
Lumpiness plus tenderness or pain at certain times of the month is called fibrocystic breast changes. These changes are a normal part of the menstrual cycle. Women are most likely to notice them in the premenstrual phase of the cycle, or if women are past menopause, when taking hormones. Fibrocystic changes do not increase your chance of getting breast cancer. In contrast, a breast lump that should be checked is one that does not change with your cycle. Any persistent lump or thickening should be checked by your health care provider.