Overview of Carcinoma (breast)
Breast Carcinoma, or breast cancer, as it is commonly known, is cancer of the breast tissues. Specifically, the cancer usually starts in the milk ducts or the lobules supplying the ducts with milk. Owing to this reason, breast cancer is mostly found in females, although male breast cancer does exist. Within females, breast cancer accounts for the highest percentage in all forms of invasive cancer all over the world. It also marks the most common type of fatal cancer found in human beings. Typically, breast cancer occurs more in developed countries as opposed to developing ones, which is mainly attributed to the lifestyle and the longer life expectancy in the former.
Causes and Risk Factors of Carcinoma (breast)
There are several risk factors that increase the chance of getting breast cancer, especially in females. Ironically, the first one among them is being female, since males are much less susceptible to this type of cancer. Lifestyle is the second major contributor, whereby smoking and alcohol consumption increases the risk. Obesity is another contributor, and high-fat diet further supplements it. Like all cancers, radiation exposure can become a contributing factor for breast cancer. Finally, genetic predisposition also plays a role in development of breast cancer in some females, although the percentage is relatively small.
Signs and Symptoms of Carcinoma (breast)
The initial, and usually screened for, sign of breast cancer is the development of a lump in the breast, which is caused by thickening of the breast tissue. Beyond the lump, skin dimpling, discoloration, inverted nipple and leaking of blood/fluid from nipples might also be observed. Other symptoms include pain in armpits (which might be accompanied by a lump in the region as well) along with changes in the texture, size and shape of the breasts. A mammogram is used for early detection of breast cancer, and it is recommended that this exam be done on a recurring basis at regular intervals to reduce the risk of catching the disease off-guard.