Cancer Data Verified

Breast Cancer - Causes, Symptoms, Types, Risk Factors,Diagnosis, Treatment , and Precaution

Published on Feb 11, 2021 and last reviewed on Oct 07, 2022   -  7 min read


Breast cancer causes severe problems in female patients. Read this article to know more.

Breast Cancer - Causes, Symptoms, Types, Risk Factors,Diagnosis, Treatment , and Precaution

What Is Cancer?

Cancer is a condition in which there is an abnormal proliferation of the cells. It has the potential to cause severe destruction to the tissues. Cancer can be benign and malignant. The malignant type of cancer is responsible for life-threatening complications. The benign is usually harmless, and the symptoms can be managed with proper treatment. The biggest problem occurs when benign cancer turns out to be malignant cancer. Cancers can occur at any site and can spread to different parts of the body. Cancer that has increased ability to spread is a blood cancer. The other common types of cancer are lung cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer.

What Is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is a condition that can affect the breasts of women. Even young girls might be affected. In the United States of America, breast cancer is the common cause of complications of the breast. There is a common misconception that breast cancer can occur only in women. This is not true. In rare instances, the occurrence of breast cancer is noted in males also. Several awareness programs are conducted throughout the world to decrease the number of recorded cases. Due to the self-diagnosis and early diagnosis, a great decline in the rates of breast cancer has been noted.

What Are the Causes of Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer can be caused by environmental factors, hormonal disturbances, and changes in lifestyle patterns. Genetic mutations have also been known to be the cause of breast cancer.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer?

The various signs and symptoms that are associated with breast cancer are:

What Are the Types of Breast Cancer?

There are different types of breast cancer. They are:

What Are the Risk Factors of Breast Cancer?

The risks associated with breast cancer are:

How Is Breast Cancer Diagnosed?

Diagnosis of breast cancer requires the following procedure.

The diagnosis of breast cancer also requires staging of cancer. This will help in formulating a proper treatment plan. To stage breast cancer, the following techniques might be necessary.

What Is Self-Examination for Breast Cancer?

Before going to the doctor for any detection of the cancerous condition in the breast, one can perform a self-examination of the breast. Any positive finding in breast examination can be combined later with the advanced diagnostic procedure in the hospital. Self-examination of the breast is a very useful tool and can be performed a number of times without any expenses. The following steps are to be followed for self-examination of the breast.

What Should You Do When You Find Any Lump?

What Are the Treatment Options for Breast Cancer?

The various treatment option for breast cancer are:

The other procedures that are recommended for breast cancer are radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and targeted drug therapy.

What Are the Precautionary Measures to Be Followed to Prevent Breast Cancer?

Even though women are at high risk for breast cancer, an individual can prevent them by following the below tips:

For more help, contact


Frequently Asked Questions


Why Does My Left Breast Ache?

Causes of breast pain may or may not be breast-related and range from less severe to serious causes. It can be due to breast injury, healing breast surgery, clogged milk ducts, infection and abscess under the nipple, mastitis (breast inflammation), oral contraceptive pills, hormonal replacement therapy, thyroid disorders, hormonal imbalances, altered hormonal levels during menstruation, inflammatory breast cancer, costochondritis, chest wall muscle pain, reflux disease (GERD), hiatal hernia, pneumonia, pulmonary emboli, shingles, heart diseases, and benign or malignant breast tumors.


Why Do I Feel Heaviness in My Breast?

The heaviness of the breasts are due to swelling and lumps of benign cause. Breast heaviness does not usually occur in malignant breast conditions except for inflammatory breast cancer in some instances. Some conditions causing breast heaviness are fibrocystic breast changes due to fluid build-up, cyclic breast changes during menstruation, the breast being prepared for breastfeeding during pregnancy, breastfeeding, hormonal medications, and breast infections.


How Does Breast Cancer Start?

Breast cancer occurs due to mutations in DNA, hereditary transfer of the mutated DNAs, and lifestyle-related risk factors like alcoholism, overweight, lack of physical exercise, not having children, not breastfeeding, hormonal supplements, etc. Due to the mutational changes, normal breast cells transform into cancer cells, and they begin to replicate at a faster rate invading the nearby tissues.


What Are the Symptoms of Stage 1 (Early) Breast Cancer?

A lump that is painless is the most common sign of breast cancer. In some cases, there are tender and swollen armpit and collarbone lymph nodes before a palpable breast mass forms. But during the early stages of cancer, it usually does not exhibit any symptoms as the size of the lump in stages 0 and 1 remain less than or nearly 2 mm or the size of a peanut. Hence regular breast cancer screening tests need to be done.


How Does Breast Cancer Pain Feel Like?

Breast cancer may or may not exhibit pain. Many non-malignant breast conditions also exhibit pain. But in the case of breast cancer, the pain is persistent and chronic. There is a feeling of breast fullness and tenderness. Sometimes the pain can also be present in the armpit lymph nodes.


How Does a Breast Cancer Lump Feel Like?

Lumps appearing in breast cancer are often painless and hard with irregular edges. In some instances, they can be painful too. It does not move while pushing it. Its size increases with time. However, sometimes, it can be soft and round with tenderness.


How Common Is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is one of the commonest cancers amongst female-specific cancers. It affects almost all women of all countries with a predisposition to the later stages of a woman’s life, approximately above 40 years. Even if the risk factors are absent, it has tendencies to occur with the female gender as the risk factor.


In Which Part of the Breast Do Cancer Lumps Form?

Breast cancer lumps can occur anywhere within the breast, but they mostly appear in the breast’s upper and lateral or outer side (from below the axilla to the lateral side).


How Many Women Get Breast Cancer?

The United States breast cancer statistics state that 1 in every 8 women will develop breast cancer (invasive type) in their lifetime.


What Is Metastatic Breast Cancer?

Metastatic breast cancer is stage 4 cancer or advanced cancer. The cancer cells have metastasized or spread to other parts of the body from their site of origin. Most commonly, breast cancer metastasis to bones. Other sites of metastasis are lungs, regional lymph nodes, brain, and liver. At this stage, it cannot be cured but can be managed with chemotherapy and radiotherapy.


What Is Triple-Negative Breast Cancer?

This is an aggressive type of breast cancer due to its higher recurrence rates and faster growth and spread by the time of detection. Upon diagnosing breast cancer, further diagnostic tests yield information about cancer cell features. The cells lack estrogen and progesterone receptors in triple-negative breast cancer and do not make sufficient HER2 protein. These things make it difficult to treat them with hormone therapy and HER2 drugs.


Can You Have Breast Cancer Without Knowing?

Breast cancer presents with certain symptoms like changes in breast morphology, pain, lumps, etc. Also, these symptoms do not present in the earlier stages. And in some cases, cancer keeps developing within the breasts without showing any symptoms for certain periods. In that case, they are known as asymptomatic cancers.


Should I Worry About Breast Pain?

Breast pain can be due to many factors. Some are related to breasts, and some not. It may be due to hormonal imbalances, tight undergarments, injury, infection, chest muscle pain, heart disease, benign and malignant tumors, etc. Persistent breast pain accompanied by palpable breast lump, bloody nipple discharge, inverted nipple, swollen and painful axillary and collarbone lymph nodes, the difference in size, shape, and appearance of the breast, etc., is of concern. These indicate breast cancer.

Article Resources

Last reviewed at:
07 Oct 2022  -  7 min read




Comprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Related Questions & Answers

Breast cancer detected two days ago. Please provide expert opinion on treatment.

Query: Hello doctor, I need advise from experts about my mother. She is suffering from breast cancer. It was diagnosed two days ago. I want an expert's opinion for future treatment. Kindly guide me. What is the best treatment?  Read Full »

What causes swelling in tits?

Query: Hello doctor, Just as of today my nipples have got swollen and my boobs are tender to touch. It started less than an hour ago. I had headache all day. As far as I am aware, I am not sure what is going on? I never had this issue before. Please help.  Read Full »

What is the first treatment choice for breast cancer?

Query: Hi doctor, My grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago and had a right mastectomy. She however did not have chemo or radiation. She has a little extra fat to the lateral area of the breast that after surgery it looked like a small third breast. Right over the old incision has de...  Read Full »

Popular Articles Most Popular Articles

Do you have a question on Breast Cancer or Mammogram?

Ask a Doctor Online

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.