Breast cancer: Types, Symptoms and Treatment(2020)

Unusual or abnormal cells in breasts that grows uncontrollably causes breast cancer. The state of breast cancer turns into metastatic cancer when these cells move to other unusual places in body.

The areas from where breast cancer starts are usually lobular carcinoma (that are the glands that produce milk) and ducts that carry milk to the nipples. Breast cancer is the second most common disease in women. Every 1 out of 8 women are experiencing it. Men also get breast cancer but their ratio is less than 1%.

Types of Breast cancers:

In situ cancer:

In this type of cancer the tumor/cells remain in the place where they started that is lobule. Ductal carcinoma in situ and lobular carcinoma in situ are two types of it. Ductal carcinoma is a 0 stage of this cancer while lobular is not really a cancer but you need to take treatment as soon as possible to prevent it from getting worse.

Invasive cancers:

In this type cancer has spread to other places.

  • Invasive or infiltrating ductal carcinoma is a type in which cancer starts in duct which produces milk. It breaks the walls of duct and spread.
  • Invasive lobular carcinoma is a type in which cancer spreads to fatty tissues around the body from lobule where it started. There are subtypes of it as:
    • Adenoid cystic carcinoma
    • Medullary carcinoma
    • Mucinous carcinoma
    • Tubular carcinoma
    • Papillary carcinoma

There are also some other types of breast cancer that are rare such as:

  • Inflammatory breast cancer
  • Paget’s disease of the nipple
  • Metastatic breast cancer


Symptoms of breast cancer are as follows:

  • You will notice a thickened or hard area in your breast or under the arm. It will remain until your periods.
  • A small lump that is like the size of a pea.
  • Changes in your breast as size, curve and shape.
  • There is some kind of discharge from the nipple that can be blooded sometimes.
  • Changes in nipple size.
  • Red spots on nipples


Causes are not determined yet as experts don’t know the exact reason why it happen. Your age, family history, diet plans and genetics are the things that plays a role in it. Some factors are that you can control other cannot be controlled.

Risk factors:

Some risk factors that are uncontrollable are:

  • If you are over age like more than 50
  • It will be hard to see cancer tumour on a mammogram if you have dense breasts that is having more connective tissues and less fatty tissues.
  • If you have other medical issues related to breast or had cancer before there are high chances to get it again.
  • It can be genetically.
  • If anyone in the family had it before.
  • If you had menstrual unusual situation like your periods starts before 12 or not ending after 55.
  • If you had a radiation treatment before 40 for cancer it can cause breast cancer.
  • Diethylstilbestrol (DES) was a medicine that doctors used to prescribe for miscarriages and they causes breast cancer.

Different stages of breast cancer:

There are several stages of it.

  • Stage 0 or noninvasive cancer is an early stage in which cancer is only in breast and hasn’t spread
  • Stage I cancer in when tumor is 2 centimetre and hasn’t spread.
  • Stage IIA cancer has two situations either tumour is smaller than 2cm and having underarm lymph node or tumour is larger than 2cm but less than 5cm and without underarm lymph node.
  • Stage IIB also has two types, the tumor is larger than 5cm without underarm node or larger than 2cm but smaller than 5cm and with a lymph node.
  • Stage IIIA is a type having tumour larger than 5cm with nodes under the arm or breastbone.
  • Stage IIIB has a tumour of any size which has spread to the skin.
  • Stage IIIC is seriously danger having a tumor of any size which has spread far away in the body.
  • Stage IV also called metastatic breast cancer in which cancer has spread to bones, lungs, skin, liver and even brain.


If you see or feel a lump in your breast you need to see a doctor your doctor will perform certain tests to confirm it.

Imaging tests will be performed including:

  • Ultrasound:
  • MRI
  • Mammogram
  • Biopsy

Blood tests also be taken such as:

  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Blood chemistry
  • Hepatitis test


Treatments for breast cancer involves:


Different types of surgeries are performed such as:

  • Breast-conserving surgery in which the doctor removes the part where the tumor is. Area of the breast that doctors remove depend on the size of the tumor.
  • Doctors perform surgery to remove lymph nodes under your arm. They take 2 or more lymph to see if they has a tumor.
  • Mastectomy is a type of surgery in which your whole breast is removed along with lymph nodes. There are several types of mastectomy such as:
    • Simple mastectomy
    • Modified radical mastectomy
    • Radical mastectomy
    • Partial mastectomy
    • Nipple-sparing mastectomy

Systematic treatment:

This method of treatment includes:

Chemotherapy: medicines are given to cure tumor cells in your body. It could be main treatment to cure it or you are given medicines before and after surgery.

Hormones therapy: some cancer cells grow in your body by responding to some hormones. Medicines are given to stop these hormones.

Immunotherapy: Medication that can enhance your immune system to fight with cancer cells.


Radiation treatment is performed to cure tumor. It can be of two types:

External Radiations:

In this type radiations are given from outside machine. Time interval for this treatment is 5 days a week for 5 to 6 weeks.

Internal radiations:

Doctors put radioactive material inside your body to destroy tumor cells

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