breast%20cancer
BREAST CANCER
Breast cancer is the presence of malignant breast nodule, mass or abscess.
Most common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump or mass in the breast. The lump or mass is usually painless, hard & irregular but it can also be tender, soft, rounded or painful.
Other signs & symptoms include breast pain or nipple pain, nipple discharge, nipple retraction and presence of breast skin changes (eg peau d' orange, nipple excoriation, scaling, inflammation, skin tethering, ulceration, abscess).

Introduction

  • Refers to both invasive and in situ carcinoma of the breast
  • Most common and frequently diagnosed noncutaneous cancer in women

Signs and Symptoms

  • Presence of breast nodule, mass, or abscess
    • Most common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump or mass in the breast
    • Painless, hard, and irregular mass is more likely to be cancerous, but can also be tender, soft, rounded, or painful
  • Breast pain or nipple pain
  • Nipple discharge
  • Nipple retraction
  • Presence of breast skin changes (eg peau d’ orange, nipple excoriation, scaling, inflammation, skin tethering, ulceration, abscess)

Risk Factors

  • History of breast cancer
    • Previous history of breast cancer has an increased risk of developing new primary breast cancer
      • History of invasive breast cancer, lobular neoplasia [formerly called lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)] and ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) have the highest risk
    • Breast carcinoma in situ can develop into invasive breast cancer

  • Confirmed biopsy of benign proliferative breast disease
    • Breast tissue biopsy showing proliferative disease with and without atypical cells has an elevated risk of developing breast cancer
      • Patients with benign breast disease that presents with atypical hyperplasia carry the highest risk of developing cancer

  • History of high-dose radiation exposure
    • Multiple exposures of therapeutic radiation to the chest for cancer at an early age (<20 years old) increase the risk of breast cancer
    • Contralateral breast cancer has been shown to develop after high-dose radiation exposure
    • Patients with Hodgkin’s disease receiving radiotherapy at high doses are also at risk

  • Reproductive factors
    • Nulliparity or first full-term pregnancy at age >30 years
      • Breastfeeding for >12 months is protective against breast cancer
    • Menarche at age <12 years and menopause at age >55 years
    • Oral contraceptive use before the first full-term pregnancy, combination hormone replacement therapy, and long-term use of unopposed estrogen for >15 years by hysterectomized women have mild increased risk for breast cancer
      • Use of low-dose preparations poses a lower risk

  • Advanced age
    • Risk increases from 40 years old for premenopausal women and 50 years old for postmenopausal women

  • Family history of breast cancer
    • Increased risk in women with breast cancer among young first-degree relatives
      • Sister has a higher risk than a mother
    • Carriers of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic mutations are also at high risk
      • Women with these have increased risk of developing other cancers like ovarian cancer
  • Breast density
    • Higher breast density has increased risk
    • Lifestyle
      • Body mass index of >25 has an increased risk of developing breast cancer with higher death rate
        • 7 hours/week of moderate to vigorous exercise was shown to be inversely related to breast cancer development
      • Alcohol consumption (eg beer) of >10 g/day especially in postmenopausal women has increased risk for invasive breast cancer
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