how to prevent

Breast cancer is a disease that occurs when cells in the breast tissue change (or mutate) and keep rapidly dividing. These abnormal cells usually group together to form a tumor. A tumor can become cancerous (malignant) when such abnormally growing cells spread (metastasize) to other parts of the breast, or to other areas of the body via the bloodstream or via the lymphatic system (a network of blood vessels and lymph nodes in the body, that helps the body in fighting infections).

Breast cancer generally begins in the lobules (milk-producing glands of the breast), or in the tube-shaped ducts that carry milk from the lobules to the nipple. Sometimes, breast cancer begins taking shape in the fatty and fibrous “connective tissue” within the breasts. Anyone who has breast tissue (even a man) is at risk of developing breast cancer, although breast cancer is 100X more common in women than men.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, and one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in women around the world. It is most commonly seen in women aged more than 50 years. The death rate from breast cancer has declined in recent years, due to greater awareness and screening, as well as better treatment options.

How does breast cancer occur?

Breast cancer begins with a genetic mutation in the DNA of breast cancer cells. Some of these mutations may develop randomly over time (the human body is constantly mutating and fixing itself), some mutations are hereditary (genetic predisposition), and some are sporadic – caused by environmental exposure or lifestyle-related risk factors.

See further:

  • What are the risk factors that can cause breast cancer?
  • What are the best ways to prevent breast cancer?
  • What are the types of breast cancer?
  • What are the hormone receptor-based subtypes for breast cancer? (ER/PR/HER2)
  • How is breast cancer staged?
  • What are the types of breast cancer?
  • Stage 0 breast cancer
  • Stage 1 breast cancer
  • Stage 2 breast cancer
  • Stage 3 breast cancer
  • Stage 4 breast cancer
  • Treatment of breast cancer
  • Things to know before treating breast cancer
  • Survival rates for breast cancer patients
  • Side effects of breast cancer treatment