Breast cancer is a disorder in which the cells in the breast grow uncontrollably. There are various types of breast cancer. The type of breast cancer is determined by which cells in your breast become cancerous.
Breast cancer is caused by a variety of factors, according to studies. It is more prevalent in women, and your risk increases as you grow. The majority of breast cancers are diagnosed in women over the age of 50.
If you have any of the risk factors for breast cancer mentioned in this blog, talk to Dr. Garvit Chitkara, a renowned breast specialist in Mumbai, about strategies to reduce your risk and breast cancer screening.
Anything that enhances your chances of having an illness, such as breast cancer, is referred to as a risk factor. However, having one or more risk factors does not guarantee that you will develop the condition.
Although most women have a few risk factors, most do not develop breast cancer. Some women will develop breast cancer even if they do not have any other known risk factors. You do not even have to have a risk factor for getting the disease, and all risk factors do not have the same effect.
Certain lifestyle choices like smoking, leading a sedentary life, alcohol abuse, etc., can increase your risk for breast cancer. Fortunately, these are factors that can be modified to reduce the risks.
Some breast cancer risk factors are unavoidable or non-modifiable and increase your chances of developing breast cancer. They include:
Being born a female is a risk factor of breast cancer. Breast cancer can strike men as well, but it is far more prevalent in women. Men account for about 0.5 – 1 % of breast cancer cases.
Breast cancer risk increases as you become older. The majority of breast cancers are diagnosed in women over the age of 50.
Between 5% – 10% of cases of breast cancer are due to hereditary factors, which means that they are caused by gene mutations (alterations) passed down the line from one parent to the other.
A genetic alteration in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene is the most frequent source of hereditary breast cancer. Ovarian and breast cancer are more common in women who have inherited mutations (changes) to particular genes.
These genes normally aid in the production of proteins to repair damaged DNA in normal cells. However, if these genes are mutated, it can result in abnormal and uncontrolled cell accumulation, which can further lead to cancer.
Women who start menstruating early (particularly before the age of 12) and start menopause later (usually beyond the age of 55) have a slightly higher risk of developing breast cancer.
According to Dr. Garvit Chitkara, among the leading breast specialist doctors in Mumbai, exposure to the hormones estrogen and progesterone for a longer life span may be to blame for the increased risk.
It is worth noting that the majority of women who develop breast cancer have no family history of breast cancer. However, if you have a close blood relative who has breast cancer, you are at an increased risk:
A woman who has had cancer in one breast is more likely to develop cancer in her other breast or another region of the same breast. This is not relapse or return of original cancer. Although this risk is minimal overall, it is considerably higher for women who are younger and have breast cancer.
According to numerous studies, women who are taller have an increased risk for breast cancer as compared to shorter women. The reasons for this are not entirely clear, but it could have something to do with aspects that impact early growth, like nutrition during the growing years, as well as heredity or hormonal factors.
Women who have received radiation therapy to their chest or breasts before they turned 30 (for example, during treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma) have a higher risk of developing breast cancer later in life.
Breasts are made up of fibrous tissue, fatty tissue, and glandular tissue. Your breasts will appear denser during a mammogram if they have more fibrous and glandular tissue and less fatty tissue. Women who have dense breasts have an increased risk of breast cancer compared to women who have average breasts. Unfortunately, the dense breast tissue makes it harder to detect cancer on a mammogram.
Dr. GarvitChitkara, an acclaimed breast oncologist in Mumbai, says that various factors can affect your breast density, such as your age, pregnancy, menopausal status, usage of certain drugs (including hormone therapy), and genetics.
Breast cancer risk may increase in women with certain benign (non-cancerous) breast disorders, such as lobular carcinoma in situ or atypical hyperplasia. Some of these disorders are more strongly linked to the risk of getting breast cancer than others.
Some pregnant women in the United States were given DES, an estrogen-like medicine, from the 1940s to the early 1970s to lower their chances of a miscarriage.
Those women have a slightly higher chance of getting breast cancer. Women whose mothers were given DES while pregnant with them will also have a slightly greater risk of developing breast cancer.
Studies have revealed white women to be slightly more likely than African-American women to develop breast cancer, though the gap has narrowed in recent years. Breast cancer is higher in African-American women under the age of 40. Women of Native-American, Asian, and Hispanic descent have a lower risk of getting breast cancer and dying from it.
Breast cancer cannot be avoided entirely, but there are certain things that you can do to lower your risk of getting breast cancer. You can change the risk factors that are under your control.
Many people who have been diagnosed with breast cancer go on to enjoy long and happy lives. The important thing is to detect the disease in its early stages. Early-stage breast cancer patients can often successfully manage their illness with treatment. On the other hand, late-stage breast cancer is more challenging and expensive to treat and can be fatal.
If anyone in your family has had breast cancer or if you have any of the risk factors mentioned above, please schedule an appointment with the top-notch breast specialist, Dr.GarvitChitkara, at the earliest.
With 15 years of experience as a breast oncologist in Mumbai, he can provide you with the correct diagnosis and safe, reliable, and cost-effective treatment options.