Panorama Centre For Surgical Oncology

Breast Cancer

What is Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a disease in which cells in the breast grow out of control forming a lump or causing distortion to the shape of the breast.

There are different kinds of breast cancer depending on which cells in the breast turn into cancer.

Breast cancer can begin in different parts of the breast. A breast is made up of three main parts: lobules, ducts, and connective tissue. The lobules are the glands that produce milk. The ducts are tubes that carry milk to the nipple. The connective tissue (which consists of fibrous and fatty tissue) surrounds and holds everything together. Most breast cancers begin in the ducts or lobules.

Breast cancer can spread outside the breast through blood vessels and lymph vessels. When breast cancer spreads to other parts of the body, it is said to have metastasized.

What Are the Symptoms of Breast Cancer?

Some warning signs of breast cancer are—

  • New lump in the breast or underarm (armpit).
  • Thickening or swelling of part of the breast.
  • Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
  • Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.
  • Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood.
  • Any change in the size or the shape of the breast.
  • Pain is not a frequent sign of breast cancer.

If you have any signs or symptoms, seek the opinion of a doctor or contact us.

What causes Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer develops due to a combination of factors. As woman get  older, their risk increases and most breast cancers are found in women who are older than 50 years.

Risk Factors You Can Control

  • Women who are not physically active have a higher risk of getting breast cancer.
  • Being overweight or obese after menopause.
  • Taking female hormones for long periods of time during your life (like some birth control pills or post-menopausal hormone tablets.
  • Having the first pregnancy after age 30, not breastfeeding or never children.
  • Drinking alcohol increases your risk.

Risk Factors You Cannot Change

  • Getting older.
  • Genetic mutations. Inherited changes (mutations) to certain genes, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2.
  • Early menstrual periods before age 12.
  • Having dense breasts tissue can increase your risk and make it hard to see tumors on a mammogram.
  • Having a history of breast cancer or certain diseases such as atypical hyperplasia or carcinoma in situ.
  • A family history of breast or ovarian cancer especially if it is a mother, sister, or daughter 
  • Having a male relative with breast cancer 
  • Previous treatment using radiation therapy (like for Hodgkin’s lymphoma) before age 30.

How can we help you?

We are here to help you.  

We have an expert team of doctors ready to help if you are concerned about or diagnosed with breast cancer. If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, our team of specialists will discuss your breast cancer treatment options with you. It’s important that you think carefully about each of your choices and the team who will guide you through this.

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If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, our team of specialists will discuss your breast cancer treatment options with you. It’s important that you think carefully about each of your choices. Weigh the benefits of each treatment option against the possible risks and side effects.

Breast cancer is treated by a team. Based on your situation, different types of specialists may be involved in your care. These could include:

  • A breast surgeon or surgical oncologist: a doctor who uses surgery to treat breast cancer
  • A radiation oncologist: a doctor who uses radiation to treat cancer
  • A medical oncologist: a doctor who uses chemotherapy and other medicines to treat cancer
  • A plastic surgeon: a doctor who specializes in reconstructing or repairing parts of the body

You might have many other specialists on your treatment team as well, including Genetic Counselors, physician assistants (PAs), Lymph therapists, nurses, psychologists, nutritionists, social workers, and other health professionals.

Panorama Centre for Surgical Oncology