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Diagnosis

 
Diagnosis

Chapter: 4 - Diagnosis

Subchapter: 1 - Causes of Breast Cancer

Causes of Breast Cancer

- What if it’s cancer?
- What caused it?
- What should I do now?
- How is breast cancer treated?
- How long will treatment take?
- What will it be like?
- Will I be okay?
- What about my family?

When a lump or suspicious site in your breast is detected, it raises some serious questions. In this chapter, we are going to do our best to answer them. We will discuss what doctors know and do not know, how to react to your diagnosis as well as how to understand it, and how to move beyond the shock.

Risk Factors
So what do scientists actually know about the causes of cancer? It’s a difficult question. Cancer grows when a cell’s DNA is damaged, which we discussed in Chapter 3, but why or how that DNA becomes damaged is still unknown. It could be genetic or environmental, or in most cases a combination of the two. But most patients will never know exactly what caused their cancer.

However, there are certain established risk factors that are associated with breast cancer:

- A family history with breast cancer
- Early menstruation (before age 12)
- Late menopause (after 55)
- Breast tissue that is more dense with lobular and ductal tissue relative to fatty tissue
- Noncancerous cell abnormalities

These factors are genetic, they are not something you can control.

60-70% of people with breast cancer have no connection to them at all, and other people with risk factors will never develop cancer.

Related Questions

  • Thumb avatar default

    i am 23 and noticed bruising only on my right breast close to nipple,there is some pain and discomfort too.shud i be worried?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 7 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      It is probably nothing. I allways say check it out peace of mind is a wonderful thing

      Comment
    • Rebekah Ruby Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      I was 23 when I found mine. I'll be 25 in a couple weeks, if you have any questions or ANYTHING! my email is rebekahruby7@hotmail.com. I'm praying its nothing at all

      4 comments
  • Thumb avatar default

    What happens after a CT scan?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 8 years 1 answer
    • Laura Cornwell Profile
      anonymous
      Industry Provider

      It depends where a patient is in their breast cancer journey.

      In the beginning of breast cancer diagnosis, a CT or oftentimes a PET scan (a CT that tumors light up on) is used to look for distant disease beyond the breast. Breast cancer can be by itself in the breast, it can spread to the lymph...

      more

      It depends where a patient is in their breast cancer journey.

      In the beginning of breast cancer diagnosis, a CT or oftentimes a PET scan (a CT that tumors light up on) is used to look for distant disease beyond the breast. Breast cancer can be by itself in the breast, it can spread to the lymph nodes, then in late stages it can spread to places such as the lung, liver, bones, or brain.

      CT scans are interpreted by radiologists. Typically this means that there is a period of days before the CT scan report is made available to the breast cancer doctor. The breast cancer doctor then reviews the report with the patient at their next visit. Depending on the results of a CT scan, many things can happen. Typically, if a cancer is still in the breast and lymph nodes, surgery will be performed and chemo or radiation may follow. If cancer has spread to distant sites, chemo would be the main treatment course.

      Comment
  • humera yousuf Profile

    What is invasive ductal carcinoma?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years Answer
  • Thumb avatar default

    Why is the pink ribbon a symbol for breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 1 answer

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