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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'm getting a nipple-sparing bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction this week. I'm fairly thin so my only option was implants. Anyone have any experience with this surgery? Were you happy with the outcome?

    Asked by anonymous

    stage_3a Patient
    over 2 years 3 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had this surgery without the nipple sparring . The pain level was intense for the 1st 2 weeks because the implants are filled a little @ the time of surgery. Drains are put in in both sides removed after 2 weeks for me. Exercises my nurse taught helped with the pain. 1 night stay in hospital. ...

      more

      I had this surgery without the nipple sparring . The pain level was intense for the 1st 2 weeks because the implants are filled a little @ the time of surgery. Drains are put in in both sides removed after 2 weeks for me. Exercises my nurse taught helped with the pain. 1 night stay in hospital. I filled every 2 weeks which helped cut pain . Some women went every week. I went 34B b my original size. I wasn't trying to go big I just wanted something there. Looking @ myself with no breast made me sad but the end result is fabulous & yes I have no feeling in the breast prayers

      1 comment
    • Trisha Muller Quinn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2014

      I noticed no one has answered your post ... I can't help you cause I had big boobs and they chop them both off ... Nipple saving I would have gone for if it was offered to me ... I wonder have much sensation you are left on the nipple .. But getting rid of the cancer is the most important thing...

      more

      I noticed no one has answered your post ... I can't help you cause I had big boobs and they chop them both off ... Nipple saving I would have gone for if it was offered to me ... I wonder have much sensation you are left on the nipple .. But getting rid of the cancer is the most important thing ... Looks come second compared to life .... I haven't had any reconstruction but I'm happy to be boob free ... Any how hope that someone can answer And good luck with everything::)))

      Comment
  • Stephanie Cuevas Profile

    What is breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 2 answers
  • Thumb avatar default

    What does grade 3 mean? My aunt has 3 lumps at size PS1? I think half an inch in size.

    Asked by anonymous

    Family Member or Loved One
    over 4 years 2 answers
  • Thumb avatar default

    they say i have stage one really scared

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 4 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Nancy Ries Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      You can do this! Everything is so overwhelming to start. Once test results are back and you have a treatment plan, things should seem more manageable. I found an inner strength that I didn't know I had. I came out as a much. Stringer woman. Couldn't have done it without my husband, family and...

      more

      You can do this! Everything is so overwhelming to start. Once test results are back and you have a treatment plan, things should seem more manageable. I found an inner strength that I didn't know I had. I came out as a much. Stringer woman. Couldn't have done it without my husband, family and friends. I was diagnosed stage 1a, estrogen/progesterone positive, HER negative. I just had my second annual post treatment mammogram and walked away being told I was "normal." Who knew that normal could feel so good. You will get there. Everyone here will have words of encouragement and support for you!!! You can do it!

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Getting a cancer diagnoses is scary. I felt like I couldn't breathe. There is good news though you found early. There are a lot of different kinds of breast cancer and the treament is individualized. Consult with the oncologist and he will develop a treatment plan. You will be OK.

      1 comment

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Breast cancer affects one out of every eight women in their lifetime.

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