Breast Cancer

What is Breast Cancer?

A woman’s breasts are made of specialized tissues supplied by blood vessels, lymph nodes and nerves. Breast cancer is the uncontrolled growth of cells in the breast. This mass of abnormal tissue is called a tumor. Breast cancer can develop in both men and women, although female breast cancer is more common.


Stages of Breast Cancer

Stage 0
  • Cancer cells in breast duct
  • Have not invaded into other normal tissues
Stage IA
  • Tumor measures up to 2 cm
  • Has not spread
  • No lymph nodes are involved
Stage IB
  • No tumor or tumor of 2 cm in breast tissue
  • Developing cancer cells in the lymph nodes measuring 0.2 to 2 mm
Stage IIA: One of the below cases
  • No tumor in breast, but cancer cells in lymph nodes under the arm (axillary lymph nodes)
  • Tumor of 2 cm has spread to the surrounding axillary lymph nodes
  • Tumor of 2 to 5 cm but has not spread to the surrounding axillary lymph nodes
Stage IIB: One of the below cases
  • Tumor of 2 to 5 cm has spread to the surrounding axillary lymph nodes
  • Tumor of 2 to 5 cm but has not spread to the surrounding axillary lymph nodes
Stage IIIA

Tumor may (of any size) or may not be present in breast. Cancer has spread to the lymph nodes near the breast bone or under the arm (axillary lymph nodes).

Stage IIIB

Cancer has spread to the chest wall and the skin of the breast and the lymph nodes near the breast bone or under the arm.

Stage IIIC

Cancer has spread to the chest wall and skin of the breast and the lymph nodes above and below the collar bone, near the breast bone or under the arm.

Stage IV

Cancer has spread to various other parts of the body.

Causes of Breast Cancer

Cancer occurs due to mutations or changes in the genes responsible for regulating the normal growth of cells and keeping them in a healthy condition. These mutated genes may be inherited from parents or may result from external influences of radiation or cancer-causing chemicals, or wear and tear during the aging process. Hormones also play a major role in the development of cancer.

There are many other factors that could increase the risk of developing cancer in your breast. Some of these factors include:

Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Initially, cancer may or may not cause any symptoms. The 1st sign of cancer is a lump or mass in the breast. The lump is usually painless and hard, with an uneven edge, but may be tender and soft at times. Any unusual signs such as swelling of the breast, skin irritation, pain in the breast or nipple, nipple turning inwards, redness or thickening of nipple or breast skin, nipple discharge, or lump in the underarm area may indicate cancer.

Diagnosis of Breast Cancer


A skilled technician places and compresses your breast between 2 plates attached to a highly specialized camera. The camera takes 2 pictures of the breast from different directions. The breast is compressed to reduce its thickness in order to obtain a clear X-ray image.

Ultrasound Scan

The breast tissue is imaged by emitting high-frequency sound waves and converting them into visual representations. This technique ensures precise detection and examination while optimizing the quality of the imaging process.


A small sample of breast tissue is removed from the area of concern and examined under a microscope to ascertain whether it is cancerous tissue and to determine the characteristics of the cancerous tissue.

Blood Test

Blood testing plays a crucial role in detecting breast cancer early, resulting in improved treatment outcomes and enhanced ease of management.

Treatment of Breast Cancer


Your doctor may choose between many types of surgeries. These include the removal of the tumor and a small margin of healthy tissue, the entire breast tissue and sometimes, even the neighboring lymph nodes. After the removal, your breast can also be reconstructed in an immediate or later procedure.



Chemotherapy treatment includes the administration of medicine through the bloodstream to weaken and destroy the cancer cells in the body. Chemotherapy may be given after surgery, to kill any cancer cells that have been left behind in the body or before surgery, to shrink the cancer.


Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiations to destroy breast cancer cells, ensuring effective treatment. It is well-tolerated with limited side effects in the treated area. This reduces the risk of cancer relapse and promotes comfort and wellness.

Hormonal Therapy

Hormonal therapy includes treating breast cancer with hormones. These medications help to shrink or slow the growth of cancer cells by lowering the levels or blocking the action of the estrogen hormone on the cancer cells.