In breast cancer, cancerous cells develop in the breasts. Breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in the country after skin cancer. It can affect both men and women, with women being at a higher risk. Here’s what you need to know about the causes and diagnosis of breast cancer.
Causes and risk factors of breast cancer
Multiple things can affect a person’s chances of getting breast cancer. A combination of several reasons, such as lifestyle, genetics, and the environment, can lead to developing breast cancer. The following are the risk factors associated with this condition.
Age is the most common risk factor associated with the development of breast cancer. As many as 80 percent of females diagnosed with the condition are above the age of 50. The older a person grows, the higher is their chance of developing breast cancer.
- Start of the menstrual cycle
The age a woman starts having her periods can also play a role in the development of the condition. Females who started having their periods before the age of 12 are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer. The earlier the periods began, the higher the risk.
- End of the menstrual cycle
The average age for menopause in women is 52. If menopause is delayed, it increases one’s chances of developing breast cancer.
- Dense breast tissue
The amount of breast tissue present in the breast compared to the fat tissue in the breast is referred to as breast density. If there are more breast tissues than fat tissues, then breast density is considered to be higher. This can make one more prone to developing breast cancer.
Diagnosis of breast cancer
Knowing the causes and diagnosis of breast cancer can help you treat the condition more effectively. Once doctors have examined symptoms and known the risk factors, they may make you undergo the following tests and procedures to confirm the diagnosis of breast cancer.
- Breast examination
The doctor examines both breasts and lymph nodes located in the armpits. They will look for any lumps or abnormalities in these areas.
This is an X-ray of the breast, which is a common procedure done to diagnose breast cancer.
This is a more reliable procedure done to diagnose breast cancer. During the procedure, the doctor will remove a tissue core from the area of the breast that might have cancer to be examined in a lab.