Breast Cancer: Causes, Symptoms, and Screening
Breast cancer develops from breast cells. It is common for it to initially develop in the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply them with milk. Because it is the most common invasive cancer in females worldwide, it’s important to schedule regular screenings with your gynecologist, even if there are no symptoms. The earlier breast cancer is detected, the more likely you will have a good prognosis.
Causes of Breast Cancer
While there is no known exact cause of breast cancer, there are genetic and environmental risk factors that may increase the chance of disease. Some common risk factors include:
Over 80% of all breast cancer patients are women ages 50 and older.
This type of cancer is most commonly diagnosed in Caucasian women compared to other races.
· Family History
Women with a close relative who has breast/ovarian cancer have a higher chance of being diagnosed.
· Alcohol Consumption
Frequent consumption of alcohol may increase your risk of developing breast cancer.
Overweight women who are going through menopause may have a higher risk of developing breast cancer. Experts believe this may be because there are higher levels of estrogen in obese menopausal women.
Symptoms of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer symptoms vary widely. Some women experience no obvious symptoms, while others notice lumps, swelling, and skin changes. The severity of your symptoms may be a sign of a more invasive cancer. It is critical that you conduct a monthly breast self-exam and look for anything suspicious. While it varies from person to person, common symptoms include:
· Increase in size or change in the shape of the breast(s)
· Nipple discharge
· General pain
· Itchy breasts
· Changes in touch
Breast Health Services in New Jersey
With age being one of the genetic factors, women ages 40 and older should schedule yearly mammograms with their gynecologist. Women who are at a higher risk for breast cancer should speak with their gynecologist to see how often they should be screened for this type of cancer.
If you are worried about your risk of developing breast cancer or any other gynecological condition, it is advised you speak with an experienced gynecologist. With over 40 years in practice, Dr. Quartell and his caring staff would be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have. For more information or to schedule a visit to our Livingston, NJ office, please contact us today.