What is breast cancer? Breast cancer starts when cells in the breast begin to divide and grow in an abnormal way. Breast cancer is not one single disease – there are several types of breast cancer. It can be diagnosed at different stages and can grow at different rates. This means that people can have different treatments, depending on what will work best for them. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. Around 55,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Of these about 350 are men. The biggest risk factors for developing breast cancer are getting older, being female and, for a few, having a significant family history of the disease. Just over 80% of breast cancers occur in women who are over the age of 50. Nearly half of all cases are diagnosed in people in the 50-69 age group.
Justify Health:KEY POINTS Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. Having a family history of breast cancer and other factors increase the risk of breast cancer. Breast cancer is sometimes caused by inherited gene mutations (changes). Decreasing the length of time a woman's breast tissue is exposed to estrogen decreases the risk of breast cancer. Signs of breast cancer include a lump or change in the breast. Tests that examine the breasts are used to detect (find) and diagnose breast cancer. If cancer is found, tests are done to study the cancer cells. Certain factors affect prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options.
Decreasing the length of time a woman's breast tissue is exposed to estrogen decreases the risk of breast cancer. Anything that decreases your chance of getting a disease is called a protective factor. Protective factors for breast cancer include the following: Taking any of the following: Estrogen-only hormone therapy after a hysterectomy. Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs). Aromatase inhibitors. Less exposure of breast tissue to estrogen made by the body: Early pregnancy. Breastfeeding. Getting enough exercise. Having any of the following procedures: Risk-reducing mastectomy. Risk-reducing oophorectomy. Ovarian ablation.