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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

  • Helene LaPoint Profile

    I have been diagnose with metastatic breast cancer which spread to the liver they put me on faslodex shots can any body give me some answers on this idc hormone receptor postive her2 neg

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years 1 answer
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Helene,
      I had the same type of breast cancer.... IDC with the same hormone receptive ER+ PR+ Her2- Your tumor feeds off of hormones.... which is good because there are hormone blocking drugs you can take. From what I read, Faslodex is one of those type of drugs for metastatic breast cancer. ...

      more

      Helene,
      I had the same type of breast cancer.... IDC with the same hormone receptive ER+ PR+ Her2- Your tumor feeds off of hormones.... which is good because there are hormone blocking drugs you can take. From what I read, Faslodex is one of those type of drugs for metastatic breast cancer. I am just guessing.... but you will probably be on this type of drug and will have scans to see how the liver tumors shrink. If they don't, they will switch you to another type of hormone blocking drug. Many women are on different types of treatments to shrink tumors before they have surgery. What is your doctor saying about your treatment plan? We have a great big family here on this board. We are always sorry to get more members but it is quite a sisterhood of women who have been there, done that. Each woman's treatment is different from another depending on her particular breast cancer cells. Collectively, we try to help support each other. Hang in there, Helene.... You put on those big girl panties and FIGHT LIKE A GIRL!!!
      Take care, Sharon

      2 comments
  • Thumb avatar default

    Survival rate of this cancer and percentage of ovarian cancer after Infiltrating Lobular Cancer. Bilateral, no node involvement. 4 chemos no radiation.

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2008
    about 6 years 2 answers
    • sharon s Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Survival is so dependent on variables that are individual. Weight smoker age etc. surely we are not people to bet against ourselves and this is not the site for national statistics that. Don't tell you every individuals starting place.

      I do wish you the best in leading happy and healthy life.

      Comment
    • André Roberts Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      Who wants to live by numbers?! Each of us a unique. Stay positive and live a long happy life. Prayers to you.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Is there a link between oral contraceptives and breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 2 answers
    • Janelle Strunk Profile
      anonymous
      Family Member or Loved One

      That is a great question - and it is a question that researchers continue to ask...
      According to the National Cancer Institute, a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer depends on several factors, some of which are related to her natural hormones. Hormonal factors that increase the risk of...

      more

      That is a great question - and it is a question that researchers continue to ask...
      According to the National Cancer Institute, a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer depends on several factors, some of which are related to her natural hormones. Hormonal factors that increase the risk of breast cancer include conditions that may allow high levels of hormones to persist for long periods of time, such as beginning menstruation at an early age (before age 12), experiencing menopause at a late age (after age 55), having a first child after age 30, and not having children at all.

      One study found that that women who were current or recent users of birth control pills had a slightly elevated risk of developing breast cancer. Interestingly, this same study suggested that 10 or more years after women stopped using oral contraceptives, their risk of developing breast cancer returned to the same level as if they had never used birth control pills, regardless of family history of breast cancer, reproductive history, geographic area of residence, ethnic background, differences in study design, dose and type of hormone, or duration of use. However, another study indicated that current or former use of oral contraceptives did not significantly increase the risk of breast cancer.

      Overall, there is not currently any conclusive evidence about the link between oral contraceptives an breast cancer.

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Hello every one.
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      more

      Hello every one.
      I'm Christina Brayn. I'm from US-Dallas. I'm am so excited am a Complete woman Again, I Was Infected With Herpes virus since 3 Years now I am devastated and am finding it hard to cope i was emotionally down I Have Been Seriously Praying To God And Searching For Cure.So as I was browsing through the Internet one day, I came across a website that suggested that Dr. IyaryI can help cure any type of virus like Herpes, Hiv/Aids cancer and Asthma…e.t.c And I Contacted Him, He Sent Me A Medicine And Directed Me On How I Will Take The Medicine For 21 Days, I Did So And Went For A Test And My Result Came Out As Negative. I Am So Happy, I Shared Tears Of Happiness And I Have Taken It Upon My Self To Always Testify About How God Used Dr. IyaryI To Solve My Problem. I Am A Clean woman Now, Without Any Virus If You Are Infected With Any Disease Like HIV AIDS, CANCER ,HERPES Or Any Other Disease You Can Also Be Happy Like Me By Contacting Dr. Iyaryi Through His Email driayaryi2012@hotmail.com And also Reach him on WhatsApp Number: +2349057915709 Thanks Dr. Iyaryi driayaryi2012@hotmail.com

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I have some pain underneath my left breast, but I don't feel a lump. It feels like a bruise, but I can't find one. Do all breast cancers come with lumps?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 3 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      No. My cancer was Invasive Lobular Cancer. I never had a lump it wasn't found untill the mass was 7.3

      Comment
    • André Roberts Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      No, there doesn't have to be a lump present, or that you can feel. Any time you have pain or changes to your breasts, you should get it checked. Better to be safe then sorry. Prayers to you.

      Comment

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