Breast Cancer Facts and Statistics

What Is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is a condition that occurs due to random or uncontrolled growth of breast cells. If you want to understand this condition, you must learn how cancer develops. Cancer is caused by unexplainable changes or mutations in the genes that help control the development of cells and maintain their health. Genes are usually located in the nucleus of a cell, which is also known as the control room of a cell. In normal cases, several growth processes can be used to replace unhealthy cells in the body. However, when a mutation occurs, it leads to the activation or inactivation of certain genes. Also, mutation leads to the uncontrollable division of cells and the formation of a tumour.

Contrary to popular opinion, not all tumours are dangerous. So, it is important to contact your doctor to know if your tumour is malignant or benign. Harmless tumours appear normally, develop slowly, and they don’t spread to other parts of the body or attack neighbouring tissues. On the other hand, malignant tumours have the potential to become cancerous. You must visit your healthcare provider to prevent invasion of nearby cells or movement to other parts of the body.

In most cases, breast cancer either starts in the ducts, which help move milk from the lobules to the nipples or in the cells of the lobules (glands responsible for the production of milk). According to studies, breast cancer may also start in the stromal tissues, which are the fibrous and fatty connective tissues [1] of the breast.

If unchecked, cancer cells can attack nearby healthy breast tissue and spread into the underarm lymph nodes [2] (organs that help remove invaders in the body). Cancer cells in the lymph nodes can access any part of the body.