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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

  • judy wilson Profile

    Are grade and stage of cancer the same?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 9 years 1 answer
    • Jody  Feil Profile
      anonymous
      Family Member or Loved One

      From what I know, the stage refers to how much the tumor has spread, while the grade refers to how abnormal the cancer cells are. So you could have a smaller tumor that has not really spread, like in Stage I, but it could be made up of aggressive, more abnormal cells, which would give it a...

      more

      From what I know, the stage refers to how much the tumor has spread, while the grade refers to how abnormal the cancer cells are. So you could have a smaller tumor that has not really spread, like in Stage I, but it could be made up of aggressive, more abnormal cells, which would give it a higher grade.

      1 comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Is slight pain in the underarm and around a sign of breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 2 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      It could be a sign of breast cancer....but it could also be something insignificant as well. Don't believe the myth....breast cancer doesn't hurt. Sometimes it can...and does. I can't stress enough how important it is to notice any changes in your breast...then get it checked out ASAP! Never...

      more

      It could be a sign of breast cancer....but it could also be something insignificant as well. Don't believe the myth....breast cancer doesn't hurt. Sometimes it can...and does. I can't stress enough how important it is to notice any changes in your breast...then get it checked out ASAP! Never ignore any changes. Early detection is so important! I pray all will be well. :)

      Comment
    • Lysa Allison Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I ditto Diana.

      Comment
  • Debra Fitch Profile

    Is there any foundation that will help pay for wigs? If so, please let me know. I really appreciate it.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      My insurance company paid. I had to get a script frm my onc. mine was about $250. I only wore it twice I did bald, caps and scarves.

      Comment
    • Karen G Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      The American Cancer Society provides free wigs and offers other services as well. I am going for my Wig tomorrow.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I will be starting Tamoxifen Monday 14 jan, 2013. May I have the prayers of you ladies, and input what will happen next. I am a bit scared, not knowing what will hit me. Any suggestions are welcome. :) Gentle hugs Radiation Girl

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2B Patient
    over 7 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Jill Dolton Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Just completed week one on it, day 4 I had a really upset stomach next day found out having a banana helps so I have one with it every morning since and stomach has been good, I've had a little trouble sleeping, lots of dreams! Lol other then that me body gets tingly once in a while bit goes away...

      more

      Just completed week one on it, day 4 I had a really upset stomach next day found out having a banana helps so I have one with it every morning since and stomach has been good, I've had a little trouble sleeping, lots of dreams! Lol other then that me body gets tingly once in a while bit goes away right away, so nothing serious, I haven't don't the radiation yet I see the radiologist on the 25th, I wish you the best of luck and keep us updated, I check on here a few times a day since I have the app on my phone, take care pink sister

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I just completed my 1st month and no problems at all. I take pills in morning with food. Good luck

      Comment

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