Breast Cancer: Reason, Signs, And Symptoms

Breast cancer

Breast cancer (BC) is the leading cause of cancer death in women globally.

In India, breast cancer has ranked number one among Indian females with a mortality rate of 12.7 per 100,000 women (1).

Research shows young age Indian women have been found as a major risk factor for breast cancer.

It is common cancer among women, it is estimated that every year 2.3 million new cases of BC are diagnosed.

But death rates are high in developed regions, like Asia and the African continent about 63% of total death in 2020.

BC most commonly develops in cells from the lining of milk ducts and the lobules that supply these ducts with milk.

If cancer evolves from the ducts then is called ductal carcinoma, if it develops on lobules is called lobular carcinoma.

Check Out – Lung Cancer: Potential Reasons, signs, and symptoms


BC occurs when some breast cells begin to grow abnormally, which spread rapidly throughout the breast and other parts.

But these cells become abnormal due to lifestyles and environmental factors that may increase your risk of breast cancer.

Here are some risk factors that may be a reason for breast cancer which include:

Breast cancer
(BC) is the leading cause of cancer death around the world


The study showed that an excessive amount of fat in the breast produces an excess amount of estrogen, which is allied with an increased risk of BC,

Being obese increases your risk of breast cancer (2).

Research revealed that women obe 50 years old with a greater BMI, which a greater risk of cancer compared to low BMI.

Many studies reported that obesity is significantly associated with a higher postmenopausal breast cancer risk.

There are many studies that revealed that obesity is linked with many other diseases, like diabetes, heart disease, etc.

Excessive alcohol or smoking

Yes, smoking is significantly linked to the risk of cancer.

Studies suggest that breast cancer is increased by 7% for each additional 10 grams of alcohol consumed per day.

Also, long smoking history is also a risk factor allied with breast cancer (3) (4).

Numerous evidence confirms that excessive alcohol consumption is linked to the risk of breast cancer (5).

Many well-known studies reveal a 30-50% increase in BC risk from moderate alcohol consumption.

Many clinical, animal and human studies reveal many pathways, where alcohol may play a role in breast cancer pathogenesis (6).

Hormone replacement therapy

Most types of HRT increase the risk of breast cancer. But the risk is higher when HRT with a combination of both estrogen and progestogen.

This is due to its influence in reducing the effectiveness of mammography by creating denser breast tissue.

HRT is usually used to relieve menopause symptoms, especially hot flashes.

However, not all HRT increases the risk of developing breast cancer (7).

Check Out – Natural Ways That Can Reduce Menopause Symptoms

Lack of physical activity

Many studies reported that women who are physically active are at lower risk of breast cancer.

A 2016 meta-analysis showed that physically active women have a 21% lower risk of (BC) than those who are less active.

After menopause, women are at high risk of cancer due to stopping producing the estrogen, and progesterone hormones.

Studies indicate that increasing physical activity after menopause may reduce the risk of breast cancer than women who do not (8).

Physical activity might prevent cancer by reducing the exposure to innate sex hormones, altering immune system response (9) (10).

Ionizing radiation

Radiation therapy is strictly allied with people’s age, patients who receive (RT) before the age of 30, are at more risk of breast cancer (11).

It is believed that ionizing radiation is not primary, but it is one of the factors that lead to the development of breast cancer.

Evidence studies reveal that ionizing radiation can cause breast cancer in men.

Consuming processed/fast food

Many studies hard proved that consuming fast food or junk food in long term can increase the risk of cancer in both men and women.

Junk food not only leads to cancer but even leads to early death, obesity, heart disease, affects mental health, etc

As we know that obesity is a risk factor for breast cancer, and fast/processed food makes this worse.

Researchers from Poland have reported that breast cancer increased 3 times with daily consumption of fast foods (12).

Processed food like sodium, fat, and sugar, are subsequently leads to obesity (which is known to a risk factor for BC) (13).

NOTE: Diet high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, and lean protein is allied with a lowered risk of (BC) (14).

Older age

Cancer can develop at any age, but older age is more risk of getting cancer, which is more common.

At an older age, the cells in our body become more prone to damage.

This happens when cells are dividing, as usual, and other causes such as – smoke, pollution, and UV rays from the sun (15).

Often this damage is fixed by our body, but sometimes this damage builds up and can cause cells to grow abnormal which causes cancer.

Research shows that the processes that promote cancer may also increase at older ages.

Family history of BC

A family history of (BC) has a major factor that is significantly allied with an increased risk of breast cancer (16).

Where genes transfer from one generation to other with risk of breast cancer genes such as BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene.

A study observed that for females with a family history of (BC), adopting exercise can reduce the chance of post-menopausal cancer.

Exposure to Artificial Light

A 2015 study revealed that artificial light at night has been detected to cause breast cancer.

Studies saw that increased exposure to ALAN is allied with a greater risk of BC, compared to people with lowered ALAN exposure.

Exposure to artificial light at night suppresses melatonin (a hormone that activates in darkness and promotes sleep).

A 2014 meta-analysis study found a relationship b/w ALAN and breast cancer, high (AL) exposure can increase the risk of breast cancer by 17%.

Check Out – What Is Light Therapy? How Does It Work? Pros, And Cons

Another possible reason for breast cancer

  • lack of breastfeeding
  • Exposure to chemicals or certain drugs
  • medication
  • Insufficient Vitamins
  • breast density tissue

Signs and symptoms

BC always evolves silently. Most patients discover their disease during their routine screening (17).

Others may accidentally discover breast lump, change of breast shape or size, or nipple discharge.

Here is some warning signs and symptoms of breast cancer that should not be ignored include:

  • Swelling in part of the breast
  • The feel lump that feels different from the rest of the breast tissue
  • skin dimpling
  • constant pain in part of the breast or armpit (18)
  • skin appearance change like – redness, discoloration, or mild flaking of the nipple skin
  • discharge from the nipple
  • feel irritable, pain, burning, itching, increased sensitivity
  • change in breast size and shape
  • a nipple that turns inward

When cancer has reached such an invasive state known as stage 4 cancer, so this cancer stage is often fatal (19).

Common symptoms of stage 4 cancer include:

So it’s vital to get regular screening, and if you see any discomfort or any change in your breast then consult the doctor.

To prevent cancer and other breast-related diseases. Also left untreated treatment may worsen the situation.


BC most commonly develops in cells from the lining of milk ducts and the lobules that supply these ducts with milk.

It always evolves silently, but in rare cases, it does not spread to other parts of the body like lung cancer.

Smoking, excessive alcohol, etc where people change themselves, and other things that cannot be changed like age, etc.


Hello, I'm Sahil bisht, I am a Mechanical engineer, As well as, aspiring blogger with an obsession for health. This blog delicate to people who want to learn in health.

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