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Your Genetics Could Make You A Candidate For Breast Cancer

Your Genetics Could Make You A Candidate For Breast Cancer

Cancer has become a major topic for discussion over the last decade. As more people develop or suffer from the disease, a greater awareness has been evident. There are many causes for cancer like smoking and the foods we eat but the most significant of these is your genetics. Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant cells form in the tissues of the breast. Cancer of the breast is sometimes caused by inherited gene mutations or changes. 

Hereditary Breast Cancer

Our parents pass on their genes to us. These genes are coded with all the hereditary information that will determine almost everything about us, including the illnesses we suffer from. In other words your risk of developing cancer is increased if it's in your genes. The genes in cells carry the hereditary information that is received from your parents. Hereditary breast cancer makes up about 5% to 10% of all cancers occurring in the breast. In some ethnic groups these mutated genes related to breast cancer are more prevalent.

Men can develop cancer if they carry a mutated gene related to breast cancer as they are at a greater risk. In women, the risk of the cancer spreading from the one breast to the other is greater if they carry this mutated gene. These women also have an increased risk of ovarian cancer and may have an increased risk of other cancers as well.

The Most Common Types Of Breast Cancer

The female breast is made up of lymph nodes, nipple, areola, muscle, fatty tissue, lobe, and ducts. The lobes and ducts enable a woman to breast feed her baby. Each breast has 15 to 20 sections called lobes, which have many smaller sections called lobules. Lobules end in dozens of tiny bulbs that can make milk. The lobes, lobules, and bulbs are linked by thin tubes called ducts.

There are 3 common type of breast cancer:

• Ductal Carcinoma, where the cancer begins in the cells of the ducts

• Lobular Carcinoma, where the cancer begins in the lobes or lobules. This type of breast cancer is more often found in both breasts than are other types of breast cancer

• Inflammatory Breast Cancer is an uncommon type of breast cancer in which the breast is warm, red and swollen

The Risk Factors For Developing Breast Cancer

The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age and medical history. Although having or not having a risk factor does not mean that you will or will not develop cancer, it is always best to be cautious and speak to your doctor if your risk factor is higher.

The following factors increase your risk:

• Age - risks increase with age

• Menstruating at an early age

• Giving birth to your first child at an older age

• Never having given birth

• A personal history of breast cancer or benign breast disease

• Family history and genetics - mother or sister with breast cancer

• Treatment with radiation therapy to the breast/chest

• Breast tissue that is dense on a mammogram

• Taking hormones such as estrogen and progesterone

• Drinking alcoholic beverages

• Ethnic group - being Caucasian

If you fall into these risk categories or discover any suspicious changes or lumps in the breast, it is recommended that you see your doctor as soon as possible as you may have developed breast cancer...

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