While breast cancer is one of the best funded branches of cancer research, there are still many questions: What are the causes of breast cancer, what are the symptoms of breast cancer, and the treatments that may save your life? Symptoms of breast cancer can include changes in the appearance of the breasts, a thickening of the skin or even a lump. Also a bloody discharge fro the nipple, a newly inverted nipple, and a redness or pitting over the skin of the breast, resembling the peel of an orange. Over the past five years, there has been a lot of progress made towards the prevention of breast cancer in women. One of the reasons for this progress is because more and more women today are becoming better educated and aware about breast cancer causes and symptoms. Treatment options for breast cancer -- usually involving surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatment -- have also improved.
Doctors have lately provided women better answers to what causes breast cancer, but not all the answers. Some findings have focused on inherited gene mutations and others on high levels of stress that may cause breast cancer. Inherited gene mutations are those inherited from a mother or father. If these genes mutate, they risk developing abnormal cell growth, leading to a chance of breast cancer. There is also a risk of developing breast cancer if a close relative, a mother, grandmother, or aunt has had the disease. High stress levels also have been linked to breast cancer. It is not known how big a role stress plays in the development of breast cancer, but some doctors suspect long periods of stress may alter a woman's hormone level. This may lead to the development of abnormal cells.
Other factors that may contribute to the development of
breast cancer in women include having children over the age of forty,
experimenting with different types of birth control pills, hormone therapy,
drinking too much alcohol, not exercising enough and also being severely
overweight. There have been studies showing that women who are between fifty
and seventy pounds overweight have an increased chance of developing breast
cancer, along with other health risks. This is why many doctors strongly advise
their female patients to exercise at least one to two hours per day. In regards
to alcohol consumption, doctors are also recommending that their female
patients limit their alcohol consumption to one day per week. While none of the
factors listed above have been proven to cause breast cancer, there is
enough evidence that they are strong potential factors. Take our quiz to learn more about whether you should talk to your doctor about breast cancer.