Author’s Bio: Ria Ellendula is an incoming college freshman who is passionate about public health and healthcare policy


Breast Cancer is a type of cancer in which cells in the breast grow at an abnormally rapid rate. There are different types of breast cancer, and each type depends on the cells that are affected. The cancer can develop in various areas of the breast and can spread outside the breast through blood vessels and lymph vessels. 

Common types of Breast Cancer

The two most common types of breast cancer are:

  • Invasive lobular carcinoma
    • The breast is composed of three different regions: the lobules, the ducts, and the connective tissue. Invasive lobular carcinoma is characterized by cancer cells spreading from the lobules to nearby breast tissue. 
  • Invasive ductal carcinoma
    • In this type of breast cancer, cells grow outside the ducts into surrounding areas in the breast tissue.

Other less common types include Paget’s disease, medullary, mucnois, inflammatory breast cancer, and more.


Some risk factors are genetic in nature or uncontrollable facets of the environment. Although you cannot change such factors, it is important to be aware of them ahead of time so you can take preventative measures. Those factors include: 

Static Risk Factors

  • Getting older: Most breast cancers are diagnosed past the age of 50

  • Genetic mutations: Inherited mutations such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 put women at a higher risk of developing both breast and ovarian cancer 

  • Reproductive history: Much of this has to do with a women’s menstrual cycle. For those who began their cycle before age 12 and reach menopause after age 55, they are exposed to hormones for longer. This prolonged hormone exposure will raise the risk of someone getting breast cancer.

  • Having dense breasts: dense breasts contain extra fatty tissue, which can conceal tumors during a mammogram. Because of this, women with dense breasts are more likely to develop breast cancer. 

  • Personal history of breast cancer/non-cancerous breast diseases: Someone who has already had breast cancer is more likely to relapse. Similarly, those with non-cancerous breast diseases are at a much higher risk of developing breast cancer. 

  • Family history of breast or ovarian cancer: A woman’s risk is higher if she has a direct relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has had breast cancer. 

Dynamic Risk Factors

  • Not being physically active 

  • Being overweight or obese after menopause

  • Taking hormones 

  • Reproductive history: Getting pregnant for the first time after the age of 30, not breastfeeding, and never having a full term pregnancy can increase risk 

  • Drinking alcohol: Alcohol consumption and susceptibility to breast cancer have a positive correlation

Breast cancer can be caused by other serious diseases. Notably, the Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and atypical hyperplasia are breast diseases that may lead to breast cancer. During this stage, the cancer cells are in the lining of the ducts and have not affected surrounding tissue. 

Since Breast Cancer can elicit itself in many different forms, there are various types of symptoms that someone could have. Some warning signs include:

  • New lump in the breast or armpit
  • Irritation or dimpling of breast skin
  • Nipple discharge that is not milk (blood)
  • Pain in any area of the breast
  • Pain in the nipple region
  • Redness or flaky skin in the nipple region
  • Thickening or swelling of breast


Breast cancer is treated in various different ways. The most common forms of treating breast cancer include:

Surgery: Surgeries can be done for different reasons. Such reasons include:

  • Removing as much of the cancer as possible 
    • Breast-conserving surgery: This is also referred to as lumpectomy, quadrantectomy, etc. The goal is to remove cancer and some of the normal tissue, but the amount that is removed varies based on the person and other factors.   
    • Mastectomy: During a mastectomy, the entire breast is removed. Mastectomies can be singular or double. 
  • Removing nearby lymph nodes
    • Sentinel lymph node biopsy
    • Axillary lymph node diseection 
  • Finding out whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes under the arm
  • Restoring the breast’s shape after the cancer is removed
  • Relieve symptoms of advanced cancer

Chemotherapy: uses special medicines to shrink or kill the cancer cells 

Hormonal therapy: blocks cancer cells from getting the hormones they need to grow

Biological therapy: Works with your body’s immune system to help it fight cancer cells or to control side effects from other cancer treatments

Radiation therapy: Using high-energy rays to kill the cancer cells


If you or someone in your family have concerns about breast cancer, please contact and seek help from our doctors online. At Home Urgent Care provides telehealth services so you can safely and confidently keep your health in check with our primary and urgent care services and get treatment online.  Book an online doctor appointment today with our health care experts available at your convenience 365 days a year and get your prescription/medication available online.

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