Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer

Early detection is half the battle won

Breast Cancer - Overview

Breast cancer is a disorder wherein the cells of the chest get uncontrollably large. The type of breast cancer is determined through which breast cells become cancerous.

In this in-depth article, we are going to discuss what breast cancer is, what causes breast cancer and more.

Breast cancer can initiate in a variety of places in the breast. Lobules, ducts, & tissue are the main primary components of a chest. The organs that generate milk are known as lobules. The ducts are channels that transport milk from the breast to the nipple. Everything is held together by fibrous tissue, which covers it. Breast cancer usually develops in the lobules.

Though there is nothing such as a common age for breast cancer, the majority of breast cancer cases are diagnosed in women over the age of 50. Some women will develop cancer despite having no other known risk factors. However, the risk of breast cancer by age is important to be considered. You don't have to have a potential risk to have the illness because not all signs and symptoms have the very same effect.

Younger women are less likely to believe that they are at risk of developing breast cancer. Cancer, on the other hand, can occur in any range: 5% of cases of breast cancer develop in women under the age of 40.

Symptoms and Causes

The causes of breast cancer can be many and most often might not be detected early on. There are several telltale symptoms and the major causes of breast cancer that almost everyone ignores. A chest or breast discomfort, acute stab, uneasiness, or agony is not a healthy sign. These could be the symptoms of breast cancer. A slight electric tingling may also be felt, which normally spreads from the left breast towards the right nipple. This could be one of the pseudo signs of breast cancer. Breast tumours come in a variety of shapes and sizes. A chest tumour might be a solitary lump or a cluster of seed-like tumours that spread throughout the tissue.

A breast tumour can be detected in the milk-producing glands and behind the nipple. These developments can be bothersome and painful. It's important to remember that 30% of breast cancer tumours aren't essentially lumps. You'll need to keep track of where, why, and how the discomfort strikes and watch out for the early symptoms of breast cancer.

Itchiness there in the breasts, in addition to a lump, might be a sign of cancer. Infectious breast cancer is typically associated with stinging in the breast. In fact, many women are unaware of this breast cancer symptom. Inflammatory cancer causes significant itching in the breasts. The itching will not be relieved by any cream or prescription.

Pressure in the back or shoulder, rather than the breast, is among the early breast cancer signs and symptoms. In fact, when treating persistent backache that does not respond to physiotherapy, spine doctors examine for malignancies.

Underneath the nipple is a frequent location for breast tumour formation. This could have an effect on the nipple's look over a period. Nipple alterations in men might be an early symptom of cancer. You might discover that one of your nipples is sticking up less than it used to.

If you have pain in your armpits, it's a good idea to check this out carefully. A firm mass linked to the tissue fluid in the armpit or beneath the arm ought to be the reason for worry. It's possible that the lump in your armpit is painful or tender. It will eventually turn into a tumour. The enlargement under the collarbone can be more evident in certain circumstances.

According to research, there are a number of risk factors that can raise your chances of getting breast cancer. These are some of them:

• Age: If you're 55 or older, you're more likely to develop breast cancer.

• Sex: Breast cancer is more common amongst women than in men.

• Genetics & family background: If you have breast cancer-affected ancestors, siblings, kids, or other relatives, you're most likely to have the illness at a certain stage in life.

• Smoking: Tobacco consumption has indeed been related to a variety of cancers, particularly breast cancer.

• Use of alcoholic beverages:Alcohol consumption has been linked to an increased risk of some forms of cancer, according to studies.

• Obesity:Obesity raises your chances of getting breast cancer or having it come back.

Early Detection and Diagnosis

Breast cancer is occasionally discovered after problems occur, although many women with the disease have no signs or symptoms. This is why it's critical to get screened for breast cancer on a routine basis. Breast cancer can be treated and diagnosed using a variety of techniques.

If a screening program (mammogram) reveals a cause of focus, or if you do have indications that might indicate breast cancer, you'll need some more testing to determine if it's cancer. A new bulge or mass is by far the most prevalent symptom of cancer, but other signs could also occur. Any alteration in your breast should be examined by a healthcare professional.

Clinical Breast Exams


Screening mammography is one that is performed on women who seem to have no symptoms or indicators of cancer. Breast cancer fatalities amongst women aged 40 to 74 can be reduced with regular screening mammography. It's because scans can detect cancer at an early stage, allowing therapy to begin before this spreads.

However, there are some hazards associated with this form of screening. They may discover something that appears suspicious but is not cancer. This results in more testing, which can be stressful. Mammograms sometimes can overlook cancer when it is present. You are also exposed to radiation.


The most common reason for a breast ultrasound is to determine if a condition discovered by mammography or physical examination of the chest is indeed a cyst filled with liquid or a firm tumour.

This is due to the fact that it may overlook some early diagnosis signals.

Microcalcifications, which are microscopic calcium deposition that may not turn up on ultrasonography, are an example of early indications that may not be visible. Ultrasound could also be used to examine adjacent lymphatic systems, direct a needle throughout a biopsy, or drain liquid from a cyst by the medical professional.


Chest MRI is a methodology that provides magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to identify cancer as well as other anomalies in the breast. Image data of the breast are captured during a breast MRI. Breast MRI scans are merged with the help of computer software to produce high-resolution images.

A breast MRI is frequently done after a cancerous biopsy has been conducted. A breast MRI can reveal the full scope of the illness to the doctor. In some cases, breast MRI can be combined with a mammogram as a diagnostic method for the detection of breast cancer. Women at significantly higher risk, those with a significant family history of cancer, and those with inherited breast cancer gene alterations are all included.


Knowing what is healthy for the breasts is a smart idea. You'll be able to contact the doctor when you observe anything strange, including a bump, an alteration in the skin, or a discharge. Self examination allows you to check for modifications in your breasts, such as lumps or thickenings. Both breasts will be examined and felt. Tell the physician immediately if you feel anything strange.

Those alterations aren't always cancer, but you should visit your physician to be sure. In the mirror, examine your breasts. Slight discoloration, puckering, dents, or skin that resembles the orange peel are all signs of an alteration in skin texture. Notice each of the breast's forms and outline. Examine whether the nipple is turning inwards.

Types of Breast Cancer:

Some of the key types of breast cancer include:

Ductal or lobular carcinoma

The occurrence of cancerous cells on the inside of breast ducts in the chest is known as ductal carcinoma. It is thought to be the first stage of cancer. It's non-invasive, which means it hasn't progressed beyond the breast ducts and also has a minimal chance of becoming invading. It's frequently discovered during mammography for cancer screening or to check a lump in the breast. While all types of breast lumps might not indicate cancer, it’s always advisable to undertake periodic screening to avoid delayed diagnosis and treatment.

Breast cancer that starts in the milk-producing ducts (lobules) of the chest is known as lobular carcinoma. This disease has progressed beyond the lobule where it started and has the potential to expand to the lymph nodes as well as other body parts.

In situ vs invasive breast cancers

DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) is a form of breast cancer that begins in breast ducts and does not spread to other areas of the tissue. Breast cancer that has expanded (tried to invade) into the adjacent tissue is referred to as invasive (or invading) breast cancer.

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)

Intraductal carcinoma, or phase 0 cancer, is another name for DCIS. DCIS is a type of breast cancer that is non-invasive as well as pre-invasive. This indicates that the cells lining the channels have transformed into cancerous cells, but they've not moved beyond the channel walls into the tissue of the breast. DCIS can't transmit (metastasize) further than the breast to certain other regions of the body since it hasn't grown into the breast tissues.

DCIS, on the other hand, sometimes can progress to aggressive malignancy. The disease had progressed out from the duct into adjacent tissue at that point and could have spread to other regions of the system from there.

Invasive breast cancer (ILC or IDC)

The second most common histological type of breast cancer (BC) is lobular carcinoma (ILC), which accounts for around 10% of all breast cancers. Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), the much more frequent subtype of Breast Cancer, varies in epidemiological, genomic modifications, clinical and pathological features, and natural course from this type. Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) varies from ILC in terms of clinicopathological characteristics and response to standard therapy. Scientific evidence suggests that ILC receives a distinct benefit through standard therapy as opposed to IDC.

Triple-negative breast cancer

Triple-negative cancer is a kind of malignancy that is more severe, harder to cure, and more probable to relapse than hormonal receptor-positive or HER2-positive tumours.

Cancer that is triple-negative is metastatic, meaning it is:

Negative for oestrogen receptors

Negative for progesterone receptors


This implies the cancerous cells don't really have oestrogen or progesterone receptors and also don't produce a lot of the HER2 protein. As a result, hormone treatment and HER2 protein-targeting drugs have little effect on triple-negative carcinoma.

Inflammatory breast cancer

Inflammatory breast syndrome is a malignant and deadly condition that occurs when cancer cells obstruct lymphatic arteries on the breast's surface. Since the breast is commonly swollen and red or irritated, this type of cancer is termed "inflammatory."

The majority of inflammatory cancer cases are invasive ductal cancers, meaning they began as cells lining the milk ducts of the chest and subsequently expanded outside them. Inflammatory cancer advances quickly, frequently within weeks or even months.

Depending on whether cancerous cells have migrated only to adjacent lymphatic systems or to other organs, inflammatory breast cancer is defined as stage III or IV just at the time of testing.

Paget disease of the breast

Paget's disease of the nipple, commonly referred to as Paget's sickness of the breast, is an uncommon breast cancer-related disorder.

The tissue of the breast and the region of dark skin tones encircling the nipple develop eczema-like abnormalities (areola). In the region behind the nipple, it's frequently an indication of cancer.

Paget's nipple illness affects 1 to 4 per cent of women with breast cancer. Men can be affected as well, but it is quite uncommon.

Paget's illness of nipple is often used to differentiate the illness from Paget's illness of the bones, which causes bones to weaken and distort.


Angiosarcoma is a relatively rare type of breast cancer, accounting for approximately 0.1 per cent to 0.2 per cent of all cases. This cancer starts in the bloodstream in the chest and spreads to the flesh of the forearms.

Angiosarcoma is a type of cancer that can swiftly develop and spread to other organs. Breast angiosarcomas are classified into two parts. The clinical signs of angiosarcoma in the chest vary depending on the type of malignancy or whether it has travelled to other areas of the system.

Phyllodes tumour

Phyllodes tumours (also known as phyllodes tumours) are unusual breast tumours that begin in the structural (stromal) tissue. They're not to be confused with breast cancer.

Phyllodes tumours are also most frequent in women in their early fifties, but they can affect women at any time of life. Phyllodes tumours are more common in women having Li-Fraumeni disorder (a rare, hereditary genetic disorder).

Phyllodes tumours are normally felt as a hard, innocuous lump in the breast. However, some might be painful. They have a tendency to grow enormous rapidly and strain the flesh.

Stages of Breast Cancer

The stages of breast cancer are denoted by the numbers 0 and I, II, III, or IV in the Number system (often followed by A, B, or C). The higher the amount, the further aggressive the malignancy is on average.

Stage 0

Abnormal cells in the walls of your ducts or lobules are indicators of stage 0 breast cancer , also known as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). However, the cells haven't yet moved beyond the duct's walls to neighbouring tissue, blood, or lymphatic system. DCIS is considered a mild condition that is frequently referred to as a "pre cancer."However, it has the propensity to become malignant.

Stage 1

Cancer is visible in Stage 1 breast cancer, although it is limited to the region in which the first aberrant cells appeared. Breast cancer can be discovered early and treated quite well if found quickly. Stage 1 breast cancer is split into two parts: Stage 1A & Stage 1B. The thickness of the tumour and the number of lymph glands with cancer indications discern the difference. The tumour size is 2 cm wide or less in Stage 1 breast cancer.

Stage 2 breast cancer is again diagnosed and treated in 2 stages.

Stage IIA

There is no tumour in the chest in stage 2A cancer, but cancerous cells are discovered in adjacent lymph glands. Cancerous cells are identified in less than four of the regional lymph nodes, and the original tumour is 2 centimetres (cm) or less. The chest tumour is 2 to 5 cm in diameter, but there are no malignant tumours involved.

Stage IIB

Breast cancer in phase IIB hasn't progressed further than the breasts or adjacent lymphatic system. The breast tumour is somewhere between 2 and 5 centimetres, as well as cancer has spread to four or fewer lymphatic vessels in phase 2B breast cancer. The tumour is above 5 cm in diameter, but no lymph nodes are involved.

Stage 3

Stage 3 breast cancer indicates that the disease has migrated from the chest to lymphatics, the breast, the skin, or even the chest wall.

Stage IIIA

Stage IIIA breast cancer indicates that cancer has spread to 4 to 9 axillary lymph nodes or even has caused enlargement in the internal mammary lymph nodes. In this stage, the tumour can be of any size.

Stage IIIB

Cancer has progressed to the chest wall or skint in phase 3B. The bones, muscle, tissue, and fibrous tissue that cover and support the lungs are referred to as the chest wall. The malignancy has affected the skin to deteriorate (an ulcer) or bulge. The malignancy could have progressed to as many as nine lymphatic systems in the underarm or around the breastbone.

Stage IIIC

At this stage, breast cancer is found in ten or more axillary lymph nodes, lymph nodes adjacent to the collar bone, or even internal mammary nodes.

Stage 4

Stage 4 breast cancer indicates that cancer has already migrated to another region of the body as well as distant lymph nodes. It's also referred to as secondary cancer or metastatic cancer.


Breast cancer that returns after therapy is known as recurrent breast cancer. Despite the fact that the primary treatment aims to eliminate all cancerous cells, some may have escaped and persisted. Such cancer cells multiply unnoticed, leading to recurrent breast cancer. Cancer recurrence can happen months or even years following the original therapy. The malignancy may return in the very same spot where it first appeared (local recurrence) or spread to other parts of the system (distant recurrence).

Treatment Options for Breast Cancer

This form of cancer can be identified in multiple ways. It is dependent on the type of breast cancer and the extent to which it has spread. Treatment for breast cancer may vary from person to person and depending on the extent of the cancer progression. It can be difficult to choose which treatment is best for you. Consult your cancer specialist about the therapy choices available for your specific cancer treatment depending on the type.

Each treatment's risks & advantages, as well as any negative impacts, can be discussed with your physician. The way your body responds to medications or other therapies is known as adverse effects.


Breast-conserving surgery for breast cancer involves removing the malignancy and even some healthy tissue around it. Only the cancerous portion of the breast is eliminated. The amount of breast tissue eliminated is determined by the location and size of the tumour, as well as many other considerations.

A lumpectomy, quadrantectomy, segmental mastectomy, or sectoral mastectomy are all terms used to describe this procedure.

Mastectomy is a procedure wherein the whole breast, including several breast tissues and maybe other adjacent tissues, is eliminated. It comes in a plethora of shapes and sizes. A double ectomy is a procedure in which both breasts are eliminated from a woman.


Chemotherapy for breast cancer (chemo) is a treatment that involves the administration of anti-cancer medications either intravenously (into a vein) or orally. The medications pass through the circulation and reach the cancerous cells throughout the system.

Chemotherapy might well be delivered straight into the body fluid, which protects and supports the central nervous system if cancer is spreading there (called intrathecal chemotherapy). Chemotherapy is not required for all women with breast cancer. However, it may well be advised in some circumstances.

Hormonal therapy

Hormones like oestrogen and progesterone could influence certain forms of breast cancer. Cancerous cells include receptors (proteins) that bind to oestrogen, allowing them to proliferate. Endocrinology or hormonal therapy for breast cancer is a treatment that prevents hormones from binding to certain receptors.

Hormone treatment has the ability to reach cancerous cells practically anywhere around the body, not only in the breast. It is ineffective for women whose tumours lack hormone receptors.

Targeted therapy drugs

Medicines aimed toward (target) proteins on cancer cells that allow them to grow, disseminate, and live much longer are used in targeted therapy for breast cancer and medication regimens. Targeted medications function by destroying or slowing the growth of cancerous cells. They have distinct negative impacts than chemotherapy and could be given intravenously (IV), as a subcutaneous injection, or as a tablet.

Monoclonal antibodies, for instance, are specific treatment medications that function in multiple ways to inhibit cancerous cells and may also be called immunotherapy since they strengthen the immune function.

Radiation therapy

To destroy cancer cells, elevated X-rays, protons, or even other projectiles are used in radiotherapy for breast cancer. Quickly evolving cells, such as cancerous cells, are much more vulnerable to radiation therapy's impacts than human cells.

X-rays or nanoparticles are non-painful and undetectable. After treatments, you are no longer radioactive and can be around most individuals, even children. Radiation therapy is a good way to lower your chances of breast cancer recurrence following the surgery. It's also frequently used to alleviate the discomfort of cancer which has progressed to certain other places of the system.


Immunotherapy for breast cancer is among the accessible but lesser-known therapies. This technique made use of the body's natural defence mechanism to attack disease, and it could even be used in combination with other treatments to boost its effectiveness.

Immunotherapy is being used to fight cancer and is acclaimed for its benefits, but it also comes with somewhat serious and real hazards. Consultation with a specialist seems to be the only way to find out if immunotherapy is suitable for you.

Apollo Cancer Care is your go-to healthcare facility for robust, seamless, advanced breast cancer diagnosis, on-time treatment, and exceptional aftercare. For more queries, do reach out to the breast cancer specialists at Apollo Cancer Care right away!

Advanced Treatments for Breast Cancer

HER2 levels have been measured in breast tumours to identify whether it’s positive or negative. While most traditional breast tumours were labelled HER2-negative, recent studies have highlighted that more than 55% of breast tumours may still contain low HER2 levels. These specific cancerous developments can be targeted by HER2-directed therapies.

Recent studies highlighted that trastuzumab deruxtecan (T-DXd/Enhertu®), a HER2-specific antibody-drug conjugate, has been successful in lengthening the cancer progress, and overall survival rates in comparison to standard chemotherapy.

These HER2-specific antibody-drug conjugates are expected to revolutionise the breast cancer realm in collaboration with other treatment measures.

Cosmesis/Implantology in Breast Cancer

Mastectomy, one of the surgical interventions for treating breast cancer, removes the entire breast. However, the skin, and nipple can be preserved in certain instances. These can be later used during breast reconstruction surgery with implants.

Breast implants tend to be made of a flexible silicone outer shell, and can contain saline or silicone gel.

Saline breast implants are filled with saline salt water, and have been predominantly in use. However, structural saline implants have been recently introduced in the market that offer the newly reconstructed breast a more natural appearance.

Silicone breast implants made up of cohesive gels are often referred to as form-stable and thicker implants.

Breast implant procedures can be done either immediately after mastectomy or can be delayed in case the patients need time to cope with the ongoing cancer treatments, need radiation therapy or have other health concerns.

Support Group

Support groups for breast cancer carry immense importance for both the patients as well as their caregivers. While some support groups may preliminarily focus on driving awareness, and information for breast cancer patients, some work towards extending the requisite emotional and psychological care. While formal support groups are led and guided by professionals such as oncologists, therapists, etc., informal support groups are often steered by breast cancer survivors, their caregivers, family members, etc.

No matter what’s the extent of your breast cancer development, Apollo Cancer Centre has support groups both of formal, and informal nature that cater to the specific needs of breast cancer patients.


The following are some of the signs and symptoms of the disorder:

  • ● Bulging of the entire or part of a breast, even when there is no tumour.
  • ● Dimpling of the skin, typically resembling an orange peel.
  • ● Pain in the breasts or nipples.
  • ● Retraction of the nipple
  • ● Red, dry, flaky, or swollen nipple or chest skin
  • ● The discharge of nipples

Breast cancer can spread first to the lymphatic system beneath your forearm, beneath your breast, and around your collar. If it extends beyond such microscopic glands to those other areas of the body, it's called "metastatic."

Breast cancer is more likely to strike women who are just not fit and healthy. Overweight or obese elderly women have a higher chance of developing the disease than women of normal body weight.

If cancer has progressed to the lymph nodes, the most typical sign is that nodes feel rough or enlarged. If cancer has gone to the lymphatic system, you may experience any of the symptoms listed: a bulge or bump under your armpit, the arm or hand may swell.

This uncommon, fast-growing variety rarely causes a lump to form. Instead, the skin on the breasts can grow thick, red, and wrinkled, resembling an orange peel. The area may also be hot or painful, with little lumps that resemble a skin reaction.


The following are some of the signs and symptoms of the disorder:

  • Bulging of the entire or part of a breast, even when there is no tumour.
  • Dimpling of the skin, typically resembling an orange peel.
  • Pain in the breasts or nipples.
  • Retraction of the nipple
  • Red, dry, flaky, or swollen nipple or chest skin
  • The discharge of nipples

Breast cancer can spread first to the lymphatic system beneath your forearm, beneath your breast, and around your collar. If it extends beyond such microscopic glands to those other areas of the body, it's called "metastatic."

Breast cancer is more likely to strike women who are just not fit and healthy. Overweight or obese elderly women have a higher chance of developing the disease than women of normal body weight.

If cancer has progressed to the lymph nodes, the most typical sign is that nodes feel rough or enlarged. If cancer has gone to the lymphatic system, you may experience any of the symptoms listed: a bulge or bump under your armpit, the arm or hand may swell.

This uncommon, fast-growing variety rarely causes a lump to form. Instead, the skin on the breasts can grow thick, red, and wrinkled, resembling an orange peel. The area may also be hot or painful, with little lumps that resemble a skin reaction.