Breast Cancer- Symptoms, Causes, Stages & Treatment

Breast Cancer- Symptoms, Causes, Stages & Treatment

Breast Cancer develops when the cells in your breast multiply and expand out of control, forming a lump of tissue called a tumour. In females, breast cancer is the most prevalent invasive malignancy, being the primary contributor to female cancer mortalities.

Breast cancer is commonly diagnosed in women over 50, although it can strike anybody at any age. Let’s understand its various aspects.

What are the Symptoms of Breast Cancer?

The clinical signs indicating breast cancer might differ from person to person. The first sign of breast cancer is typically a swollen patch of tissue in the breast, a lump in the breast, or a bulge in the armpit. 

Other signs and symptoms include:

  • A tumour or lump that lasts the entire menstrual cycle in your breast, the area around it, or under your arm.
  • During your menstrual cycle, it causes discomfort or slight pain in the breast or armpit.
  • Secretion from a nipple, which may contain blood.
  • A marble-like firm region beneath your skin.
  • A rash on one nipple or surrounding it.
  • The skin on the breast or nipple is flaking, peeling or scaling.

Why does breast cancer happen? - CAUSES

When abnormal cells in the breast proliferate and spread, breast cancer develops. Cells in your breast can spread (metastasize) to your lymph nodes or other regions of your body. The precise reason this process starts in the first place is unknown to experts.

According to research, there are several factors that might raise your risk of having breast cancer. These consist of the following:

  • As you age, your chances of breast cancer rise. Your risk of acquiring breast cancer increases if you are 55 or older.
  • Breast cancer is more likely to develop at some time in your life if your parents, siblings, or other close relatives have already been diagnosed.
  • High chance of breast cancer in the other breast if you have already had breast cancer in one.
  • It is highly likely to get breast cancer if you've previously undergone radiation therapy, particularly for the head, neck, or chest.
  • People who utilise hormone replacement treatment (HRT) have a greater chance of developing breast cancer.

Stages of Breast Cancer

How much cancer has already spread in your body is described by its stage. It aids in determining the severity of the malignancy and the most effective course of treatment. Several variables determine this, including the size and location of the tumour, as well as if the cancer has spread to other body parts. 

  • Stage 0 - The condition has no invasiveness. It indicates that it hasn't emerged from your breast ducts.
  • Stage I - The breast tissue has been infected with cancerous cells.
  • Stage II - The tumour is either less than 2 centimetres in diameter and has spread to the underarm lymph nodes or more than 5 centimetres in diameter but has not migrated to the underarm lymph nodes. All in all, tumours at this stage can range in size from 2 to 5 centimetres in diameter and may or may not impact adjacent lymph nodes.
  • Stage III - Cancer has already spread past its originating site in this stage. It could have expanded to neighbouring lymph nodes and tissue but hasn't reached distant organs. Breast cancer at stage III is typically referred to as “locally progressed”.
  • Stage IV - Your bones, liver, lungs, or brain are among the organs where cancer has metastasized outside your breast. Metastatic breast cancer is another name for Stage IV breast cancer.

What is the Treatment for Breast Cancer?

Chemotherapy, Surgery, Radiation therapy, & Hormone therapy are all possibilities for treating breast cancer. What is best for you is determined by a variety of criteria, including the location and size of the tumour, the results of your lab tests, and if cancer has progressed to other body parts.

To begin, your doctor will examine the size, stage, and spread of your cancer. Your healthcare practitioner will personalise your treatment strategy as per the individual diagnosis results and discuss the best options with you.

Surgery - Breast cancer can be removed using a variety of surgical procedures, including:

  • Lumpectomy 
  • Mastectomy
  • Sentinel node biopsy
  • Axillary lymph node dissection
  • Contralateral prophylactic mastectomy

Chemotherapy - To reduce the tumour before a lumpectomy, your doctor may consider chemotherapy. It is also sometimes administered after surgery to eliminate any leftover cancer cells and lower the chance of recurrence.

Radiation therapy - Radiation treatment uses high-powered radiation beams to target and kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy is prevalently used following a lumpectomy or mastectomy to eliminate any residual cancer cells.

Hormone therapy - If breast cancer is hormone-sensitive, your doctor may put you on hormone therapy. Hormone therapy either prevents your body from producing these hormones or inhibits the hormone receptors on cancer cells.

Breast Cancer - Is it Preventable?

Breast cancer cannot be entirely avoided. However, there are certain steps you may do to perhaps lower your chances of getting it. This can be particularly beneficial for women who have particular health risk factors for breast cancer, such as a family history or specific inherited gene alterations.

Keep Your Weight in Check - The chance of developing breast cancer post-menopause is raised by both increasing body weight and weight rise as an adult. Ask your doctor for advice on healthy weight loss methods if you need to lose some pounds.

Engage in some physical activity - It's crucial to engage in routine physical activity since several research studies have found a correlation between moderate to intense physical activity and a decreased risk of breast cancer. You can avoid breast cancer by maintaining a healthy weight with the help of a physical activity.

Limit Your Alcohol Consumption - Your likelihood of getting breast cancer increases with the amount of alcohol you consume. Based on research, it is generally advised that if a woman drinks, she shouldn't consume more than one alcoholic beverage every day.

Postmenopausal Hormone Treatment Should be Avoided - Chances of getting breast cancer may be increased by combination hormone treatment. If you want to eliminate this, discuss menopausal symptom treatment alternatives that aren't hormonal with your healthcare physician.

Early Diagnosis of Breast Cancer

There are ways where you can readily detect or diagnose breast cancer at the early stages when it is not showing any symptoms. Here are a few ways you can follow.

  • Self-breast examination by regularly checking your breasts for lumps or irregularities.
  • Clinical Examination by visiting your doctor.
  • Mammography where your doctor will do a screening test.
  • Breast Ultrasound and Breast MRI are also effective ways for early detection of breast cancer.
  • Lastly, if the above-mentioned methods are signalling a possibility of Breast Cancer, the doctor will have to do a Biopsy to confirm it.

To Conclude

It's crucial to utilise the various services at your disposal despite the fact that getting a breast cancer diagnosis can seem frightening and upsetting for many. Your treatment strategy should make you happy and upbeat.


Dr. Piyusha Kulshrestha

Consultant - Radiation Oncology

Metro Hospital & Cancer Institute, Preet Vihar, Delhi

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Department of Cardiology is headed by Padma Vibhushan & Dr. B C Roy National Awardee Dr. Purshotam Lal, a pioneer in Interventional Cardiology consisting of a team of highly qualified and skilled interventional Cardiologists. Under his leadership, the centre has grown into the most specialized centre for angiography and angioplasty.


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Metro Dental And Implant Centre has delivered millions of smiles over the years. The centre offers state-of-the-art dental services both through general out-patient and private OPD.


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The centre provides a holistic, scientific and a technologically advanced approach for all dermatological and cosmetic conditions. Consultations with our experienced dermatologists ensure that the patients get the best advice, be it for skin diseases or cosmetic interventions. Our specialized services include- Pimples / Acne – Pigmentation Treatment, Cosmetic Peels, Non-surgical removal of warts, Laser treatment, as more.

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Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes is a full-fledged facility involved in evaluating and treating patients for diabetes, Obesity, Sexual disorders, Hirsutism, PCOD, Osteoporosis, Adrenal disorders, other endocrine disorders. We offer a wide range of treatment options for endocrine and metabolic diseases. Our specialists are the most experienced one having a long track record of successful treatment of the patients.

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We provide the complete diagnostic and treatment of disease and conditions associated with the ear, nose and throat. We are well experienced in treating everything from a basic disease to doing a complicated surgery involving Otolaryngologists, Audiologists, Speech-language pathologists and other medical professionals. Services include Endoscopic Sinus Surgery, Micro-Surgery of Ear, Cochlear Implant, Rhinoplasty, Head & Neck Surgeries, and more.

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Metro Centre for Liver & Digestive Diseases (Gastroenterology & GI Surgery) has combined medical and surgical department. The team of doctors has received super speciality training in their respective field which ensures high quality of care. The combined setup of Gastroenterology and GI Surgery allows quick assessment and treatment of the patient. Our surgical services include the performance of specialized and complex GI surgical procedures for the management of diseases of various parts of the GI tract.


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Clinical Haematology unit headed by very senior clinical haematologist . To support this, Metro Path Labs are well equipped and advanced labs to handle relevant investigations related to blood, lymphnode and spleen disorders like Leukemia, Thalassemia, multiple myeloma, etc. Routine procedures done here are Bone Marrow Aspiration, Bone Marrow Biopsy, Peripheral Smear Study, Reticulocyte count.

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We bring you the convenience of getting quality homeopathic treatment for all your chronic and long standing illnesses. We are committed to provide you the best of the information and constitutional homeopathic treatment. Diseases Treated by Homoeopathy are Infectious Diseases, Viral Diseases, Diseases of Infancy and Childhood & Allergic Disorder.

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A sub-speciality of Radiology is a subspecialty of radiology, providing minimally invasive treatments performed under guidance of x-ray fluoroscopy, ultrasound or computed tomography (CT Scan). In simple terms interventional radiologists “Not Just Diagnose But Treat too” with minimal invasive techniques. The advanced technology in Radiology provides a strong platform for efficient Interventional Radiological Procedures.


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Metro Hospitals and Heart Institute is well equipped with latest technological advancements in general and laparoscopic surgery and the centre is boasted to an advanced centre for general and laparoscopic surgeries.

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Our department of nephrology and renal transplant is a well equipped unit with a dedicated team of skilled consultants and paramedical staff which offers patient the advantages of a multidisciplinary approach. Our center deals in treating children and adolescents with congenital and acquired kidney diseases. We accept patients at any stage of kidney disease. The services include Medical Management of Kidney Diseases, Dialysis and Renal Transplant.


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The Department of Neurosciences has extremely talented and very well trained doctors who collaboratively work towards creating new paradigms for knowing the human brain condition and caring for it. Facilities include NCV, EMG, EEG, Video EEG, Botox Therapy for migraine and movement disorders (dystonia), Dedicated Stroke ICU, Neuro Rehabilitation Advanced facilities for Surgical Neurology.

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The team of highly experienced Ophthalmologists in a modern set-up perform various services like Phacoemulsification (Sutureless Cataract Surgery), YAG laser (for after cataract and glaucoma), Green laser (for diabetic and retinal eye diseases), Automated Perimetry, (For Glaucoma and Neurological visual Field), Applanation Tonometry for Glaucoma, Glaucoma surgery, Squint Surgery, etc. The results of all procedures match the international standards.

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Metro Centre for Orthopaedics and Joint Replacements offers a wide range of treatment and comprehensive care for all kinds of musculo-skeletal conditions such as joint pain, spine pain, trauma, sports and other injuries. The Centre is well recognized for joint replacement surgeries of hip, knee and shoulder. The department is led by highly trained Orthopaedicians along with wide array of advanced technology. The Centre is specialized in providing services such as minimally invasive surgery, joint replacements, Orthopaedic Rehabilitation.

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Metro Centre for Paediatrics & Neonatology is a top-notch centre for childcare which provides comprehensive paediatric, surgical, and immunization services to children up. We follow a holistic approach to treatment with our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Paediatric and Neonatal Emergency, etc.


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The services in Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation include Consultation, Diagnostic: examination, S D curve, muscle testing, ADL testing, Manual therapy: active/assisted/passive/resisted/graded resisted exercise etc., physiotherapeutic interventional procedures, (home care) etc., Obstetric, gynecological clinic: antenatal and post natal care, and other management, Geriatric clinic: help in ADL activity, pain free activity, Fitness clinic, Posture correction clinic, Ergonomics clinic, etc.

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The department has highly experienced specialists in cosmetic and plastic surgery, state-of -the-art infrastructure ensuring world class medical attention and care. It is an acknowledgement center of excellence providing advanced and intricate treatment. The center also offers the world superior quality cosmetic treatment at costs that are highly affordable, with results comparable to those at the best centers across the globe.


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With the mission of spreading mental health awareness, we provide a variety of services ranging from awareness programmes to rehabilitations. The services provided are Pharmacotherapy, Electroconvulsive Therapy, Narcoanalysis, Biofeedback, Detoxification and Rehabilitation Programmes, Deaddiction Counseling, Stress Management, Couples/ Marital Counseling and many more.


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We have a long experience in addressing the mental health conditions. Our experienced psychologists analyze the reasons behavioral disorder, emotional problem or psychiatric disease, and suggest and implement a valid solution to the problems customized to individual needs. The privacy of the patient is taken seriously during the total course of treatment.

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World-renowned specialists and comprehensive advanced setup helps treat disorders related to the lungs, breathing and sleep with high success rate. The services include treatment of Asthma, COPD, Chronic Respiratory Failure, Sleep Disorders, Interstitial Lung Diseses, Tumours and Cancers of the Lung and Chest, Allergic Disorders, Laparoscopic Assisted Thoracic Surgeries.


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A highly skilled team of experience Radiologists and Technicians comprises our Radiology Team. The highly advanced technology combined with high expertise ensures 100% accurate results which helps build right diagnosis. The facilities include: CT Scan (500 Slice), Advanced MRI (1.5 Tesla), 4D Ultrasound, Digital X-Ray, Bone Densitometry, Colour Doppler.


Best Rheumatology

Immensely qualified team of experts is always available to accord the diseases of musculoskeletal system. The service include the treatment of various auto immune diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis, SLE, Ankylosing spondylosis, gout and other immunological diseases, New Biological Treatments. We do have 24*7 physiotherapy department which deal with musculoskeletal problems with special emphasis on the correction of joint deformity.

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The Centre for Uro-Sciences boasts of experienced and renowned Urologists having thorough exposure to all urological disorders including complicated conditions. It is has good track record for high success rates. The treatment includes Laser prostatic surgery, Urologic Cancer Surgeries, Laparoscopic Urological Surgeries, Percutaneous Renal Surgery, Urethral Reconstructive Surgery, etc. and the facilities include ESWL (Extra corporeal shock wave Lithotripsy), Uroflowmetry, Uro Radio diagnosis, etc.

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