Breast (say: brest) cancer is a common cancer among women. It occurs rarely in men and it doesn't affect kids. But kids might want to learn about it because they know someone who has it or because they want to learn how to check for it when they are older.
What Is Breast Cancer?
The human body is made of tiny building blocks called cells. Your body creates them, replacing those that die with new ones. Usually, the body creates healthy, normal cells that do just what they're supposed to do. This includes cells in the breasts, the two rounded areas on the front of the chest.
But if a cell changes into an abnormal, sometimes harmful form, it can divide quickly over and over again without dying, making many, many copies of itself. When this happens, a tumor, abnormal body cells grouped together in the form of a mass or lump, can start to form and grow.
Breast cancer is a kind of tumor that develops in the cells of a person's breast. You may think that only women can get breast cancer, but because all people have breast tissue, men can get breast cancer as well - though this is very rare.
A tumor can form anywhere in a person's body. Someone has cancer when those abnormal cells will not stop growing, and then cause sickness in the body. Someone with breast cancer may have cancer cells in just one part of the breast, which might be felt as a lump. The cancer can spread throughout one or both breasts. Sometimes breast cancer spreads to other parts of the body, like the bones, the liver, or elsewhere.
Why Do People Get Breast Cancer?
Any woman can get breast cancer, but doctors have found that certain factors make some women more likely to get it.
- family history: A woman whose mother, sister, aunt, or daughter has had breast cancer is more likely to get breast cancer.
- age: As women get older, they are more at risk for breast cancer. Teens - as well as women in their twenties and thirties - are less likely to get breast cancer.
diet and lifestyle choices: Women who smoke, eat high-fat diets, drink alcohol, and don't get enough exercise may be more at risk for developing breast cancer.
What Are the Signs of Breast Cancer?
A woman who has breast cancer may have no problems, or she may find a painless lump in her breast. If women examine their breasts monthly, they can help find lumps or other changes that a doctor should examine.
Most breast lumps are not cancer, but all lumps should be checked out by a doctor to be sure. Breast lumps that are not cancer may be scar tissue or cysts (fluid-filled lumps or sacs) or they can be due to normal breast changes associated with hormone changes or aging.
Girls who are beginning puberty might notice a lump underneath the nipple when their breasts start developing. Usually, this is a normal. You can ask a parent or your doctor about it to be sure.
Information more >> What will the doctor do and prevention
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