Understanding Breast Cancer: Types, Symptoms, Causes, and Statistics

Understanding Breast Cancer: Types, Symptoms, Causes, and Statistics

Alarming Statistics: Global Impact and Importance of Early Detection

Breast cancer is considered one of the most difficult and dangerous diseases for women. The World Health Organization has published some statistics on breast cancer, which show the seriousness of this disease. In 2020, 2.3 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer and 685,000 deaths were recorded worldwide. At the end of 2020, there were 7.8 million women alive who had been diagnosed with breast cancer in the past five years, making it the most common type of cancer in the world.

We can define breast cancer as cancer that forms in the cells of the breasts; one of the most misconceptions about this disease is that it only affects women, but in fact it may affect both women and men. However, women are the most susceptible to this disease; breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer among women, after skin cancer.

In recent years, the risk of breast cancer has decreased significantly; survival rates have increased and the death rate has decreased. This is due to the increased awareness carried out by the World Health Organization and many of its affiliated organizations and hospitals on the importance of early detection of breast cancer, which greatly reduced the threat of this disease to women.

Types of Breast Cancer: Invasive Lobular Carcinoma, DCIS, and More

  • Invasive lobular carcinoma
  • lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)
  • Inflammatory breast cancer
  • Recurrent breast cancer
  • Male breast cancer
  • Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)

Recognizing Symptoms: Changes in Breast Appearance, Skin, and Texture

Breast cancer has some symptoms that must be taken into consideration, such as:

  • The appearance of a mass in the breast that differs from the surrounding tissues
  • A change in the size, shape, or appearance of the breast
  • A change in the shape of the skin of the breast
  • The occurrence of crusting or stiffness in the pigmented area of the skin surrounding the nipple
  • Redness or dimpling of the skin of the breast.

Unveiling the Causes: Hereditary Factors, Genetic Mutations, and Risk Factors

Breast cancer is recognized when some breast cells begin to grow abnormally. Breast cells divide more rapidly than healthy cells and continue to accumulate until they form a lump or tumor. If the disease is not diagnosed early, there is a possibility of spreading the cancer to other parts of the body.

Doctors and researchers have stated the causes of the breast cancer or the factors that may increase the possibility of developing it. These factors may be hormonal or environmental.

Hereditary breast cancer

Genes with inherited mutations are a well-known cause of breast cancer; 10 percent of breast cancer cases are caused by genetic mutations that are passed down through family generations. Researchers have identified a number of genetic mutations that increase the risk of breast cancer, such as breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1) and the breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2), both of which increase the risk of breast cancer.

Therefore, if the family has a strong history of breast cancer, a periodic and regular examination of the breast must be carried out, because there is a possibility of infection with this genetic disease. It is also possible to conduct a genetic test to find out if anyone in the family has suffered from this disease or not because the first cause of breast cancer is heredity and genes.

In addition, there are risk factors that may increase the risk of breast cancer, including:

  • The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age.
  • Having a history of breast problems and diseases such as atypical hyperplasia of the breast, which increases the chance of the breast cancer.
  • Exposure to radiation increases the risk of breast cancer.
  • Excess weight and obesity raise the risk of breast cancer.
  • Menopause at an advanced age.
  • Having the first child at a late age.


Breast cancer is a serious and prevalent disease affecting millions of women worldwide. It can also occur in men, although women are more susceptible. Increased awareness and early detection efforts have contributed to improved survival rates and reduced mortality. Understanding the types, symptoms, and causes of breast cancer is crucial for timely diagnosis and effective treatment. Genetic mutations, hereditary factors, and various risk factors play a role in its development. Regular breast examinations and proactive measures are essential for prevention and early intervention.