Many risk factors may increase your chance of developing breast cancer, but it is not yet known exactly how some of these risk factors cause cells to become cancerous. Hormones seem to play a role in many cases of breast cancer, but just how this happens is not fully understood.
Certain changes in DNA can cause normal breast cells to become cancerous. DNA is the chemical in each of our cells that makes up our genes — the instructions for how our cells function. We usually look like our parents because they are the source of our DNA.
The Top Breast Cancer Symptoms
Early breast cancer usually doesn’t cause symptoms. But as the tumor grows, it can change how the breast looks or feels. The common changes include:
• A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm area
• A change in the size or shape of the breast
• Dimpling or puckering in the skin of the breast
• A nipple turned inward into the breast
• Discharge (fluid) from the nipple, especially if it’s bloody
• Scaly, red, or swollen skin on the breast, nipple, or areola (the dark area of skin at the center of the breast). The skin may have ridges or pitting so that it looks like the skin of an orange.
If you notice any of the above symptoms, want to know more about mammograms, or simply have questions about breast health, contact a healthcare professional as soon as possible.