Breast Cancer

By Marlena Culver and Wade Landrum


Breast cancer occurs when cells in the breast tissue have uncontrollable growth which then leads to a tumor. It mainly happens in the milk ducts or milk glands.



Appearance Changes:

  • Unexplained change in size or shape
  • Dimpling
  • Swelling
  • Change in color
  • Scaly
Feeling Changes:

  • Nipple Tenderness
  • Lumps forming
  • Enlargement of pores
Function Changes:

  • Any nipple discharge, bloody, clear, or milky

About 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer through out the course of her life

What are the possible causes or risk factors?

  • Contraceptive use
  • Breast exposure to radiation when younger
  • Obesity
  • Not having a child or having a first child after age 30
  • Mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes having this would give you an 80% chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer
  • Getting your period before age 12

Prevalence of Breast Cancer

  • Second most common cancer in women
  • Second leading cause of death by cancer in women
  • Occurs in both men and women
  • 1 in 8 women
  • 1 in 1000 men
  • About 80% of women diagnosed with it are 50 or over
  • About 90% of women killed by it are 50 or over
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How is breast cancer diagnosed?

  • Mammograms are a large part in diagnosing breast cancer
  • Recommended for women over 40 to get a mammogram every year
  • Breast ultrasound is a more effective option for younger women
  • Examinations look for differences in breast density

What happens at the cellular and molecular level?

  • Single cell in breast starts growing out of control
  • Cells can form mass called a tumor
  • Tumor can send out proteins to get blood vessels to feed it


  • Lumpectomy (Cutting out the tumors)
  • Mastectomy (Removal of part or all of the breast)
  • Radiation
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • If the cancer has receptors for estrogen, the drug tamoxifen can be administered
New breast cancer drug may change treatment of disease