Breast cancer is a type of cancer that forms within breast tissues. It occurs in both men and women, though it is extremely rare among men.
Being female — regardless of age or ethnicity — is the number one risk factor for breast cancer. Aside from gender, there are other factors that may further any woman’s chance of getting breast cancer.
Women with personal or family histories of either breast cancer or ovarian cancer are at high risk, as are women with certain genetic abnormalities such as BRCA-1 or BRCA-2 genes. Additionally, women who begin their menstrual cycles before age 12 or began menopause before age 50 are at higher risk for breast cancer. Women who are overweight and inactive are at high risk. Long term use of hormone replacement therapy and radiation therapy to the chest increase a woman’s risk, as well.
A lump, hard knot or thickening in the breast
A lump in the underarm area
Change in the size or shape of a breast
Nipple pain, tenderness or discharge, including bleeding
Itchiness, scales, soreness or rash on nipple
Nipple turning inward or inverted
Change in skin color and texture: dimpling, puckering or redness
Breast that feels warm or swollen
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