Risk factors for breast cancer

  • Obesity
  • Lack of physical exercise
  • Alcohol
  • Hormone replacement therapy during menopause
  • Radiation
  • Early age at first menstruation
  • Having children late or not at all
  • Older age
  • Family history of breast cancer

Diagnosis of breast cancer

The diagnosis of breast cancer is confirmed by taking a biopsy of the concerning lump. Once the diagnosis is made, further tests are done to determine if the cancer has spread beyond the breast and which treatments are most likely to be effective.

1% of men and 12% of women have been diagnosed with breast cancer. To paint a more positive image, 7 out of 8 women have NOT been diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.

Cancer grows through cell division, and cannot be felt through touch until the 30th division. By the time you feel a cancerous lump on your breast, the cancer has usually been around for 2-5 years.

There are 4 stages to breast cancer. To gauge which stage of breast cancer an individual is on, doctors use measurements such as:

  • The size of the tumor within the breast
  • The number of affected lymph nodes
  • Signs indicating that the cancer cells have invaded other organs of the body

Breast cancer treatment

Rest assured, there is a cure to the most common type of breast cancer: ductal carcinoma in situ.
In those who have been diagnosed with cancer, a number of treatments may be used. For example:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormonal therapy
  • Targeted therapy.

Types of surgery vary from breast-conserving surgery to mastectomy. Breast reconstruction may take place at the time of surgery or at a later date.

In those in whom the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, treatments are mostly aimed at improving quality of life and comfort.

Recent Questions

Can Juvederm fillers that were injected almost 10 years ago lead to dangerous lumps in my breasts?

Thanks for your question. Hyaluronic acid fillers such as Juvederm and Macrolane were previously used for non-surgical breast enhancement. However, their use has been discontinued. Some of the possible risks include: • Infection. This usually occurs quite soon after the initial injections • Displacement or migration of the injected filler. The gel may move to other untended locations. For example, below the inframammary fold. • Persistent nodules that last for several years, beyond the expected lifespan of the filler.

Photo of Dr Andrew Tay

Answered By

Dr Andrew Tay

Plastic Surgeon

Is it recommended to remove benign fibroadenoma in the breast?

Fibroadenomas are among the most common non-cancerous (benign) breast lumps in young women. They typically present as painless, highly mobile and firm nodules within the breast. Mammograms and breast ultrasounds are often used for further evaluation depending on the risks, and diagnosis can be confirmed by core needle biopsy or excision biopsy. A fibroadenoma may be monitored for long-term stability, or removed by vacuum-assisted needle biopsy (VAB) or surgery. Simple fibroadenomas do not increase the risk of breast cancer.

Photo of Dr Jipson Quah

Answered By

Dr Jipson Quah

General Practitioner

Recent Sessions

Late Stage Breast Cancer: How to Treat It?

Ended on November 26, 2020

Dr Ooi Wei Seong is a medical oncologist and medical director at the International Cancer Specialists, Paragon Medical. Before his current practice, Dr Ooi was with the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) and Raffles Hospital. Currently, he is also a Visiting Specialist at the NCCS. His main interest lies in lung, breast, and colon cancers.

He frequents conferences around the world to continuously update his knowledge in the latest cancer treatments.

Losing a Part of You: Breast Cancer Survivors and How they Combated Breast Cancer

Ended on November 6, 2020

Dr Ooi Wei Seong is a medical oncologist and medical director at the International Cancer Specialists, Paragon Medical. He graduated from Trinity College Dublin with honours distinction in 1999.

After getting oncology training at St Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin, he became a clinical fellow in oncology at Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre in Toronto, Canada. Upon returning to Singapore, he obtained his specialist accreditation in medical oncology.

Before his current practice, Dr Ooi was with the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) and Raffles Hospital. Currently, he is also a Visiting Specialist at the NCCS. His main interest lies in lung, breast, and colon cancers.

Ask any health question for free

I’m not so sure about a procedure...

Ask Icon Ask a Question

Join Human

Sign up now for a free Human account to get answers from specialists in Singapore.

Sign Up

Get The Pill

Be healthier with our Bite-sized health news straight in your inbox

Statistics

9.2KTreatment Views

23Answers

22KViews of Answers