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Risk factors for breast cancer may be related to demographics, personal health history, lifestyle choices, and defects in certain genes .

Alcohol use increases breast cancer risk, especially for women who drink more than one alcoholic beverage per day.

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DUCTAL CARCINOMA IN SITU: DCIS is considered a stage 0 breast cancer and is considered a noninvasive or preinvasive cancer.


LOBULAR CARCINOMA: LCIS is not considered a true cancer, although this neoplasm is sometimes classified as a type of noninvasive breast cancer.


INVASIVE (INFILTRATING) LOBULAR CARCINOMA: Invasive (infiltrating) lobular carcinoma (ILC) originates in the lobules (milk-producing glands) and spreads to surrounding breast tissue.

Can metastasize to other parts of the body.


INFLAMATORY BREAST CANCER: IBC Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare neoplasm that occurs more often in younger women and women of color and tends to grow more quickly and aggressively than the more common types of breast cancers.




Tips for Reducing Breast Cancer Risk


Nurses can teach families about simple at-home strategies that may reduce breast cancer risk:


Diet and exercise: Reducing calories and engaging in regular exercise may slow tumor growth and lower the amount of circulating leptin, a fat-released protein that has been linked to breast cancer.


Extra-virgin olive oil: This oil contains polyphenol compounds that suppress a breast cancer-promoting gene.


Apples: Phenols found in apples may combat malignant tumors.


Vitamin D: This vitamin prevents the division of cancer cells and activates a tumor-suppressing protein.


Folate: Consuming foods that contain the B-vitamin folate (e.g., leafy green vegetables, beans, and fortified cereals) may help to mitigate the increased breast cancer risk associated with drinking alcohol.


Soy supplements: Soy contains isoflavones, substances that act like estrogen and may stimulate the growth of certain types of breast cancers. Supplements that contain concentrated amounts of isoflavones should be avoided. However, healthy soy foods such as edamame, soy milk, and tofu are not considered harmful.





Lymphedema (an accumulation of fluid and protein in the extravascular space from trauma to the lymphatic system or supporting structures; results in swelling of the arm).






The stage of cancer is based on the size of the tumor, the number of lymph nodes involved, and whether the cancer has spread.


The TNM staging system classifies cancers based on their T, N, and M stages:


T = Tumor: size and spread within the breast and to nearby organs

N = Nodes: spread to the lymph nodes

M = Metastasis: spread to distant organs


Stage 0: Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)


Stage I: The tumor measures 2.0 cm in diameter or less and there is no involvement of the lymph nodes and no distant metastasis.


Stage II: The tumor measures 2.0 cm in diameter to 5.0 cm. Depending on the specific findings, the cancer may have spread to the axillary or internal mammary lymph nodes but has not spread to distant sites.


Stage IIIA: 1) The tumor is not more than 5.0 cm

2) The tumor is larger than 5.0 cm


Stage IIIB: The tumor has grown into the chest wall or skin.


Stage IIIC: The tumor is any size, and it has spread.


Stage IV: The cancer can be any size (any “T”), may or may not have spread to nearby lymph nodes (any “N”). It has metastasized (“M”) to distant organs or to distant lymph nodes.




■ New lump in the breast or underarm (armpit)

■ Thickening or swelling of part of the breast

■ Irritation or dimpling of breast skin

■ Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast

■ Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area

■ Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood

■ Any change in the size or the shape of the breast

■ Pain in any area of the breast




Breast Symptoms:

Nipple discharge

Skin changes

Breast Pain (Mastalgia)


Breast Cancer Screening:





Breast Tomosynthesis

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