About Breast Cancer

Breast cancer occurs when malignant tumours develop in the breast. Most breast cancer occurs in the ducts or lobules. To better understand breast cancer, it helps to understand how cancer develop.

Understanding Cancer

Cancer is a broad term for a class of disease characterised by abnormal cells that grow uncontrollably and invade surrounding tissues or spread (metastasise) to other areas of the body.

Cancer begins in a cell which are the basic building blocks that make up tissue. Tissue is found in the breast and other parts of the human body, which is made up of trillions of cells. Sometimes, the cell growth process goes wrong, and new cells form even when the body does not need them, and old or damaged cells do not die as they should. When this happens, a build-up of cells often form a mass of tissue called lump or tumour.

Cancer is a malignant tumour. These tumours grow faster and can spread by into surrounding tissues. They may also spread to other parts of the body in the blood vessels or through the lymph system, causing damage to other tissues and organs. This process is called metastasis.

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10 Breast Cancer Risk Factors

1. Has a habit of smoking or drinking frequently
2. First menstruation at a young age (before 10 years old)
3. Menopause at a later age (after 55 years old)
4. Have never given birth
5. Late pregnancy
6. Obesity
7. Has a family member with breast/ovarian cancer
8. Has had breast disease in the past
9. Undergoing long-term hormone treatment
10. Have been told to have dense breasts during mammography test

A Dozen Signs of Breast Cancer

How can you detect abnormalities? What do anomalies relating to breast cancer look like? What does breast cancer feel like?
We have used lemons to help you better understand – and recognize – the signs of breast cancer.

What breast cancer looks like

If you find a new sign like this that doesn’t go away, show your doctor.

Anatomy of the Breast

The breast is mostly fatty tissue surrounding the milk ducts and lobes on the tips close to the ribs and the reservoir on the other end, as well as the lymph nodes. When exploring the breast with your fingertips, the milk lobes feel like soft peas, while the lymph nodes feel like soft beans.

What does breast cancer feel like?
Q: Look at the lemon on the right (Figure 2.)
A: Different from milk lobes or lymph nodes, a cancerous lump is often hard and does not move around.

It is essential to know what your “normal” breast condition is, by carrying out a breast self-examination every month.

You are ready to apply what you have learned from our lemon analogies to your once-a-month self-examination, looking out for typical signs of breast cancer.

Concerned about Breast Health?

Here’s how you can learn more

Detecting Breast Cancer Earlier

How to perform a breast self-exam

Partners