Introduction Breast cancer is a cancer that develops in the breast tissue.It starts when the cells in the breast begin to grow abnormally. Men can get breast cancer too, although very rarely. This disease occurs almost entirely in women. Breast cancer can start from different parts of the breast. They can begin in the ducts that carry milk to the nipples, or in the glands (lobules) in the breast that produce milk. Breast cancer, although not very common in India, is still a cause for alarm with a little fewer than 10 lakh cases reported every year in the country. Symptoms The primary symptom is usually an area of thickened tissue in the breast, or a lump in or around the breast. Other common symptoms of the disease include: Pain in the armpits or breast that doesn’t change with the monthly cycle Pitting or redness in the skin of the women chest Rashes or rash around or on the nipple Discharge from nipple, which may include blood A sunken or inverted nipple Change in size or shape. Peeling, flaking or scaling of the skin of the nipple Not all lumps are cancerous, but one must get them checked at a hospital or by a doctor nonetheless. Always trust premier medical institutions like Paras hospitals group, which have specialized departments for treatment and care of such conditions. Causes Breast cancer like most cancers has causes that are uncertain. Changes in a cell’s DNA (mutation) is the primary cause, how that happens though, is yet unresolved. There are however certain risk factors linked to breast cancer: Family history: Having someone in the family who’s had this cancer increases the risk of contracting it. Personal history: Having breast cancer before, or having lumps in breasts increases the risk. Dense breast tissue: The cancer is more likely to develop in dense breast tissue. Oestrogen: Being exposed to high levels of oestrogen over prolonged time increases the risk. This could happen in women who started having periods earlier than normal or entered menopause later than average. Women who take oestrogen tablets may also be at risk. Weight: Overweight or obese women have higher risk of developing breast cancer. Exposure to radiation: Women who’ve had radiation therapy or have been exposed to radiation may develop this cancer. Smoking and alcohol consumption: Smoking and alcohol consumption increase the risk of developing this cancer by 1.5 times. Treatment Treatment depends on factors like the type of breast cancer, the stage it’s in, patient’s sensitivity to hormones and their age, history, overall health and personal preference. Treatment options include: Radiation therapy Surgery Biological therapy, or targeted drug therapy Hormone therapy Chemotherapy treatment Due to increasing incidence of breast cancer in the country Top hospitals for breast oncology treatment in Gurgaon, Delhi, Patna and even Darbhanga in Bihar have been established. These are state of the art, multi-facility and super speciality hospitals that are equipped with latest technologies to deal effectively with such conditions.