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About Breast Cancer: Understanding the Disease

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women and is a leading cause of death among women worldwide. It is estimated that 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Despite its prevalence, many women are still unsure of what breast cancer is, how it develops, and how it can be treated.

What is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the cells of the breast. There are two main types of breast cancer: ductal carcinoma, which begins in the cells of the ducts that carry milk from the lobules to the nipple, and lobular carcinoma, which begins in the lobules that produce milk. Breast cancer can spread to other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes, bones, liver, and lungs, through a process called metastasis.

What Causes Breast Cancer?

The exact cause of breast cancer is not known, but there are several risk factors that may increase a woman’s chances of developing the disease. Some of these risk factors include age, family history of breast cancer, genetic mutations such as BRCA1 and BRCA2, exposure to radiation, and certain lifestyle factors such as obesity, alcohol consumption, and lack of physical activity.

How is Breast Cancer Diagnosed and Treated?

Breast cancer is usually detected through a mammogram, a screening test that uses X-rays to look for changes in the breast tissue. If a mammogram shows an abnormal growth, further tests, such as a biopsy, may be needed to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment for breast cancer depends on several factors, such as the type and stage of the cancer, the patient’s age and overall health, and personal preferences. Common treatments for breast cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Some women may also receive hormonal therapy, targeted therapy, or immunotherapy, depending on the type of breast cancer they have.

Preventing Breast Cancer

While it is not possible to completely prevent breast cancer, there are several steps women can take to reduce their risk of developing the disease. Some of these steps include regular mammograms, self-exams, healthy eating, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption.


Breast cancer is a serious disease that affects millions of women worldwide. By understanding the causes and risk factors, women can take steps to reduce their chances of developing breast cancer. Regular screenings and early detection are key to treating and surviving the disease, so it is important for women to be proactive in their breast health and seek medical attention if they notice any changes in their breasts.

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Al Zahra Hospital, Dubai, UAE

Oncology Coordinator


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