Cancer happens when cells start to divide abnormally without
stopping until they form tumors. Breast cancer is a common type of cancer. It
occurs in the breast when malignant tumors are developed. Breast cancer has
four stages where each has different symptoms and effects. Early detected
breast cancer, especially in the first stage, is more likely to be treated.
Although men can also develop breast cancer because both men and women have the
breast cells and tissue, it is very rare to occur. This paper investigates the
literature of breast cancer. It looks first at the factors that may lead to
breast cancer and then it examines the problems associated with breast cancer.

Until now there are no specific causes of breast cancer. However,
there are some risk factors that may lead to breast cancer. Age is the most
common risk factor for older women are more likely to get breast cancer.
Another risk factor is family history. Women have a higher risk to develop
breast cancer when they have a relative with breast cancer. It is called
hereditary breast cancer because these women carry the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes
which can be inherited. Furthermore, high alcohol consumption plays a role in
getting breast cancer. 38% of black women and 23% of white women were alcohol
drinkers and suffered from breast cancer (Boseley, 2014, para. 10). In
addition, obese women with high BMI (body mass index) are at a risk of
developing breast cancer. Boseley (2017) stated, “The risk of breast cancer
from being overweight is four times higher” (para. 10). Moreover, using
hormonal replacement therapy or birth control pills, smoking, having dense
breasts and being exposed to radiation in the chest region increase the chance
to develop breast cancer.

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 After getting breast cancer,
patients are prone to get affected physically, emotionally or financially.
Women with breast cancer can be affected physically by having complications or
suffering from side effects from the treatment. Hair loss is the first side
effect women suffer from. Chemotherapy affects hair follicle cells preventing
them to divide, as a result, hair stops growing. Another side effect is
swelling which is called lymphedema. The removal of lymph nodes and lymph
vessels surrounding the affected breast is part of the treatment. The problem
is that lymph drainage channels get affected causing the lymph to accumulate,
so the area in the breasts, arms, and hands swells. Metastasis is a very
serious complication of breast cancer. The tumor in the breast may break
causing the cancerous cells to spread. These cells may go to bones, lungs,
liver or brain. If metastasis occurs, there is no cure for it. Moreover, some
women find it difficult to cope with such a life-threatening disease. These
women suffer from anxiety and depression which leads to improper eating and
sleeping. Breast cancer patients can also suffer from anger, low self-esteem
and stress as these reactions are common (Atkins, 2012, para. 4). Furthermore,
breast cancer patients pay a lot for their treatment which affects their
financial status. Breast cancer patients do not just fight the disease, they
also fight to come up with the treatment costs as chemotherapy treatment costs
$19,000 (McDaniels, 2017, para. 2).

In conclusion, it is clear that breast cancer can be caused by a
variety of factors. It may occur due to family history, hormonal therapy, and
drinking alcohol. Unfortunately, breast cancer patients are affected in
different ways. Some are affected physically and emotionally while others are
affected financially. It is advisable for women to stop smoking or consuming
alcohol and have a healthy diet to protect themselves from breast cancer. Also,
it would be better for women to have regular checkups to detect this disease
early.

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