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How does breast cancer develop?

Breast cancer is caused by growths resulting from a bodily malfunction.

Malfunction in cell division

Our body permanently renews all its cells by means of cell division. Existing cells divide, thus producing new ones. Normally, the body only produces the cells it currently requires, which then take over the tasks of the old cells. However, in some instances, the cells resulting from cell division are defective. These are referred to by medical experts as “degenerated cells”.

Spread of defective cells

Degenerated cells grow and multiply in an uncontrolled manner. Initially, they proliferate at their original site in the body, forming a growth or tumour. The tumour cells invade the surrounding breast tissue and destroy it. Via the bloodstream or the lymphatic system, the defective cells can spread to other parts of the body. They settle in distant organs, such as the lung or the bones, where they form secondary tumours known as “metastases”.

Good chances of cure if detected at an early stage

If a malignant breast tumour is detected at an early stage and there are no secondary tumours, it is generally possible to cure the disease. Early detection methods and regular check-ups are therefore of crucial importance for preventing breast cancer and increasing the chances of cure.

Unknown causes of cell changes

It is not yet fully understood why normal cells or some benign breast cells mutate into cancerous cells. However, one thing is clear: breast cancer does not have one single cause; it takes a combination of different factors for a normal cell to mutate into a cancerous cell. Not all these factors have been identified as yet, which is why further research into this subject is being conducted on a global basis.


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