If you or a loved one is diagnosed with breast cancer one of your main questions may be “How fast will it continue to grow?” Cancer is scary, and your doctor has no way to know when the breast cancer first started, which means no exact way to know how long it took to get to the size it is now. It may have been weeks, months, or perhaps longer. Studies have shown that although breast cancer is happening more frequently than in the past there is no evidence that it is growing faster than it always has. Typically, breast cancers double in size around every 180 days, or every 6 months. Breast cancer tends to grow more quickly and aggressively than other cancers. Breast cancer growth can depend on a number of factors. Breast cancers are sorted into various subtypes. Some grow faster than others. Your doctor will test a tumor sample to see what type it is and determine how fast it may grow. Stages of breast cancer play a significant role in growth. Breast cancer stages are based on whether it’s still in the milk ducts or lobules or has grown into the breast tissue, lymph nodes, or beyond. Stages range from zero to five. Stage five means it has spread from the breast to distant parts of the body, such as the brain or other organs. Doctors will also give your cancer a grade ranging from one – three. Grades are based on what cancer cells look like under the microscope. Cells that are more normal in appearance are typically less aggressive and least likely to grow quickly. Unusual-looking cancer cells are more probable to grow faster and spread. Age is also another prominent factor. When breast cancer occurs at a younger age, it’s more probable to be aggressive and fast-growing. Most cases happen to women over the age of 50. Genetics may be the biggest factor. Because cancer cells reproduce quicker than normal cells, they tend to pick up random changes in their genes more rapidly than a normal cell does. Some of these changes can make the cells grow faster. Some people may be born with specific changes in all their cells that make cancer both more likely and more likely to grow faster. Variations in genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2 are normally linked to aggressive breast cancer. Your doctors may advise genetic testing to check for these variations. The rate of growth depends on all these factors and more. This is why it is so important to get routine checks as well as be open with your doctor. Early diagnosis is key to the best treatment and possibly even survival.
Retrieved on October 21, 2022, from: https://www.webmd.com/breast-cancer/breast-cancer-how-fast-grows?ecd=wnl_day_102022&ctr=wnl-day-102022_lead&mb=UsxKpnrknYNU5ZouHqO8%404hXU5M3tn0Xw1oOMn3UZW8%3D