ETIOLOGY AND SUSCEPTIBILITY
The cause of mammary cancer, in common with that of other types of malignant tumor, is not definitely known. Even though many facts have been learned, mammary cancer appears to have reached a point beyond which effective prevention seems well nigh impossible.Chronic mastitis is believed by most authorities to be the principal predisposing condition, but cancer so often occurs without pronounced chronic mastitis or in a very early stage of mastitis that this theory in itself is inadequate to explain the frequent incidence. All will agree, however, that mammary cancer must be preceded by involutional or inflammatory changes. The sweat glands of the breast are frequently the site of origin, and the causation of lesions so originating is probably somewhat different from that of the common duct cancer. Cancer originating in the sweat glands usually appears near the skin and in the axilla and is particularly
SHEPHERD WF. CARCINOMA OF THE BREAST: REVIEW OF FOUR HUNDRED AND THIRTY-NINE CASES. Arch Surg. 1938;37(2):190–210. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1938.01200020018002
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