Breast cancer is cancer that forms in the cells of the breasts.
After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in the United States. Breast cancer can occur in both men and women, but it's far more common in women.
Changes or mutations in DNA can cause normal breast cells to become cancer. Certain DNA changes are passed on from parents (inherited) and can greatly increase your risk for breast cancer. Other lifestyle-related risk factors, such as what you eat and how much you exercise, can increase your chance of developing breast cancer, but it’s not yet known exactly how some of these risk factors cause normal cells to become cancer. Hormones seem to play a role in many cases of breast cancer, but just how this happens is not fully understood.
Signs and symptoms of breast cancer may include:
A breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue
Change in the size, shape or appearance of a breast
Changes to the skin over the breast, such as dimpling
A newly inverted nipple
Peeling, scaling, crusting or flaking of the pigmented area of skin surrounding the nipple (areola) or breast skin
Redness or pitting of the skin over your breast, like the skin of an orange
Doctors know that breast cancer occurs when some breast cells begin to grow abnormally. These cells divide more rapidly than healthy cells do and continue to accumulate, forming a lump or mass. Cells may spread (metastasize) through your breast to your lymph nodes or to other parts of your body.
Breast cancer most often begins with cells in the milk-producing ducts (invasive ductal carcinoma). Breast cancer may also begin in the glandular tissue called lobules (invasive lobular carcinoma) or in other cells or tissue within the breast.
Researchers have identified hormonal, lifestyle and environmental factors that may increase your risk of breast cancer. But it's not clear why some people who have no risk factors develop cancer, yet other people with risk factors never do. It's likely that breast cancer is caused by a complex interaction of your genetic makeup and your environment.
Breast Cancer & Zantac
Brand-name Zantac products are commonly used in the United States and worldwide to treat issues such as heartburn, acid reflux, and ulcers.
Recent concerns have emerged about the safety of Zantac, however, in response to alarming test results out of the laboratory of online pharmacy, Valisure. These test results showed unsafe levels of a carcinogenic (cancerous) chemical known as NDMA in their tested Zantac products.
One of the types of cancer linked to overexposure to NDMA is stomach (gastric) cancer. Stomach cancer is diagnosed in an estimated 27,600 people in the U.S. each year, mostly in adults aged 65 and older.
Many people who have taken Zantac regularly, or have lost a loved one to cancer after using Zantac products, are now suing Zantac drugmakers for failing to disclose the potential link between use of their products and various cancers.
How To Know If Zantac Caused Your Breast Cancer
Zantac is a brand name for the generic drug, ranitidine. Not all ranitidine products are necessarily believed to be contaminated with dangerous amounts of NDMA, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
If you are concerned about your risk for developing breast cancer after taking Zantac, or wish to know if Zantac caused your stomach cancer, your best course of action is to talk to your doctor or cancer treatment team. Your doctor can evaluate your risk, or probable causes of your stomach cancer through careful consideration of your medical history and Zantac use.
At this time, the FDA does not know how many people are likely to have been affected by the toxic amounts of NDMA in Zantac and ranitidine products. An investigation into the scope of the issue and the likelihood of developing cancer after taking Zantac is currently ongoing.
What To Do If You Think Zantac Caused Your Breast Cancer
If you were diagnosed with breast cancer after taking Zantac regularly for a health problem, you are not alone. Several class action and individual lawsuits have been filed across the U.S. by individuals and loved ones who received a cancer diagnosis after taking Zantac or ranitidine products.
The basis for these lawsuits is generally one of negligence. Negligence is a legal theory in personal injury law that traces personal injury or wrongful death to the negligent behavior of an individual or entity—such as a business or pharmaceutical company.
In the context of recent Zantac lawsuits, the negligence of named defendants (Zantac drugmakers) refers to their failure to properly warn the government, healthcare providers, and the public of the amount of NDMA in their drugs, violating U.S. consumer protection laws.
The types of Zantac cancer lawsuits that have been filed include:
product liability (defective drug) lawsuits
personal injury lawsuits
wrongful death lawsuits
Several plaintiffs who have taken legal action against Zantac drugmakers have not been diagnosed with cancer, but are nonetheless seeking compensation for the amount of money spent on Zantac through their regular use of the drugs.
If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer after taking Zantac and experienced significant financial or emotional distress, an attorney will likely recommend filing an individual lawsuit to seek fair compensation for your losses.
You can determine your eligibility for filing an individual lawsuit by speaking to an experienced dangerous drug attorney.