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Breast Cancer

 
Breast Cancer

Chapter: 3 - Breast Cancer

Subchapter: 1 - What is Cancer?

What is Cancer?
Healthy cells are the basic building blocks of all tissue and organs in the body. But when cell DNA (the cell’s wiring) is damaged, mutated cells begin to rapidly reproduce without following the pre-wired plan.

Aggressive cell growth can form a tumor (or mass of tissue) that, like each individual cell, does not function as originally intended. These abnormal cells or groups of cells can progress into the disease known as cancer.

Cancer Origins
Breast cancer usually begins either where the milk is being produced, the lobules, or in the milk ducts.

Lobules
Lobular Carcinoma in Situ (LCIS) is a pre-cancerous condition that forms and is contained in the lobules. Invasive lobular carcinoma is a type of cancer that develops and breaks through the lobules, with the potential to spread to other areas of the body.

Milk Ducts
Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS) is a type of cancer that forms in the milk ducts and is considered non–invasive because it has not spread to any surrounding tissue. Once the cancer has spread beyond the milk ducts, it is known as ductal carcinoma.

Less frequently, breast cancer can originate in the stromal tissue– the fatty and fibrous connective tissue of the breast.

Prognosis
Treating breast cancer as soon as it’s discovered is very important. If left untreated, the cancer cells may invade healthy breast tissue or lymph nodes. Once in the lymph system, cancer can spread more easily to other parts of the body.

Related Questions

  • dimple jain Profile

    are the reports showing ductal carcinoma confirmation of breast cancer? or it includes further tests to confirm?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 2 answers
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      If you had a biopsy and it showed ductal carcinoma that is your confirmation.

      Comment
    • Mary Navarro Profile
      anonymous
      Patient

      Yes. The word carcinoma means cancer. Your doctors will probably suggest surgery, chemo and radiology, depending of course what they find during surgery. Then you will meet with the oncologist and radiologist.

      Comment
  • Tracy Lewis Norman Profile

    What is the difference between the grades and stages of breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Tracy,
      Arrrgh... by the time you have completed your treatment, you will be an expert! So sorry it has to be an expert in breast cancer treatment. Have you heard what type of breast cancer you have yet? As several have said.... Stage is the size of the tumor and how much it has spread. My...

      more

      Tracy,
      Arrrgh... by the time you have completed your treatment, you will be an expert! So sorry it has to be an expert in breast cancer treatment. Have you heard what type of breast cancer you have yet? As several have said.... Stage is the size of the tumor and how much it has spread. My stage was was a 2B..... (a 2.3cm with 1 positive lymph node.) The grade is how agressive the cells are.... grade 1-relatively non-agressive, grade 2 - middle of the road. grade 3 more aggressive cells. Within the grade, there can be varying degrees of aggressiveness. You will also have a report on your cancer's sensitivety to hormones. It will be ER+ or - PR + or - and HER2 + or -
      Breast cancer is very individual to each person. You can have the same type of breast cancer as the next woman and that is where the similarities end. Your cells are unique to you. Your treatment will be developed because of the cells seen at your biopsy. You will wonder why your treatment is different from mine but it is because our breast cancer may be completely different on a cell level. It's confusing for sure. Each woman reaction to their treatments are all different too. Just as Jo says... bring every single itty bitty question to your interview. Best too, if you bring a friend who can either take really great notes or bring some kind of recorder with you. You are given a lot of information and you won't necessarily remember it all. We are always here for you as you go through your treatment. Hang in there.... there's a wonderful bunch of "sister's" out here to help. Take care, Sharon

      3 comments
    • Tracy Lewis Norman Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      i have grade 3 breast cancer but i dont understand that, im scared it is growing everywhere else. what does that mean?

      11 comments
  • leslie adkins Profile

    Does anyone know of a good iPad app to keep track of things? Need a good app (dreaming) that I can keep track of doc appointments, chemo, how I feel, etc, etc.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 8 years 8 answers
  • Thumb avatar default

    About 7 months ago i went to an urgent care because of what i thought might be IBC. It had the signs of like stage 3. She gave me antibiotics and it went away and she just told me it was a cyst and i still don't believe her. I still dont believe her & im

    Asked by anonymous

    over 5 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I wouldn't be waiting, I would get to your doctor, and not urgent care right away. I would demand a biopsy, now. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • André Roberts Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      You can not diagnose by reading on the Internet. You may have 'signs' of cancer (a lump), but you wouldn't have 'signs' of stages. Could you feel a lump? Is that why the Dr said it was a cyst? Cysts don't just go away with antibiotics. Nor does cancer. So if you say whatever the problem you had...

      more

      You can not diagnose by reading on the Internet. You may have 'signs' of cancer (a lump), but you wouldn't have 'signs' of stages. Could you feel a lump? Is that why the Dr said it was a cyst? Cysts don't just go away with antibiotics. Nor does cancer. So if you say whatever the problem you had 7 months ago is gone, you don't have anything to worry about. Once you have your insurance, it sure wouldn't hurt to get a full check up along with a mammogram. If there is suspicion, you would then have a biopsy. That is the only way you would know if something is cancer or not. Any time there are changes in your breast, have it checked out. Prayers to you.

      Comment

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