loading... close

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

  • erin honea Profile

    what would cause a tight pulling felling in right breast

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 2 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Erin,
      It is difficult to say but if this is not normal for you, get it checked by your doctor.
      Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Erin Timlin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Have you had radiation? That causes tightness and changes in the breast tissue and definitely can give a pulling feeling. If you've never had cancer, then maybe see your GYN for a breast exam. Good luck!

      Comment
  • Auburn Locke Profile

    How do I support breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 3 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      You can also make a donation to nbcf - http://nbcf.org/donate - there are several great foundations out there trying to help educate women on breast cancer.

      Comment
    • Kris Shortridge Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Hi. You can contact The American Cancer Society to make a donation or to find out about local events in your area for fundraising.

      Comment
  • Carrie Bates Profile

    What does a cancerous breast look like on an ultra sound?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Carrie,
      Sheesh... I was WRONG.... I found a great site that shows what breast cancer lesions look like on an ultrasound. SO sorry for the former post which I deleted and put this instead. http://www.ultrasound-images.com/breast.htm This site shows many different breast cancers. Keep...

      more

      Carrie,
      Sheesh... I was WRONG.... I found a great site that shows what breast cancer lesions look like on an ultrasound. SO sorry for the former post which I deleted and put this instead. http://www.ultrasound-images.com/breast.htm This site shows many different breast cancers. Keep scrolling down and you do not have to download any special "viewer". Take care, Sharon

      2 comments
    • melissa perlman Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Cysts look like black circles. Breast tissue white and linear. All the tissue looks like it's going in the same direction. Masses tend to be grey and quite irregular. Almost like scribble scrabble. The more irregular, More chance it's cancer.

      Comment
  • Briawnna Wagoner Profile

    I'm the same 14 year old who asked the other ? I feel what feels like "cords" and a bump that moves around under my nipple....?????

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 7 years 2 answers
    • André Roberts Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      It's good you are aware and are doing the self exam. I would think what you are feeling is very normal breast tissue, glands & milk ducts. Your breasts can change as you get older and change with your periods as well. It's best to 'get to know' your breasts & figure out what is normal so you'll...

      more

      It's good you are aware and are doing the self exam. I would think what you are feeling is very normal breast tissue, glands & milk ducts. Your breasts can change as you get older and change with your periods as well. It's best to 'get to know' your breasts & figure out what is normal so you'll notice any change. With your period, they can swell & be sore. It's best to do an exam each month after your period has stopped. If you still have concerns talk with an adult & get checked out. Prayers to you.

      1 comment
    • Penny Walton Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2014

      Brianna, I started self exams at 16 & wondered how anyone could tell if there was a lump as I felt all kinds of stuff. But as Andre said, continue to do it and in a few months you will understand what's normal for you. If your school has a nurse you can go talk to her or your family doctor. A...

      more

      Brianna, I started self exams at 16 & wondered how anyone could tell if there was a lump as I felt all kinds of stuff. But as Andre said, continue to do it and in a few months you will understand what's normal for you. If your school has a nurse you can go talk to her or your family doctor. A doctor can do an exam and help you understand what's normal and assure you things are ok. You can check with the American Cancer Society where you van get information on self exams & even details on health fairs in your area where you can talk one on one with a professional. Just remember, you are not destined to get cancer. Practice good eating habits, exercise and take good care of yourself, these things do make a difference. You're on the right track, do the self exams & reach out again if you need to talk. It's a scary topic, but education and knowing your body will help you now and in the future. Prayers & Blessings, Penny

      Comment

Educational Video

Personal Story

Related Topics

Looking for another topic?
Use the search box in the top right.

Footer 3

Breast cancer affects one out of every eight women in their lifetime.

spread the word