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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

  • Crystie Goldsmith Profile

    im going for a mamogram today, and they said to expect to be there a hour because if the radiiologist think I need a sonogram after it will take more time, does needing a sonogram after mean cancer

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 5 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      No, it does not. Using U/S is another way of looking at something (in your case you say you have a lump). I used to do mammograms and a lump can have several different appearances, hence it sounds like they are being cautious which I'm sure you want them to be. Only a biopsy can tell if it's...

      more

      No, it does not. Using U/S is another way of looking at something (in your case you say you have a lump). I used to do mammograms and a lump can have several different appearances, hence it sounds like they are being cautious which I'm sure you want them to be. Only a biopsy can tell if it's cancer or not.

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Nothing means cancer until the result from a biopsy come back positive.

      Comment
  • Mamta goenka Profile

    How do patients deal with lymphedema?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 1 answer
    • blair greiner Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I LOVE LOVE LOVE my lymphedema therapist. I go twice a week for manual drainage and she breaks my cords (tight like tendons created by scar tissue) I also wear a sleeve and glove a few hours a day, when exercising, flying, lifting anything heavy, being in the heat. I wear a compression bra also....

      more

      I LOVE LOVE LOVE my lymphedema therapist. I go twice a week for manual drainage and she breaks my cords (tight like tendons created by scar tissue) I also wear a sleeve and glove a few hours a day, when exercising, flying, lifting anything heavy, being in the heat. I wear a compression bra also. I had 18 nodes removed in my armpit so I am at high risk. I am SO LUCKY because I have the top therapist trained in Germany. Therapy SHOULD NOT hurt!

      Comment
  • Yashmira Devine Profile

    Had a bilateral mastectomy 5 weeks ago and feel numbness on my right arm down to the tips of my fingers. Anyone have a similar experience? What should I do?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 1 Patient
    over 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Elaine Mills Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      Wow.... you are the seventh person I have run into that had this happen also. I think... and this is just a THINK, that our bodies are made like wound rubber bands, and when that God-made construction is interrupted it causes problems. I had a double mastectomy, and my husband tells me I...

      more

      Wow.... you are the seventh person I have run into that had this happen also. I think... and this is just a THINK, that our bodies are made like wound rubber bands, and when that God-made construction is interrupted it causes problems. I had a double mastectomy, and my husband tells me I complained of the numbness within a few days, although I don't remember that early on. Just recently, I had a nerve study done that said I "all of the sudden developed carpal tunnel." I NEVER had carpal tunnel problems before the surgery. I have very strong and healthy hands as a musician. I was reduced to not being able to play my instruments or hold on to a dish without potentially dropping and breaking it.

      I fought having surgery on my hands, because the pain was all the way up my arms, and my right one would wake me with crazy pain. I eventually talked to my breast surgeon, who was also a hand specialist, and he prescribed Neurontin, which saved my life! I also had to succomb to the surgery. Right hand done and improving, and left hand scheduled for a few weeks out.

      Best wishes for all you have to go through. THis disease sucks, as does every thing that goes along with it. Please let me know how you do! I pray you don't have to go through an additional surgery. We have a facebook page called, "We Are Sisters" that is for survivors only. I have found it to be a sweet support. Joann Pearsall leads the page, and she is a Godsend.

      2 comments
    • Rita Jo Hayes Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      I had major numbness down to my elbow. With self physical therapy exercises they sent home with me eventually limited up to just my under arm. I had 12 nodes removed. If you are taking chemo it can cause numbness. I had major numbness in my fingers and toes from the chemo. Ask your Ono team....

      more

      I had major numbness down to my elbow. With self physical therapy exercises they sent home with me eventually limited up to just my under arm. I had 12 nodes removed. If you are taking chemo it can cause numbness. I had major numbness in my fingers and toes from the chemo. Ask your Ono team. I felt lucky to just have the numbness as I did not have problems with lymphadema. Good luck.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    breast are to large and dense for radiation. anyone heard of this.mascectomy only option.please help

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • André Roberts Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      I agree. Get a second opinion. Prayers to you.

      Comment
    • stacie s Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      I'm a 36H and had radiation after lumpectomy with no issue. I'd definitely get another opinion.

      Comment

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