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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

  • Mary Bennett Profile

    Does anyone else have triple negative,stage 1a breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 1 Patient
    about 4 years 3 answers
    • Alison Soule Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I did. Not sure if it was 1a--they just said stage 1 because it was outside the duct (which is how I found it at age 31). Chemo essentially killed the Tumor, then I had a lumpectomy, then radiation. I'm cancer free, 3 years

      Comment
    • Beth Marlow Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I was triple negative in my left breast three years ago. I opted for the mastectomy even though I was a candidate for lumpectomy and I went with the diep procedure which replaces your breast with blood vessels and fatty tissue from your abdomen had no lymph node involvement and did not have to...

      more

      I was triple negative in my left breast three years ago. I opted for the mastectomy even though I was a candidate for lumpectomy and I went with the diep procedure which replaces your breast with blood vessels and fatty tissue from your abdomen had no lymph node involvement and did not have to have radiation.

      Comment
  • Cynthia Flexen Profile

    I dont know whether I should have a Bilateral mastectomy or just single mastectomy? I have DCIS in my left breast. I do not have the BRCA1 or 2 gene so that is why I dont know what to do??? Any advice please?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 0 Patient
    about 7 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Cynthia, have you spoken to your Breast Surgeon about their opinion? That's very good news you don't have either of the BRACA genes. I will have my test performed this week. That's a tough decision, whether to remove both breasts. I have Stage IIIc IDC. It's a later stage plus my...

      more

      Hi Cynthia, have you spoken to your Breast Surgeon about their opinion? That's very good news you don't have either of the BRACA genes. I will have my test performed this week. That's a tough decision, whether to remove both breasts. I have Stage IIIc IDC. It's a later stage plus my non-cancerous breast has several calcifications and a fluid filled cyst. Trouble brewing there. So I've chosen to have both removed. It's such a personal choice I can only relate my story to you. A good medical site to go to with fact based research is breastcancer.org. Or the book "Dr Susan Love's Breast Book". both has so much helpful info. Thinking of you on your journey,

      Diana

      2 comments
    • Surf  Momma Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I just had a bilateral mastectomy one week ago. I have cancer in one breast only. I choose a bilateral because it made more sense to me to have two breasts that could look as similar as could be.

      Comment
  • Madison Ware Profile

    Do you get scared if you're diagnosed with breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 7 years 3 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Absolutely. Receiving a breast cancer diagnosis is frightening, shocking and confusing ... it turns your world upside down. Suddenly you are facing your own mortality. But life is for living, so you need to shift your focus from the negative to doing whatever you can to be strong in body and...

      more

      Absolutely. Receiving a breast cancer diagnosis is frightening, shocking and confusing ... it turns your world upside down. Suddenly you are facing your own mortality. But life is for living, so you need to shift your focus from the negative to doing whatever you can to be strong in body and mind. In addition to what the medical profession advises, eat well, exercise, medicate, try complementary therapies - whatever it takes. Remember: God helps those who help themselves. A BC diagnosis is NOT a death sentence, women can and do recover and lead long, healthy lives.

      Comment
    • Buster OBuster Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      YES. After my doctor said the C word, I can't remember anything else that was said. That's why you should ALWAYS take an advocate with you at ALL appointments. My advocate was my St Mom.

      Comment
  • aliza francis Profile

    Could four months of using HRT between April to July 2011 have caused my now diagnosis of breast cancer 12.1.2012?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Aliza, I'm not a Dr., but in my opinion it wouldn't seem likely that just four months of hrt would be the cause of your cancer. I know hrt can be one of the risk factors along with so many other things. There are people with cancer that don't have any risk factors whatsoever. I had no history...

      more

      Hi Aliza, I'm not a Dr., but in my opinion it wouldn't seem likely that just four months of hrt would be the cause of your cancer. I know hrt can be one of the risk factors along with so many other things. There are people with cancer that don't have any risk factors whatsoever. I had no history of breast cancer in my family, followed a good diet, exercised, didn't smoke, etc. It's very common to question what caused our cancer. When I was first diagnosed I went over & over in my mind what I might have done to cause my cancer. I finally gave in to the fact that I would never know if there was something I could have done to prevent it and start focusing on my healing. Thoughts & prayers to you in your journey to wellness. Hugs, Diana

      Comment
    • aliza francis Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Thank you so much for your reply,story. Sounds like you have had an arduous journey with breast cancer and I truly admire your courage and positivity. My journey has just begun, and I would like to keep you informed along the way if that's alright with you. Thank God for daughters and sisters who...

      more

      Thank you so much for your reply,story. Sounds like you have had an arduous journey with breast cancer and I truly admire your courage and positivity. My journey has just begun, and I would like to keep you informed along the way if that's alright with you. Thank God for daughters and sisters who are right beside and with me as this journey begins and concludes. I pray after all you have been through that life will be extra kind to you now. god bless you. Judy, Alizas Mum.

      1 comment

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