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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

  • Thumb avatar default

    is it curable? if so, how?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 5 years 1 answer
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      Is what curable? If you mean BC there are lots of things they can do for it.

      Comment
  • patty pat Profile

    What is a grade 3 tumor?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Coco Smith Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      This depends on whether your laboratory is reporting using the English/Australian system often called the Nottingham Index or Bloom and Richardson VERSUS the American system.

      You did not say which country you were posting from.

      The answer above is correct for US and US based tumour rating...

      more

      This depends on whether your laboratory is reporting using the English/Australian system often called the Nottingham Index or Bloom and Richardson VERSUS the American system.

      You did not say which country you were posting from.

      The answer above is correct for US and US based tumour rating systems BUT in the Nottingham Index used in UK, Australia etc a Grade 3 means three individual scores of 1 [lowest risk] added together equals 3. Which under that system is the LOWEST score or the least aggressive form of cancer, not the more aggressive.

      Comment
    • sandy glisman Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I believe the grade is for agressiveness. 1. is mild, 2. moderate and 3. very agressive.

      Comment
  • Charles P Profile

    Any information on men with cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Charles,
      My brother-in-law was diagnosed last December with the same type of breast cancer I had. It started out with a pain in his chest near his nipple. When he rubbed it, he felt a lump, when pressed, fluid came out of his nipple. He was being treated for an injury and had an appointment...

      more

      Charles,
      My brother-in-law was diagnosed last December with the same type of breast cancer I had. It started out with a pain in his chest near his nipple. When he rubbed it, he felt a lump, when pressed, fluid came out of his nipple. He was being treated for an injury and had an appointment with his doctor that week. The doctor checked it and referred him to a breast center for a mammogram. From the mammogram, he had an ultrasound, and biopsy which confirmed it was breast cancer. Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC). He had a mastectomy and a OncoDX test on the tumor. He had 2 sentinel lymph nodes removed and they were cancer free. It was discovered, it (the tumor) contained the type of tumor cells that were not going to reoccur. His Onco score was -0- At that point, his oncologist sent him on his way with no further treatment would be needed. Essentially, my brother-in-law was treated just as a woman would be treated. If the Onco test would have come back a higher score.... in the 20's, it would have meant he needed chemotherapy to help prevent the cancer from coming back. It was just very lucky my brother-in-law was man enough to get it checked. He works in law enforcement so for him, it was highly embarrassing to say he had breast cancer. It turned out he was poster-boy for men who have breast cancer. IT'S CANCER for God's sake! It doesn't matter where it strikes, it's a nasty, sneaky disease. You must have something in your breast or armpit that does not feel normal. The best thing to do today is call your doctor, make an appointment to have it checked. If this turns out to be breast cancer, the sooner you have it treated, the better. Please keep in touch with us, Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • julie s Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      I just finished chemo- I had 6 rounds. I'm not going to lie.. It slowed me down for days 3-5 of my chemo. I scheduled it on Wednesdays- that worked for me so I could take it easy on the weekends. Everybody is different- just honor your body! Let us know any other questions!

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    what does the mass look like on the ultrasound screen?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 4 years 1 answer
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      It depends what kind of "mass" it is. You could have dense breasts and that would show up a certain way. Cysts are usually "black holes" on an ultrasound with borders that are smooth. I think it is very difficult to make sense of an ultrasound if it is anything other than a cyst. If you want...

      more

      It depends what kind of "mass" it is. You could have dense breasts and that would show up a certain way. Cysts are usually "black holes" on an ultrasound with borders that are smooth. I think it is very difficult to make sense of an ultrasound if it is anything other than a cyst. If you want cancer described again.... it depends on what kind of breast cancer. My ultrasound was done and I had an immediate biopsy. Even though I did have a cancerous tumor, it was never clear to me other than It did have irregular borders on it.

      If your ultrasound doesn't look right, you are scheduled for a biopsy. Even at that.... having to have a biopsy DOES NOT MEAN YOU HAVE CANCER! Many women have biopsy's and they come back NOT cancer. If a doctor or radiologist can't tell by a non invasive test, they then have to take some cells out of the suspicious area and send it to a lab. Did you have a mammogram and you are being sent to have an ultrasound? It's scary but so often these turn out to be nothing but a fluid filled cyst. Take care, Sharon

      Comment

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