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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

    I found a hard pea size lump in my left breast in the areola. I had a normal mammogram in July 2013. I am 46 and over weight. An ultrasound scheduled for tomorrow morning but I am scared. Could this be cancer if I just had the normal mammogram?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      You have made the wise choice to call it to your doctor's attention and have an U/S. Prayers headed your way, Betti

      1 comment
    • Lou Cam Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      You are doing the right thing by getting this checked. There is no way to tell without testing, if this is benign or not. An ultrasound, or even a biopsy, can give you a clearer picture of what you are dealing with. It is normal to be scared . The not knowing and the waiting can be very hard....

      more

      You are doing the right thing by getting this checked. There is no way to tell without testing, if this is benign or not. An ultrasound, or even a biopsy, can give you a clearer picture of what you are dealing with. It is normal to be scared . The not knowing and the waiting can be very hard.

      1 comment
  • Cassie Basham Profile

    Anyone fallen into the "intermediate category" on the oncotype test, and then had the EndoPredict test done to get a definite answer to benefit of chemo? My RS was 27.

    Asked by anonymous

    stage_1 Patient
    about 3 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      I only had the OncoType DX test as at the time was the only one available and was told I was aiming for a number of 18 or below. I came in right at 18 and my Onc. told me I could get by without chemo. but she used another program of some sort, plugging in my info., and it said my recurrence rate...

      more

      I only had the OncoType DX test as at the time was the only one available and was told I was aiming for a number of 18 or below. I came in right at 18 and my Onc. told me I could get by without chemo. but she used another program of some sort, plugging in my info., and it said my recurrence rate would drop significantly so I chose to do chemo. and am glad I did.

      Comment
    • Lou Cam Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      Maybe Endo is new, I've never heard of it. My onco score was 17. I had decided to have chemo if my score was over 20. I think that 26 was the number that my doctor said I must have chemo, and 19 to 25, we would have to discuss.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    How can one detect breast cancer early on her own?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 8 years 2 answers
    • vicki e Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      Norma is right about following your gut feeling. Four years ago I found a lump and got a mammogram. Nothing showed up on mammo but a biopsy proved my concern was valid. In february of this year I found a lump under my arm that doctor pooh poohed as nothing. I insisted on further testing and had 9...

      more

      Norma is right about following your gut feeling. Four years ago I found a lump and got a mammogram. Nothing showed up on mammo but a biopsy proved my concern was valid. In february of this year I found a lump under my arm that doctor pooh poohed as nothing. I insisted on further testing and had 9 positive nodes removed 2 wks later Listen to your gut and be your own best advocate. It's your body.

      1 comment
    • Norma Johnson Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      You can check your breast often, get mamo when you should and if anything feels funny such as in my case just a funny feeling....let your Dr. Know!

      Comment
  • Tangee Temple Profile

    My aunt died with breast cancer during surgery - why?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 1 answer
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      So sorry and prayers to family

      Comment

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

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