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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

  • sonali Singh Profile

    What nutrition should be had in foods during chimo session s

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 4 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Alison Soule Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Watermelon was my saving grace! And green grapes! But I also craved bland food like pasta with plain sauce. After a few days I are normally--healthy as I usually did.

      Comment
    • Betsy V Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      Water a lot of water!

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    went to dr. and they did ultrasound they found a heterogeneous hypoechoic circumscribed mass at 3 oclock and a right retroareolar simple cyst. BI-RADS 0. Can anyone please tell me what this means?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 1 answer
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Lots of women receive unintelligible findings and ask this board to define them. The best place to get the exact information is your doctor. No doubt, one question will lead to another and another. Your doctor would be the best person to talk to and answer all of your questions that might...

      more

      Lots of women receive unintelligible findings and ask this board to define them. The best place to get the exact information is your doctor. No doubt, one question will lead to another and another. Your doctor would be the best person to talk to and answer all of your questions that might come up. I do know Bi-Rads is a kind of grading system. it goes from 0 to 5. 0 = GOOD!!! Circumscribed COULD be descriping a border of the mass. The mass at 3 o'clock and right retroareoplar is the location on your breast. Simple cyst is also good. The rest of the --BIG WORDS-- I don't have a clue. Call your doctor for your own peace of mind. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    2 small lumps in my breast

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 3 years 3 answers
    • Life is Good! Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      Finding 2 lumps is scary. 80% of lumps are not cancer, but please go to the doctor soon, for peace of mind and to determine what they are. Early detection saves lives. Keep us posted on the results.

      2 comments
    • Mary Navarro Profile
      anonymous
      Patient

      Go see your doctor. The sooner the better, for a peace of mind.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    what will i look like after a double mastectomy?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 5 years 3 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I tried to find a photograph that would let you view what you would look like because it is difficult to imagine. I had a single mastectomy and you can see where all the breast tissue was removed so my chest is flat with a single line type scar in the area. It was done quite nicely and my dear...

      more

      I tried to find a photograph that would let you view what you would look like because it is difficult to imagine. I had a single mastectomy and you can see where all the breast tissue was removed so my chest is flat with a single line type scar in the area. It was done quite nicely and my dear surgeon, a talented young woman did a nice job. I admire her skill because whether is was her skill or my skin type, the scaring is inobtrusive. EVERYBODY will have a different feeling when they see their chest for the first time. It is something someone can't predict for you. We can only share out personal experiences. Since my breasts were small they never were a focal point for my self esteem or my feeling of femininity. So, the only thing I was saying goodbye to was a bit of tissue that was giving a home to breast cancer. I was delighted to get rid of "IT". I did not have reconstruction and wear a prosthesis. It is comfortable and I am ok with it. Lots of young women opt for reconstruction, but I am 64 now and was 59 when diagnosed. Again, this is a personal choice! I look at my scar and it appears to have a bit of the shape of a "smile". Seems appropriate because I am oh SO happy to be rid of breast cancer. Don't get me wrong, it is scary at first but again.... I can only share the way I had to wrap my head around the different look on half my chest. I would like to get a comical tattoo across the scar..... like a zipper or something. I would do it except by oncologist who I still have to face once a year---hates--- tattoo's. Hang in there darlin' take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Leah Fortune Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      When I saw mine for the first time(single) I called it my man boob. It reminds me now of just being young and carefree.

      Comment

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An Early Detection Plan (EDP) significantly increases the chances of surviving breast cancer.

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