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.
Breast cancer usually begins either where the milk is being produced, the lobules, or in the milk ducts.
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.
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.
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.
Asked by anonymousStage 3C Patient
I did not but happened to a dear friend of mine. She soldiered up and fought the fight and is cancer free!Comment 3
My lymphadema therapist told me we have about 24-26 lymph nodes under each arm. I have 18 removed and 17 were completely cancer. I have had chemo, now going through radiation and have had a PET scan. I am completely cancer free right now. I've had a hysterectomy so will be on Tomoxifen for 10...
My lymphadema therapist told me we have about 24-26 lymph nodes under each arm. I have 18 removed and 17 were completely cancer. I have had chemo, now going through radiation and have had a PET scan. I am completely cancer free right now. I've had a hysterectomy so will be on Tomoxifen for 10 years. I was stage 3C bc. With that many nodes positive it means you have a higher staging, but not necessarily stage 4 which means the cancer has metasticized to somewhere else. Stage 3 is still very curable with the correct meds, treatments, follow-ups and monitoring. Of course prayer and a positive attitude helps too. I have high expectations for myself and for you too.
Asked by anonymousSurvivor since 2013
Your doctor should have given you instructions on what to do when symptoms occur. If not, this definitely sounds like an infection and should be treated immediately! If your own doctors office can't take you right away, then go to the hospital emergency now.Comment 5
Sounds like an infection.Comment 2
Asked by anonymousLearning About Breast Cancer
Tumors grow, not shrink. Usually not painful. If you have a lump, get it tested. Prayers to you.Comment 0
I did have minor pain with my tumor. You need to go to your doctor and have a physical exam. Probably you will also be sent for a mammo or ultrasound. There is not a way, without further testing, to know if this is a cyst or cancer.Comment 0
“An Early Detection Plan (EDP) significantly increases the chances of surviving breast cancer.”spread the word