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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

  • Margaret Birkenshaw Profile

    I have found a very very very small dark red incur station on my nipple should I b concerned

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 4 years 2 answers
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      Any changes to any part of one's body should be checked by a doctor.

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Margaret,
      There is no way we would know if this is a benign change or not. Betti is correct, any changes to your breasts that aren't normal for you should be checked. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I'm getting a nipple-sparing bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction this week. I'm fairly thin so my only option was implants. Anyone have any experience with this surgery? Were you happy with the outcome?

    Asked by anonymous

    stage_3a Patient
    about 3 years 3 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had this surgery without the nipple sparring . The pain level was intense for the 1st 2 weeks because the implants are filled a little @ the time of surgery. Drains are put in in both sides removed after 2 weeks for me. Exercises my nurse taught helped with the pain. 1 night stay in hospital. ...

      more

      I had this surgery without the nipple sparring . The pain level was intense for the 1st 2 weeks because the implants are filled a little @ the time of surgery. Drains are put in in both sides removed after 2 weeks for me. Exercises my nurse taught helped with the pain. 1 night stay in hospital. I filled every 2 weeks which helped cut pain . Some women went every week. I went 34B b my original size. I wasn't trying to go big I just wanted something there. Looking @ myself with no breast made me sad but the end result is fabulous & yes I have no feeling in the breast prayers

      1 comment
    • Trisha Muller Quinn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2014

      I noticed no one has answered your post ... I can't help you cause I had big boobs and they chop them both off ... Nipple saving I would have gone for if it was offered to me ... I wonder have much sensation you are left on the nipple .. But getting rid of the cancer is the most important thing...

      more

      I noticed no one has answered your post ... I can't help you cause I had big boobs and they chop them both off ... Nipple saving I would have gone for if it was offered to me ... I wonder have much sensation you are left on the nipple .. But getting rid of the cancer is the most important thing ... Looks come second compared to life .... I haven't had any reconstruction but I'm happy to be boob free ... Any how hope that someone can answer And good luck with everything::)))

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Is there a spot in your site for mothers who lost her daughter to breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 2 answers
    • Catherine Nodurft Profile
      anonymous
      Family Member or Loved One

      So sorry about your daughter! I would recommend you visit our online support community at www.MyNBCF.org, it is an amazing support community of breast cancer survivors, friends and family.

      Comment
    • Catherine Nodurft Profile
      anonymous
      Family Member or Loved One

      Also, we have a list of support resources at http://breastcan.cr/fZQzP6.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Once removed does a lymph node grow back?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 5 years 3 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Stage 3C Patient

      I don't believe they grow back, but often the lymph finds other paths to move through the body. It's pretty impossible for surgeons to remove every lymph node in an area so you usually have some left to do the work. I got this info from my lymphedema PT.

      2 comments
    • Mimi Carroll Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Nope, they don't grow back. We do have others . I had 13 out in February and I am doing fine. I get massages and do exercises to help the fluid go to other nodes. Two best lymph exercises- jump on trampoline or rebounder and when sitting flex your foot up and down.
      I wear a compression...

      more

      Nope, they don't grow back. We do have others . I had 13 out in February and I am doing fine. I get massages and do exercises to help the fluid go to other nodes. Two best lymph exercises- jump on trampoline or rebounder and when sitting flex your foot up and down.
      I wear a compression sleeve my dic gave when doing lifting and will for flying.

      3 comments

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