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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

  • Hilda Geweldt Profile

    can neck and shoulder blade pain, be signs of breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

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

      I have had shoulder neck pain years prior it was rotator cuff nothing to do with breast cancer but did make my shoulder problem worse

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Hilda,

      I also meant to say.... neck and shoulder blade pain can be caused by tension or an old injury. A million other reasons that have nothing to do with breast cancer. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Is Grade 3 the same as Stage 3?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 2 answers
    • Leah Fortune Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      No stage is how far it's gone, size some other stuff, and grade is what the cancer cell looks like and how fast growing it is.

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Thnx Leah, good luck to you.

      Comment
  • stephen mc gowan Profile

    My wife Fiona has breast cancer which has spread to three areas of her liver .i would like to know if anyone had this and survived . The doctor says she maybe has two years . She has had three chemo sessions , and is doing great

    Asked by anonymous

    Family Member or Loved One
    about 7 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Stephen,
      I like to be realistic but I also wouldn't put a time limit on any woman. This is serious but none of us know.... even doctor's, how long we have on Earth. We do have women here who have been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. They are being treated and are still taking part in...

      more

      Stephen,
      I like to be realistic but I also wouldn't put a time limit on any woman. This is serious but none of us know.... even doctor's, how long we have on Earth. We do have women here who have been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. They are being treated and are still taking part in our discussions. Increasingly, metastatic breast cancer is being treated as a chronic disease. As long as there is life, there is hope. All the better Fiona is doing so well with her chemo. treatments. My question would not be, "How long do I have" but "Well, what are we going to do?" I think those of us with breast cancer get plenty of bad news and horrible thoughts we manufacture in our own minds. What we need is some shining hope out there for us to reach for. God's blessings to you and your dear Fiona. Take care, Sharon

      1 comment
    • P G Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 3C Patient

      Well said Sharon! Prayers to you Stephen and your Fiona! Hugs, Pazit

      1 comment
  • Courtney C. Profile

    How close are we to finding a cure?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Ana Naluh Andrade Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Unfortunately, I don't think there's dedication at all on finding a cure for cancer in general. There is researches on new treatments, new medications, less invasive procedures. But meanwhile the pharmaceutical industry makes millions with diseases, nobody will give up the profits for the cure....

      more

      Unfortunately, I don't think there's dedication at all on finding a cure for cancer in general. There is researches on new treatments, new medications, less invasive procedures. But meanwhile the pharmaceutical industry makes millions with diseases, nobody will give up the profits for the cure. When you know that 1 (one) session of chemotherapy runs around $30,000/$40,000, you understand what I mean!

      Comment
    • Shannon Key Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I'm so glad to hear that someone else thinks like my survivor friends and myself!

      Comment

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