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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

  • Kebre Woldegiorgis Profile

    It has been two-months and a quarter since I had lumpectomy three weeks since I finished my rad.treatment. I have a 4 x 3cm lump under my armpit. I just completed 10 days antibiotic. Nothing seems to work. Can somebody who have same issue advise me

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 3 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had a lump as well. It came from a build up of fluid from lump node removal. My oncologist removed some fluid @ Dr visit & rest went away on its own. I massages the area in shower with hot water & it helped.

      Comment
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      I would be calling my doctor's office and getting an appointment to be seen.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Has anyone been diagnosed with DCIS recently and been advised to take the mastectomy route? My mum was diagnosed last month and is due to have surgery inc reconstructive procedure and Im not sure what to expect. Any advice would be appreciated

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 7 years 2 answers
    • shen cruces Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 3A Patient

      I had a mastectomy about a year ago. I didn't have much of a choice but I think I would have still chosen a mastectomy. The surgery isn't too bad but I had problems putting my arm over my head to get dressed. Button up shirts and zip up hoodies are the way to go! Most importantly is that she...

      more

      I had a mastectomy about a year ago. I didn't have much of a choice but I think I would have still chosen a mastectomy. The surgery isn't too bad but I had problems putting my arm over my head to get dressed. Button up shirts and zip up hoodies are the way to go! Most importantly is that she starts her arm exercised and stretching as soon as the doctor gives the okay. It really made a huge difference for me. Hope that helped. Keep her spirits up so she can fight!

      1 comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      I had DCIS in Sept 2012 and had a choice of a lumpectomy or mastectomy. I chose the mastectomy. I didn't do the reconstruction at that time because I didn't have a plastic surgeon.

      Comment
  • ashley garnica Profile

    When you get a lump on your breast can you move it around ? My mom has it for alone time and she is worried is it bad if she gets a rash on her nipple ?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 7 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • vicki e Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      A rash like that could be a sign of Paget's disease, a type of bc. She should go to her doctor because that is the only way to rule out a problem. Self diagnosis can lead to a lot of unnecessary stress.

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Ashley,
      It is very important for your Mom to get anything that isn't normal in her breast checked out. Putting it off because she is afraid it is going to something awful will not make it go away. If it is --something-- waiting will only make it worse. Most of the lumps and bumps we feel...

      more

      Ashley,
      It is very important for your Mom to get anything that isn't normal in her breast checked out. Putting it off because she is afraid it is going to something awful will not make it go away. If it is --something-- waiting will only make it worse. Most of the lumps and bumps we feel usually turn out to be not breast cancer. The rash worries me. Tell her that it is making YOU WORRY. For YOUR sake, she needs to be checked. You are a wonderful caring daughter. Tell her you love her and want her to be around for a long time.... please go have the lump and rash evaluated by her doctor. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Is anyone experiencing vaginal dryness during chemotherapy?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    over 7 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Arrrgh.... yes, and continues to be a very sore subject. Sharon

      Comment
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Everything was dry. My skin was terrible. My privates were dry. I didn't even sweat. But my eyes and nose ran from the 3rd treatment on. I never figured out what to do about it. It did get a lot better when the chemo was over. Intimacy with my husband was challenging. A little creativity and...

      more

      Everything was dry. My skin was terrible. My privates were dry. I didn't even sweat. But my eyes and nose ran from the 3rd treatment on. I never figured out what to do about it. It did get a lot better when the chemo was over. Intimacy with my husband was challenging. A little creativity and over the counter assistance made it OK.

      Comment

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

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