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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

  • Sandra Allen Profile

    what isa sentinel node dissection I am having a double mastectomy and my doctor said she would do this before surg

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 2 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Sandra,
      Sentinel nodes at the first nodes in the chain of nodes closest to the breasts. If breast cancer has traveled from the original tumor, it lands in the sentinel nodes first. Usually the sentinel nodes end up numbering 2 or 3. I happened to have 5. If they find cancer there, they may...

      more

      Sandra,
      Sentinel nodes at the first nodes in the chain of nodes closest to the breasts. If breast cancer has traveled from the original tumor, it lands in the sentinel nodes first. Usually the sentinel nodes end up numbering 2 or 3. I happened to have 5. If they find cancer there, they may make the decision to do an axial node dissection which is in the armpits.
      Before your surgeon begins your surgery, they usually order a sentinel node mapping procedure which is an injection that identifies where the nodes are located. Here is a website that help explain it a bit better. You can also look on this site for information as well as Breastcancer.org.
      http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/surgery/lymph_node_removal/sentinel_dissection
      This is all such foreign territory but we have been there and walked this path. We are all here to help you through it. Hang in there darlin' and take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • kim c Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      That's a lymph node they will check for cancer cells to see if the cancer has spread to the lymph system.

      Comment
  • gima green Profile

    How many weeks / days are radiation from breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 3 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Depends on your situation. I had 35 treatments

      Comment
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      I did 28 treatments, so daily Monday-Friday for 5 1/2 weeks. I had to remove clothing from the waist up (only a top since bras were bothersome) and put on a robe they used for patients. I do know someone who had brachytherapy and went twice a day for 5 days but not everyone can have this type...

      more

      I did 28 treatments, so daily Monday-Friday for 5 1/2 weeks. I had to remove clothing from the waist up (only a top since bras were bothersome) and put on a robe they used for patients. I do know someone who had brachytherapy and went twice a day for 5 days but not everyone can have this type of therapy.

      Comment
  • Anyonmous Chixk Profile

    If I have an inverted nipple, does this mean I have breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 8 years 2 answers
    • Patty Ashworth Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Please go see your doctor and get a mammogram. I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. I had the same issue. The digital mammogram caught it. Pay attention to your body.

      Comment
    • tina piser Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      some people it's natural. if it's new for you, I can't stress enough to run to doctor. I had same thing and had dbl mastectomy in dec of 08. was stage 2a and it came back may 10 and iam fine now. mine was felt, confirmed by Mamogram, and again by ultrasound.. please call obgyn and tell them you...

      more

      some people it's natural. if it's new for you, I can't stress enough to run to doctor. I had same thing and had dbl mastectomy in dec of 08. was stage 2a and it came back may 10 and iam fine now. mine was felt, confirmed by Mamogram, and again by ultrasound.. please call obgyn and tell them you need breast exam for inverted nipple that isn't normal

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I've had a double breast masectomy on July 16th and the drains are really bothering me I can't sleep I want to remove my self . Do you think I can?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 9 answers
    • View all 9 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      NO, NO, NO! Call your doctor tomorrow and talk to them before you do something like that. Hang in there... Sharon.

      Comment
    • Brandi Mixon Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      No Don't try to take them out yourself. They are actually in further than what you think. They are also serving a purpose. We've all had the drains and they will be gone soon enough. Use some small pillows when you lay down. Hang in there and call your doctor in the morning. We have all been...

      more

      No Don't try to take them out yourself. They are actually in further than what you think. They are also serving a purpose. We've all had the drains and they will be gone soon enough. Use some small pillows when you lay down. Hang in there and call your doctor in the morning. We have all been there and I promise you will make it through!!!!

      Comment

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