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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

  • Madelyn Bunn Profile

    How can you tell if you have breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 2 answers
    • Ana Naluh Andrade Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      The only way to know if you have breast Cancer is through a biopsy of the tumor/tissue.

      Comment
    • renee  lorenz Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      A common way to check yourself for breast cancer is in the shower to feel around for lumps.

      2 comments
  • Jody Feil Profile

    Is it a good idea to do the HCG hormone diet after having breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years Answer
  • Thumb avatar default

    Has anyone flown with a wig? Has it been an issue with security?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 3 answers
    • Libby B Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      My mother and I are on vacation now in Las Vegas and she had no trouble at all at the airport.

      Comment
    • Traciann brundage Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I haven't but they shouldn't even care . Women have fake hair pieces all the time . I wouldn't worry one bit . Have fun on your trip .

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    What is the significance of isolated tumor cells in a single lymph node? (a small five cell cluster of about 1mm)

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 7 years 3 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      Although the amount of cells seems small, the significance lies in the fact that the cancer moved into the lymph nodes. Chemotherapy will insure that any cell that got free will be killed and your chance of recurrence will be reduced.

      Comment
    • Nancy L Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I suggest speaking to your surgeon and to an oncologist, perhaps even requesting the Oncotype Dx testing of the cells. I was faced with a similar situation - two microscopic cancer cells in my nodes - and after a great many sleepless nights, chose to follow my surgeon's advice. He said the cells...

      more

      I suggest speaking to your surgeon and to an oncologist, perhaps even requesting the Oncotype Dx testing of the cells. I was faced with a similar situation - two microscopic cancer cells in my nodes - and after a great many sleepless nights, chose to follow my surgeon's advice. He said the cells were too small to test further and chemo would only increase my survival chances by approx. 2%, so I chose no chemo. After 4 years of Arimidex, I'm still going strong. Your situation may be different, certainly, so the advice of your doctors is critical. Ask lots of questions. Best of luck to you.

      Comment

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