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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

  • VERNA RIVERS Profile

    How many lymph nodes are in and around the breast?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 2 answers
    • melissa perlman Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      There are thousands. They are connected via vessels and form their own circulatory system. Help to transport fluid. Not blood. If damaged or too many nodes surgically removed, will cause lymphedema. A chronic swelling of an area. Treatment includes compression sleeves and/or massage to mobilize...

      more

      There are thousands. They are connected via vessels and form their own circulatory system. Help to transport fluid. Not blood. If damaged or too many nodes surgically removed, will cause lymphedema. A chronic swelling of an area. Treatment includes compression sleeves and/or massage to mobilize fluid.

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Verna.... in the body, Lymph Nodes are a system in themselves. There are LOTS of lymph nodes, head, neck, arm pits, abdomen, groin....etc . When I had breast cancer, the surgeon took out my sentinel lymph nodes... usually under 5. These are thought to be the first lymph nodes where cancer...

      more

      Verna.... in the body, Lymph Nodes are a system in themselves. There are LOTS of lymph nodes, head, neck, arm pits, abdomen, groin....etc . When I had breast cancer, the surgeon took out my sentinel lymph nodes... usually under 5. These are thought to be the first lymph nodes where cancer will start to spread. Instead of doing a more radical "remove all auxillary lymph nodes" they just start with these few sentinel nodes if it is early stage breast cancer. By doing that, they can save the patient from possibly developing lymphadema.... a permanent swelling of the arm. Hopefully, someone else can add more information. It is easy to find more on lymph nodes by just "googling" LYMPH NODES. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I am going to be 40 in August. 2 weeks back I noticed light green discharge from right nipple.Should I see a doctor?IF yes which doctor should I see? I My late Uncle died from Colon Cancer and My Other Uncle is suffering from Prostate Cancer.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 4 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      I'd see either my primary care doctor or my Gyn as they can do a breast exam and if need be order some testing with a specialist.

      2 comments
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I agree with Betti. You are also at an age when you need to start getting yearly mammograms. Your doctor will probably refer you for one. Yes, you have cancer in your family but it matters more if you have a mother, grandmother, or sister who developed breast cancer. I had NO relatives on...

      more

      I agree with Betti. You are also at an age when you need to start getting yearly mammograms. Your doctor will probably refer you for one. Yes, you have cancer in your family but it matters more if you have a mother, grandmother, or sister who developed breast cancer. I had NO relatives on either side of my family who had any type of cancer but
      somehow, I was the lucky one. You just never know and that is why it is so important to get in to see your doctor for ANY type of changes in your breasts. Take care, Sharon

      4 comments
  • anonymous Profile

    cough after radiation

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2B Patient
    almost 5 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Leah Fortune Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      I just read your bio. Sorry you have to go thru this. I think if you give up on some of the anger you will be happier. Good luck acceptance

      1 comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      I have had radiation at the end of 2012 - 2013 a cough started, right after 6 months. I went to Dr. had x-rays, d-dimer test etc... I think it's radiation cough, anyone else experience this?
      thanks,
      Radiation Girl

      Comment
  • Laura Gaspard Profile

    Does a family history of breast cancer put someone at a higher risk?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 8 years 2 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      yes a family history of breast or ovarian cancer does put you at higher risk for breast cancer. talk with your doctor to have regular mammograms.

      Comment
    • France P Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      I would say that a history indicates a risk of a genetic factor, wich can be a higher risk for having cancer... But that is 2 "if", and there is not only one kind of genetic cancer (BRCA), there are many other possibilities wich I think don't always involve a high risk... Best thing is to talk...

      more

      I would say that a history indicates a risk of a genetic factor, wich can be a higher risk for having cancer... But that is 2 "if", and there is not only one kind of genetic cancer (BRCA), there are many other possibilities wich I think don't always involve a high risk... Best thing is to talk to a specialist about that...

      Comment

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An Early Detection Plan (EDP) significantly increases the chances of surviving breast cancer.

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