loading... close

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

  • Thumb avatar default
  • Mimi Arroyo Profile

    My friend had stage 4 cancer. What can I do to help her?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Help her live and love her life.

      Comment
    • Deborah Camacho Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      She has a lot to learn and her emotions are probably high. If you can help her get to her appointments, if she needs help. Help her keep notes on her diagnosis and treatment. Let her cry if she needs to cry.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    How fast does breast cancer spread?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 1 answer
    • Omar Hinojosa Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      It all depends on the stage and type of breast cancer you have. My mother was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer and is still here after 10 years. The answer is no one knows, but it can spread rapidly if not treated properly

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I had mammo, then us and now they want me to have MRI but no biopsy. Is this normal procedure? My ins. did not want to pay for MRI but my doctor sent appeal and they approved it. The radiologist said probable cause for concern. what does this mean?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 10 answers
    • View all 10 answers
    • Brandi Carey Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had a mammogram then ultrasound. Came back BI_RAD 5. I had a great radiologist! Biopsy (malignant)then they had me do MRI w/contrast.2days later,another ultrasound.then wanted me to have MRI guided biopsy. I opted out cuz I'm getting a bilateral masectomy but I honestly hope your dr is just...

      more

      I had a mammogram then ultrasound. Came back BI_RAD 5. I had a great radiologist! Biopsy (malignant)then they had me do MRI w/contrast.2days later,another ultrasound.then wanted me to have MRI guided biopsy. I opted out cuz I'm getting a bilateral masectomy but I honestly hope your dr is just being cautious!! Some dr are hard to convince w tests.:-) also MRI picked up R sided masses that mammo&U.S missed. Good luck

      Comment
    • Sandy B Profile
      anonymous
      Patient

      I had the same process. The mamogram did not show tumors. My symptom was a bleeding nipple.The Dr. had a gut feeling that there was something going on. They did the MRI, showed areas of concern. They then proceeded with the biopsy. Showed no cancer. The surgeon encouraged me strongly to have a...

      more

      I had the same process. The mamogram did not show tumors. My symptom was a bleeding nipple.The Dr. had a gut feeling that there was something going on. They did the MRI, showed areas of concern. They then proceeded with the biopsy. Showed no cancer. The surgeon encouraged me strongly to have a lumpectomy, as again, he had that gut feeling. He performed that lumpectomy and he found 5 tumors, 2 large in my breast. He saved my life. No real answer as to why my tumors did not show. I hope your results are different, but I will be forever grateful my surgeon was persistent.

      Comment

Educational Video

Personal Story

Related Topics

Looking for another topic?
Use the search box in the top right.

Footer 3

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

spread the word