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.
Breast cancer usually begins either where the milk is being produced, the lobules, or in the milk ducts.
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.
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.
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.
Asked by anonymousStage 3A Patient
You got numbness in your feet from radiation? I have never heard of that happening. Have you talked to your drs?Comment 2
Hi Cookie, I don't have the answer to your question. I just wanted to congratulate you for finishing your rads. I'm sure others will answer you soon. Hope you feel better soon. Prayers to you.1 comment 2
Asked by anonymousFamily Member or Loved One
I guess I don't understand if she has breast cancer found in both breasts and what are the stages? 1, 2, and 4? At the point of diagnosis, it is pretty confusing because you actually won't get the final diagnosis until after her surgery is done and the report comes back from the pathologist. ...
I guess I don't understand if she has breast cancer found in both breasts and what are the stages? 1, 2, and 4? At the point of diagnosis, it is pretty confusing because you actually won't get the final diagnosis until after her surgery is done and the report comes back from the pathologist. My stage changed after the surgery because one of my nodes had cancer in it.
At this point, there is a ton of testing.... she will have lots of bloodwork, and possibly CT Scan, PET Scan, MRI, MUGA.... and MORE bloodwork. Keep a copy of all of her tests in a 3 ring binder, tape all of the business cards taped on the inside of cover. When you go with her take tons of notes, or audio tape her consultation appointments.
At this point, you are just trying to get through all the preliminary testing. Once you get a treatment plan, at least her path will be a bit clearer. Believe it or not, you actually get a feeling of comfort and security from hearing your treatment plan. She will probably have surgery, either lumpectomy or mastectomy, chemotherapy, and maybe radiation. If her tumor is larger, she may have some chemo treatment before surgery to shrink the tumor. I wouldn't get wrapped up in the drama of "What her chances are?" She just puts on her woman warrior gear and goes into battle. We here on this site are either going through treatment or have been through treatment. I had breast cancer 5 years ago and am alive, well, and enjoying the heck out of my life. There are LOTS of options for treatment of all sorts of breast cancers. Hang in there and take care, Sharon
U can tell her she will be fine and u will be with her every step of the way. U will fight with her. Encourage her and pray with her. My sister read the bible to me and it gave me such comfort. I'll be rostering for the both of u. God bless.Comment 1
Asked by anonymousLearning About Breast Cancer
I'm all done with radiation. Started the 5 year pill, and personal healing, therapy. No more docs, etc for awhile.2 comments 1
Aquaphor was the best for me and recommended by my onc. I had second degree burns after I finished rads. Healed fast.Comment 0
“An Early Detection Plan (EDP) significantly increases the chances of surviving breast cancer.”spread the word