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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

  • Thumb avatar default

    Hey ladies, i've got a question? Are any of you familiar with the drug Diethylstilbestrol (DES). I heard them talking on the news today about it. I got this information from the internet. My mother was given this while pregnant with me.

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 1 Patient
    over 6 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Life is Good! Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      Here are some sites about DES. PLEASE be cautious in reading too much info and adding to the stress or worry that we already have too much of!!! ...

      more

      Here are some sites about DES. PLEASE be cautious in reading too much info and adding to the stress or worry that we already have too much of!!!

      http://www.cdc.gov/des/consumers/about/concerns_daughters.html

      http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/DES

      http://www.cdc.gov/des/partners/download/DES&BreastCancerFS.pdf

      1 comment
    • Life is Good! Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      Thanks for the info about DES, Kim. My mom took it when pregnant with me. My first gyn noticed a ridge around my cervix which is a side effect. I also had complicated pregnancies most likely because of the DES exposure. In 2001, I had a partial hysterectomy due in part to prevent uterine...

      more

      Thanks for the info about DES, Kim. My mom took it when pregnant with me. My first gyn noticed a ridge around my cervix which is a side effect. I also had complicated pregnancies most likely because of the DES exposure. In 2001, I had a partial hysterectomy due in part to prevent uterine cancer, which is also a side effect. It wasn't until after my BC diagnosis in 2003, that I read that DES daughters have a higher risk of breast cancer. I have no family history and think that DES may have contributed, but doctors don't know for sure. I would be interested to hear from women were exposed to DES. Meanwhile, I am trying to live a healthy lifestyle, maintain a positive attitude, and lead a joyful life!!! Cancer does not define me, it really s&*#s,and wish NO one had to experience it, but it has enriched my life as well. I am so thankful for the amazing women on this site!

      1 comment
  • Pat Kara Profile
  • Marlene Gulliford Profile

    My radiologist told me during my ultrasound that the lump in my breast looks suspicious and that it looks to be cancer. Do you think there is a possibility that he could be wrong with his diagnosis? Due to have a core biopsy on Tuesday.

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    almost 4 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      If you're not sure seek another opinion. I had 2 areas that looked suspicious 3 years ago that hadn't been seen previously. I had a biopsy of one area that was indeed a cancer and we elected to biopsy the other area next to it a couple of weeks later and it too was a cancer but a different...

      more

      If you're not sure seek another opinion. I had 2 areas that looked suspicious 3 years ago that hadn't been seen previously. I had a biopsy of one area that was indeed a cancer and we elected to biopsy the other area next to it a couple of weeks later and it too was a cancer but a different type. Radiologists have special training in reading X-rays, etc. and yes at times they can be wrong but if he is recommending a biopsy I'd have it done. Take care and keep us posted, Betti

      3 comments
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      It's not for sure until they do a biopsy. The radiologist who did my ultrasound told me chances were, my biopsy would come back as cancer and she was right. My lump was very firm, irregular shaped and had a bumpy feeling to it. I already knew it was cancer from the 1st time I felt it. It was...

      more

      It's not for sure until they do a biopsy. The radiologist who did my ultrasound told me chances were, my biopsy would come back as cancer and she was right. My lump was very firm, irregular shaped and had a bumpy feeling to it. I already knew it was cancer from the 1st time I felt it. It was so weird. On the ultrasound the shape was very irregular and I watched as she took various measurements. Even when I got "The Call" it was still a terrible shock. I went on to have treatment and am alive and well 8 years later. Hang in there and take care, please keep in touch with us. Sharon

      2 comments
  • Thumb avatar default

    I have eczema pretty bad. Will it get worse with chemo?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    almost 7 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • laura  bailey Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Hi Traci, I also have eczema (legs, back and face). If yours reacts like mine, then it will go away during chemo. I had a complete secession of that condition. That was one positive during chemo, completely clear of eczema! (It does come back after). Good luck! Laura

      1 comment
    • Alice Klobukowski Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      I have a tendency to get eczema. I think the steroids you take before, during, and after might help. I did get a bad rash on my scalp after one chemo. The doctor prescribed an antibiotic for that, so that wasn't eczema. Do you have any allergies to tape? If so, ask the nurses to use gauze...

      more

      I have a tendency to get eczema. I think the steroids you take before, during, and after might help. I did get a bad rash on my scalp after one chemo. The doctor prescribed an antibiotic for that, so that wasn't eczema. Do you have any allergies to tape? If so, ask the nurses to use gauze and paper tape instead their usual supplies.

      Comment

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