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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

  • ruby lee64 Profile

    Does caffeine of any kind cause breast pain?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 1 Patient
    about 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • anonymous Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Yes!!! This is normal if you have fibrous tissue in your breasts. Most women under 45 experience this. Vitamin E 400iu can help with tenderness but you have to lay off the caffeine and chocolate...

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Ruby,

      HECK YES!!!! Some people are more sensitive to it than others.
      Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    found a lump upper breast near armpit, very sore and shooting pain

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      It sounds like an enlarged lymph node. Please get it checked. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Deb  Liebzeit Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      Get it checked ASAP!

      Comment
  • dinah frey Profile

    I am taking letrazole and I am extremely tired,irritable and in pain. Is that normal?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Dinah,
      What you are experiencing is very common. Letrozole side effects can be so lousy, you have to be switched to another type of drug. I did last the entire 5 years but not without much discomfort. Mine came in the form of a hot flash every single hour. I lived by having small fans...

      more

      Dinah,
      What you are experiencing is very common. Letrozole side effects can be so lousy, you have to be switched to another type of drug. I did last the entire 5 years but not without much discomfort. Mine came in the form of a hot flash every single hour. I lived by having small fans throughout my house. Arrrrgh.... don't beat yourself up if you can't stand the side effects, many women have problems with that drug. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Linda Green Profile
      anonymous
      Patient

      Oh yea! I call it the pill from h***!. I finally gave in and tried a low dose of Effexor which helped with flashes and bone pain, but it too had side effects I couldn't handle so stopped it.

      Comment
  • sonali Singh Profile

    How is the 2nd chimo different from the 1st one

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 4 years 3 answers
    • Cindy Medina Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      My first kept me in hospital for 5 days so they lowered my second dose. It was much better, then increased it up next time etc. I found 2nd and 3rd easier. Round four is Monday! Good luck!

      1 comment
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      As far as I know all 4 of mine were the same. The only issue I had during the first one was when the first chemo. drug was started and I got an immediate hot flash. I told the nurse and she turned the flow rate down and it went away as fast as it came on. I never had that problem with the...

      more

      As far as I know all 4 of mine were the same. The only issue I had during the first one was when the first chemo. drug was started and I got an immediate hot flash. I told the nurse and she turned the flow rate down and it went away as fast as it came on. I never had that problem with the other 3 so I imagine she made note in my chart for the other nurse who did them.

      1 comment

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