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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

    Where is the best place to be treated for breast cancer? I live in Florida and my children want me to go to Washington DC to stay with them to get better treatment.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 4 years 9 answers
    • View all 9 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Both places are good - I would go to the place with the best support for you. Your children mean well- but are can they handle your chemo and doctors visits etc... It's hard for both parties but the best is when you have good support.

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      It probably has something to do with the type of breast cancer you have. Going through treatment it's nice not to be by yourself. What do you want to do? If you don't feel like you will get adequate carie in FL. Then you probably need to go so wen

      Comment
  • Nikol Vega Profile

    Any ideas on how to tell my 10 year old daughter I have breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Surf  Momma Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I have a 10 year old and year old. I just told both kids one month ago. I told them when I knew I would not be hysterical about it. It is all in your delivery. My kids have been fine.

      Comment
    • Janelle Strunk Profile
      anonymous
      Family Member or Loved One

      Nikol,

      Be strong, but be honest. Most experts advise that you talk to your child about the cancer as soon as you are able to manage your own emotions. You do not have to hide your emotions, but be sure to wait until you can focus on the needs of your children and not your own.

      It might also...

      more

      Nikol,

      Be strong, but be honest. Most experts advise that you talk to your child about the cancer as soon as you are able to manage your own emotions. You do not have to hide your emotions, but be sure to wait until you can focus on the needs of your children and not your own.

      It might also be helpful to come up with an outline of topics that you want to cover, because your talk with your daughter will likely become emotional and you may forget what you wanted to say.

      Here is a link to a short article in Parents that may be helpful: http://www.parents.com/parenting/moms/healthy-mom/6-ways-to-tell-your-kids-about-breast-cancer/

      Also, remember that you are not alone. Not too long ago, on this site, someone else asked the question "How do I tell my kids". Click on this question and you can see some suggestions from women who have also had to do this: http://beyondtheshock.com/questions/561

      I am so sorry to hear about your diagnosis, but am wishing you the best. Stay strong and keep hope!

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    What is the meaning of suspected right hilar lymph nodes? Does that indicate metastasis?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years 2 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      They are identifying a lymph node (the right hilar lymph node) that looks suspicious. You NEED to call the radiologist, surgeon, or oncologist to explain what this means and show you on your diagnostic tests. This is all very scary because you don't have all the information you need. I don't...

      more

      They are identifying a lymph node (the right hilar lymph node) that looks suspicious. You NEED to call the radiologist, surgeon, or oncologist to explain what this means and show you on your diagnostic tests. This is all very scary because you don't have all the information you need. I don't know where this lymph node is located. I will tell you, I had a lymph node in my chest that also looked suspicious but it turned out to be just my lymph node. It was JUST large but not cancerous.

      Please contact your doctor ASAP so you can get the entire story and what this means. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • sally fakih Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Thats exactly what is written in my report '' there are mildly prominent retrocaval , precarinal , retrosternal and suspected right hilar lymph nodes shwing homogeneous hypodensity .. No matted or amalgamated nodes are demonstrated

      Comment
  • Doug Robinson Profile

    Wife 20yr survivor stage 2B, has an attitude, does not want to go to the doctor anymore for any checks up. Is there data on survival rate if they did nothing?

    Asked by anonymous

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

      Doug,
      Congratulations to your wife.... she is a long time survivor for sure! I can understand her attitude because I have also developed an edge regarding check up appointments and I am only out 7 years. I get sick and tired of being looked at like I have one foot in the grave and the other on...

      more

      Doug,
      Congratulations to your wife.... she is a long time survivor for sure! I can understand her attitude because I have also developed an edge regarding check up appointments and I am only out 7 years. I get sick and tired of being looked at like I have one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. U.S. medicine seems to care very little about prevention and ways in heavy on the early detection. I resent my doctor for sending me for every invasive test he can think of in answer to something that ends up being nothing. He treats me like I am already in hospice care and nearly dead. I am done with being terrified over and over multiple times during my years. I have more stress from my doctor's stress than anything in my day to day life. I live from appointment to appointment. It is impossible for me to know what is in your wife's head. At this point, if your wife developed breast cancer again.... it would not be a recurrance, it would be a new cancer. I do not of a woman who after 20 years developed another breast cancer.... was successfully treated again and is in her 7th year of survival just like me. Your wife's chance of developing breast cancer returns to the normal statistics of other women..... at least I think. You might try to google survival rates for breast cancer after 20 years. You just might get something.
      I still go for my annual mammogram because I have a remaining breast. Does your wife mean she wants to quit those too? What does she mean by saying she is doing nothing?
      take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • sharon s Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      What would make this time different? Why submit to other check ups and not now? I would ask this. She may be fearful if something quite specific.

      It is lovely to hear of your wife's success for your family. Press her because you wish to understand her.

      Comment

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