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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

    I just filled my first prescription of Tamoxifen - $9.00 for 30 days at Kroger. Sigh... I am a bit nervous. I did read on European boards today that most ladies do not gain weight. Let's hope I have few side effects :) Radiation Girl

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2B Patient
    over 5 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      You'll be alright. It is a little tough in the beginning. Yoga and a fan will be your best friends.

      2 comments
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      Thank you Mary, what do you take for the night sweats and hot flashes? Thanks for your help. :)

      1 comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    What is Oncotype and should I get test for dcis?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 3 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Before I ever saw my oncologist after my surgery, my onc ordered the DX and the results was waiting for me on my first visit. My # was 15 and saved me from chemo with my particular cancer. :-D

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      The Oncotype DX test is a lab test the surgeon orders to see if the cells in your tumor are the type that have the possibility of recurrence in the future. It takes about 3 weeks to get the results after your surgery. In women with diagnosed breast cancer (I do not know if it is the same for...

      more

      The Oncotype DX test is a lab test the surgeon orders to see if the cells in your tumor are the type that have the possibility of recurrence in the future. It takes about 3 weeks to get the results after your surgery. In women with diagnosed breast cancer (I do not know if it is the same for DCIS) it gives them the chance of saving them from having to go through chemotherapy. The tumor is scored from 1 to a certain top number. 1 being no chance of recurrence. It helps women and their oncologists able to make a choice about the future and chemotherapy. A low score means NO CHEMO! Ask your oncologist about an oncotype DX test. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Latonya Bailey Profile

    if yoy are diagnosed with breast cancer is it possible to not find the cells

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 3 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Latonya,
      I don't quite understand the question. If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, it is because the cells were found and identified. If you are talking about breast cancer that has metastasized to other parts of the body, there are baseline tests that would either identify those...

      more

      Latonya,
      I don't quite understand the question. If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, it is because the cells were found and identified. If you are talking about breast cancer that has metastasized to other parts of the body, there are baseline tests that would either identify those area's or be suspicious. I hope this helps, take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • julie s Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      They need to find cells with cancer in them to diagnose...

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    What treatment is recommended for Triple negative breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2001
    over 5 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Brandi Mixon Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      There are as many plans of treatment for BC as there are for people that have it. It is very individualized. I was diagnosed with stage 1 TNBC. I chose to have a double mastectomy (which I have been very happy with my decision) followed by six rounds of a TAC cocktail, Tacatere, Adrimycin,...

      more

      There are as many plans of treatment for BC as there are for people that have it. It is very individualized. I was diagnosed with stage 1 TNBC. I chose to have a double mastectomy (which I have been very happy with my decision) followed by six rounds of a TAC cocktail, Tacatere, Adrimycin, Cytoxan. A Nuelasta shot on the following day after each round. I do not have to have radiation because I had the bilateral mastectomy (that made me happy too and didn't even know that until after the surgery). I have my six month check up tomorrow and start my reconstruction surgery mid July. I was also in a blind blind clinical trial for some nausea meds. Don't know if they helped, but I had very little nausea.

      There are other treatments out there and you may choose an alternative route. Just do your research so you can make an educated decision on your treatment. It is YOUR treatment and you have to choose what is best for you.

      God bless you in whatever treatment you choose.

      Comment
    • André Roberts Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      Your Dr's will come up with a plan that is taylor made for you. Which chemo drugs & dosage & maybe rads. Your gonna be ok. Chemo isn't as bad as you think. And triple neg responds very well to chemo. Prayers to you.

      Comment

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