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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

  • Marilyn Jenkins Profile

    I really enjoyed your videos! My daughter was just diagnosed with breast cancer. Would love her to watch the videos, but she doesn't have internet. Can I download them to a DVD?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 3 answers
    • Micah Davis Profile
      anonymous
      Industry Provider

      @Marilyn...glad to hear that you've enjoyed the videos! And sorry to hear that your daughter has been diagnosed.

      I was honored to be a part of helping to create the Beyond The Shock videos. Unfortunately, there's no download option at the moment. I'll relay your feedback over to NBCF...

      more

      @Marilyn...glad to hear that you've enjoyed the videos! And sorry to hear that your daughter has been diagnosed.

      I was honored to be a part of helping to create the Beyond The Shock videos. Unfortunately, there's no download option at the moment. I'll relay your feedback over to NBCF though.

      May your daughter, and family, have the strength to face this challenge and the hope to find resilience throughout the journey. You will all be in my prayers. God bless!

      Comment
    • Douglas Feil Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Marilyn,

      I'm very sorry to hear about your daughter's diagnosis. As Micah said, your family is in our prayers. We can definitely send you a DVD copy. Just send your mailing address to info@beyondtheshock.com and we'll get it in the mail.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I am going in for a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy. Could anyone please tell me about the pain involved and the experience of the whole procedure?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    over 7 years 9 answers
    • View all 9 answers
    • P C Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 0 Patient

      Hi, I had a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy on Sep 29, 2011. My surgery went great, wide clear margins and both nodes they removed were negative. About two weeks following that, I developed some seromas in my breast at the surgery site and at the area just below node removal. My surgeon...

      more

      Hi, I had a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy on Sep 29, 2011. My surgery went great, wide clear margins and both nodes they removed were negative. About two weeks following that, I developed some seromas in my breast at the surgery site and at the area just below node removal. My surgeon drained the one below the node removal only one. He gave me pain medication to he me through that. About a month later, I had external pinpointed beam radiation for only 7 days, twice a day. It was not bad at all. I did have, and still do have what mu radiation oncologist calls zingers. They are very sharp pains, which have almost gone away. My seromas are completely gone. I have intermittent swelling on my right breast, which they say is normal. It also is less and less as time passes. Right now, I am taking Tamoxifen and Effexor. I am feeling so much better, but still not totally back to feeling as I did before my DCIS surgery, but I will get there. I had my 6 month mammogram and it was all good, only showed scar tissue from surgery and radiation. every so often, I have a bit of nausea, but I have found that if I drink ginger ale, it really helps. I have a prescription for Compazine, but have only had to use it twice. I had a little nausea and fainting incident a few months ago, but it all worked out. I fell pretty hard and had to have some metal stitches in my head, and a few days I the hospital to make sure it was nothing more Eros causing me to faint. All in all, it is goin good for me. My whole procedure was eventful, but not a bad thing. It is best to educate yourself on your contusion, mine was DCIS, stage 0 , clear margins, neg sentinel nodes, but positive estrogen and progesterone receptors. This is the reason for Tamoxifen. The Effexor was to counteract the hot flashes and it has really helped me feel better and speed up recovery. If you understand you care for your cancer plus a good support network, things, or me anyway, go muc smoother.

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      We are unique individuals and can have a range of reactions to any procedure. I was on the "good" end of everything. I did not seem to have much discomfort with anything. My perception of discomfort to the sentinel node mapping was no more than pinching. The tech told me I would feel that......

      more

      We are unique individuals and can have a range of reactions to any procedure. I was on the "good" end of everything. I did not seem to have much discomfort with anything. My perception of discomfort to the sentinel node mapping was no more than pinching. The tech told me I would feel that... which I did but it was nothing significant to me. I had 5 sentinal nodes removed. I had a mastectomy, I took no pain medication afterwards. I was up and around within 3 days. We all seem to have a fear or fears of what is about to happen. My big fear was the anesthesia. Since I was so afraid of it, I "interviewed" anesthesiologists and got recommendations. I think I was just SO HAPPY to wake up, the rest of the post-op stuff was nothing. We all have different pain tolerance. Mine, is obviously, on the high side. I would never say to a woman "Oh, it's nothing" because it isn't. There are a lot of mental images that go through every woman's mind. There may be some unexpected post-op problems that come up which you can't be prepared for. The other thought that went through my mind as I was approaching the surgery.... this was something I had to so to save my life. I developed a positive let's-get-going attitude and marched right into it. Sometimes bravery comes from acting that way. I became brave by --pretending-- to be brave. I wish you the very best and hope you have as easy a time as I did. I had a young woman surgeon who specialised in breast surgery. I had utmost confidence in her and my young woman anesthesiologist. I was not disappointed. Blessings to you in your journey. Take care, Sharon

      3 comments
  • Brittney Diaz-Mohammed Profile

    Im.22 and I have two lumps on both side one on the bottom and one on the side and lately I've been getting sharp pains were the lumps are . lately when I take my hot shower it hurts my breast and turn red

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 7 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Go get a mamo

      Comment
    • Jk Joyce Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Call your local hospital and talk to someone about financial help. I did and I got it.

      Comment
  • Gladys Castro Profile

    What if you have a lump on your breast does that mean you have breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 1 answer
    • Ana Naluh Andrade Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Not necessarily! Could be a cyst, but you don't want to take the risk, so contact your dr immediately because as earlier we have the diagnostic, easier will be to fight it!!

      Comment

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