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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

    Has anyone recently had the surgery to exchange the tissue expander for the permanent implant?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2B Patient
    almost 7 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Wendy DeLong Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had it done on Feb 27!

      Comment
    • André Roberts Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      I have saline implants. It is the only way I could get the size I wanted, and cleavage. I'm very happy with them. What is it that you would like to know? Prayers to you.

      3 comments
  • Emily Nhan Profile

    What are the chances of women receiving breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 1 answer
    • Michael Enette Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      My Dad Is a 6 Year Male Breast cancer survivor

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    i have stage 1 invasive ductual carcinoma gyn oncoligist recommed my ovaries be removed due to estraogen is making the cancer grow i am 46

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 7 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • jc lin Profile
      anonymous
      Patient

      I will have my ovaries re,over next year after I complete my treatment. I am stage 3. I have three beautiful kids, remove my ovaries is not an issue, I was told it will cut down the recurrence rate for me. Good luck.

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      If you do not feel comfortable with this recommendation, please seek a second opinion. Whenever you receive a diagnosis that is a darn big deal, I think it is always best to have another doctor evaluate a treatment plan. It is difficult to say what should take place without knowing all about...

      more

      If you do not feel comfortable with this recommendation, please seek a second opinion. Whenever you receive a diagnosis that is a darn big deal, I think it is always best to have another doctor evaluate a treatment plan. It is difficult to say what should take place without knowing all about your case. There are so many things that go into making a treatment decision. The type, stage, grade and ER, PR, Her2 status is critical. You may have the type of numbers that just yell "Yatze!" (get those ovaries out of there)
      I would definately get a second opinion. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    The surgeon said he removed 25 lymph nodes and 10 were cancerous. Does this mean it has probably spread elsewhere? Are these numbers normal?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 8 years 2 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      As Sharon said...every woman is different. I had 15 lymph nodes removed and 13 of those were cancerous. It doesn't necessarily mean that your cancer has traveled past the lymph nodes. Your dr. May want to do more testing to make sure. I had chemo before my surgery. Then had to have more...

      more

      As Sharon said...every woman is different. I had 15 lymph nodes removed and 13 of those were cancerous. It doesn't necessarily mean that your cancer has traveled past the lymph nodes. Your dr. May want to do more testing to make sure. I had chemo before my surgery. Then had to have more afterwards. When they found the positive nodes...some of them were "extranodal" meaning the cancer had broken outside some of the lymph nodes. That was the reason I needed more chemo. I'm going through radiation now. I'm also happy to say that my last PET scan showed no cancer!! Voice your concerns with our Dr. Yes, let us know how you are. Prayers to you. :)

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      It means it has spread from the original tumor. Your doctor will probably want additional testing of the type of tumor and the aggressiveness of the cells. I had 5 sentinal lymph nodes removed and one was positive for cancer. I hope you keep us posted as your treatment continues. We, on this...

      more

      It means it has spread from the original tumor. Your doctor will probably want additional testing of the type of tumor and the aggressiveness of the cells. I had 5 sentinal lymph nodes removed and one was positive for cancer. I hope you keep us posted as your treatment continues. We, on this board, want to support every woman who is going through this journey. All of our stories are different but we all care for each other.
      Take care, Sharon

      4 comments

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