loading... close

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

    Can anyone tell me something about Stage 1 cancer? I know someone...

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 1 Patient
    over 7 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • anonymous Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Your a survivor .... that's awesome !!!!!!!

      Comment
    • Cheryl Wornham Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      That's great!!!!

      Comment
  • Heather Cash Profile

    What is the best treatment for Stage 2 Breast Cancer in a 20 year old girl?

    Asked by anonymous

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

      Heather,
      It all depends on what type of breast cancer, how aggressive, what stage, etc. There is a lot that goes into the decision for the best treatment plan for breast cancer in any woman at any age. It isn't so cut and dried. It will probably be a combination of surgery, chemotherapy,...

      more

      Heather,
      It all depends on what type of breast cancer, how aggressive, what stage, etc. There is a lot that goes into the decision for the best treatment plan for breast cancer in any woman at any age. It isn't so cut and dried. It will probably be a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and possibly some long term hormone therapy. WIth a breast cancer in such a young woman, there may be a genetic component to it. If she has siblings, she might talk to her oncologist about genetic testing for her sibs. When she is going to any of her appointments in this diagnosis phase, she should be accompanied by a family member to take notes and help her remember what was said. She will probably be is the complete shock stage and needs a lot of support.
      Take care, Sharon

      4 comments
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Agree totally with Sharon. I was stage 2 and that's a scary place to be. All options must be considered and in my case removal of the offending turmor was first before it got so large and had an opportunity to invade the lymph system. I would be asking why age had anything to do with treatment...

      more

      Agree totally with Sharon. I was stage 2 and that's a scary place to be. All options must be considered and in my case removal of the offending turmor was first before it got so large and had an opportunity to invade the lymph system. I would be asking why age had anything to do with treatment plans. Cancer doesn't care how old you are. It is heartbreaking for a young person but it makes it all the more important to attack the disease with everything at hand so a long, healthy life is the prognosis. Good luck. Be sure to look at the little learn section on this site along with what Sharon has already suggested. Hugs to a worried Mom. Jo ;-)

      1 comment
  • anonymous Profile

    How long does it take cancer medication to get into you body? Just wanted to see how long before I would experience any side effects!

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 9 years 2 answers
    • Shannon Key Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I had 3 chemotherapy meds, pretty harsh ones, took about 14 days for my hair to start coming out, nausea started on day 2.

      Comment
    • Amanda Metivier Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      It depends in what kind of med and what side effects.

      Comment
  • sonali Singh Profile

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

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 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

Educational Video

Personal Story

Related Topics

Looking for another topic?
Use the search box in the top right.

Footer 1

An Early Detection Plan (EDP) significantly increases the chances of surviving breast cancer.

spread the word