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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

    what will i look like after a double mastectomy?

    Asked by anonymous

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

      I tried to find a photograph that would let you view what you would look like because it is difficult to imagine. I had a single mastectomy and you can see where all the breast tissue was removed so my chest is flat with a single line type scar in the area. It was done quite nicely and my dear...

      more

      I tried to find a photograph that would let you view what you would look like because it is difficult to imagine. I had a single mastectomy and you can see where all the breast tissue was removed so my chest is flat with a single line type scar in the area. It was done quite nicely and my dear surgeon, a talented young woman did a nice job. I admire her skill because whether is was her skill or my skin type, the scaring is inobtrusive. EVERYBODY will have a different feeling when they see their chest for the first time. It is something someone can't predict for you. We can only share out personal experiences. Since my breasts were small they never were a focal point for my self esteem or my feeling of femininity. So, the only thing I was saying goodbye to was a bit of tissue that was giving a home to breast cancer. I was delighted to get rid of "IT". I did not have reconstruction and wear a prosthesis. It is comfortable and I am ok with it. Lots of young women opt for reconstruction, but I am 64 now and was 59 when diagnosed. Again, this is a personal choice! I look at my scar and it appears to have a bit of the shape of a "smile". Seems appropriate because I am oh SO happy to be rid of breast cancer. Don't get me wrong, it is scary at first but again.... I can only share the way I had to wrap my head around the different look on half my chest. I would like to get a comical tattoo across the scar..... like a zipper or something. I would do it except by oncologist who I still have to face once a year---hates--- tattoo's. Hang in there darlin' take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Leah Fortune Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      When I saw mine for the first time(single) I called it my man boob. It reminds me now of just being young and carefree.

      Comment
  • misty wilbanks Profile

    Will it increase my chances for breast cancer coming back if i have a lumpectomy or will it decrease if i have mastectomy?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Becky card swerdloff  Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      there is no right answer. Some women take the brac test and have their breast removed in fear of getting cancer. Unfortunately, I learned that even if you have your breasts removed you can get breast cancer. Remember cancer is in each one of us. Whether hormones, change of llfe body changes,...

      more

      there is no right answer. Some women take the brac test and have their breast removed in fear of getting cancer. Unfortunately, I learned that even if you have your breasts removed you can get breast cancer. Remember cancer is in each one of us. Whether hormones, change of llfe body changes, food, plastic, stress can trigger cancer. If there are cancer cells floating on your chest bone, you will still get breast cancer. Some suggest a super diet, less stress, prayer and hormone regulation will help. I was told by Dr. Cox in tampa that my type of lumpectomy breast cancer should not reoccur for at least 10 years. I am not taking any tamoxifin or other cancer preventative drugs. If I have 10 years left, I want to be drug free.

      11 comments
    • Becky card swerdloff  Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      it will not decrease or increase your cancer from what I have read, cancer cells float around everywhere and if you get mastectomy and new ones, they will have to remove everything when if it comes back. My theory is keep what you have until you have to really let go

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    My grandmother has cancer and is out of work, yet social security hinders her from financial assistance programs. Even with my full-time income, I can't cover expenses plus medical bills. Looked at charities/orgs and crowdfunding. I'm 23 and out of ideas.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 3 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Diane Hoard Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 3A Patient

      I know what your going through. I'm on social security disability as well, some of the programs out there caters to individuals without any kind of income/or resources coming in. I went to Cancer Fund of America and Patient Advocacy Fund for help with medical , prescriptions, and everyday needs....

      more

      I know what your going through. I'm on social security disability as well, some of the programs out there caters to individuals without any kind of income/or resources coming in. I went to Cancer Fund of America and Patient Advocacy Fund for help with medical , prescriptions, and everyday needs. I called the national cancer society when I needed transport to chemo and radiation dr visits. Good Luck!

      1 comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      There is help out there for your grandmother. Diane Hoard gave excellent suggestions. There is no you could ever afford the cost of her treatment. Ask at her oncologists office, her hospital, patient advocate. There are options. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Laura Gaspard Profile

    What Kind Of Impact Does Stress Have On Breast Cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Kim Flackey Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      I have to say that I do believe stress is a huge factor in my getting breast cancer. My husband and I lost our company, then our jobs and then our home in 2009. I kept telling him that one of us were going to get cancer because of all the stress. And sure enough I was diagnosed on July 23, 2010...

      more

      I have to say that I do believe stress is a huge factor in my getting breast cancer. My husband and I lost our company, then our jobs and then our home in 2009. I kept telling him that one of us were going to get cancer because of all the stress. And sure enough I was diagnosed on July 23, 2010 with Stage 1B breast cancer.

      2 comments
    • anonymous Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Although some studies have shown that factors such as traumatic events and losses can alter immune system functions, these studies have not provided any evidence of a direct cause-and-effect relationship between stress and breast cancer. An area currently being studied is whether or not stress...

      more

      Although some studies have shown that factors such as traumatic events and losses can alter immune system functions, these studies have not provided any evidence of a direct cause-and-effect relationship between stress and breast cancer. An area currently being studied is whether or not stress reduction can improve immune response and slow progression in women diagnosed with breast cancer.

      2 comments

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