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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

  • VERNA RIVERS Profile

    How many lymph nodes are in and around the breast?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 2 answers
    • melissa perlman Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      There are thousands. They are connected via vessels and form their own circulatory system. Help to transport fluid. Not blood. If damaged or too many nodes surgically removed, will cause lymphedema. A chronic swelling of an area. Treatment includes compression sleeves and/or massage to mobilize...

      more

      There are thousands. They are connected via vessels and form their own circulatory system. Help to transport fluid. Not blood. If damaged or too many nodes surgically removed, will cause lymphedema. A chronic swelling of an area. Treatment includes compression sleeves and/or massage to mobilize fluid.

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Verna.... in the body, Lymph Nodes are a system in themselves. There are LOTS of lymph nodes, head, neck, arm pits, abdomen, groin....etc . When I had breast cancer, the surgeon took out my sentinel lymph nodes... usually under 5. These are thought to be the first lymph nodes where cancer...

      more

      Verna.... in the body, Lymph Nodes are a system in themselves. There are LOTS of lymph nodes, head, neck, arm pits, abdomen, groin....etc . When I had breast cancer, the surgeon took out my sentinel lymph nodes... usually under 5. These are thought to be the first lymph nodes where cancer will start to spread. Instead of doing a more radical "remove all auxillary lymph nodes" they just start with these few sentinel nodes if it is early stage breast cancer. By doing that, they can save the patient from possibly developing lymphadema.... a permanent swelling of the arm. Hopefully, someone else can add more information. It is easy to find more on lymph nodes by just "googling" LYMPH NODES. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Elaine Mecus Profile

    What exactly is triple negative breast cancer and what is the prognosis generally.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 8 years 2 answers
    • Lori S Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      See my response to your other question.

      Comment
    • Martha Phillips Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Google it there is a world of information I have stage iv breast cancer God bless and try and have a Merry Christmas

      Comment
  • Charles P Profile

    Any information on men with cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Charles,
      My brother-in-law was diagnosed last December with the same type of breast cancer I had. It started out with a pain in his chest near his nipple. When he rubbed it, he felt a lump, when pressed, fluid came out of his nipple. He was being treated for an injury and had an appointment...

      more

      Charles,
      My brother-in-law was diagnosed last December with the same type of breast cancer I had. It started out with a pain in his chest near his nipple. When he rubbed it, he felt a lump, when pressed, fluid came out of his nipple. He was being treated for an injury and had an appointment with his doctor that week. The doctor checked it and referred him to a breast center for a mammogram. From the mammogram, he had an ultrasound, and biopsy which confirmed it was breast cancer. Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC). He had a mastectomy and a OncoDX test on the tumor. He had 2 sentinel lymph nodes removed and they were cancer free. It was discovered, it (the tumor) contained the type of tumor cells that were not going to reoccur. His Onco score was -0- At that point, his oncologist sent him on his way with no further treatment would be needed. Essentially, my brother-in-law was treated just as a woman would be treated. If the Onco test would have come back a higher score.... in the 20's, it would have meant he needed chemotherapy to help prevent the cancer from coming back. It was just very lucky my brother-in-law was man enough to get it checked. He works in law enforcement so for him, it was highly embarrassing to say he had breast cancer. It turned out he was poster-boy for men who have breast cancer. IT'S CANCER for God's sake! It doesn't matter where it strikes, it's a nasty, sneaky disease. You must have something in your breast or armpit that does not feel normal. The best thing to do today is call your doctor, make an appointment to have it checked. If this turns out to be breast cancer, the sooner you have it treated, the better. Please keep in touch with us, Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • julie s Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      I just finished chemo- I had 6 rounds. I'm not going to lie.. It slowed me down for days 3-5 of my chemo. I scheduled it on Wednesdays- that worked for me so I could take it easy on the weekends. Everybody is different- just honor your body! Let us know any other questions!

      Comment
  • anonymous Profile

    Marie D. checking in. Thank YOU all so much for your prayers, I indeed can feel them!! Please keep praying for clear lymph nodes and clear margins. I am in pain, but it's all good.

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2B Patient
    over 7 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Kathy Basham Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      It surely does help to know that others care and are covering you in prayer. It's especially nice because it's sisters who know what you're going through. We are praying and hoping the best news for you.

      Comment
    • Jk Joyce Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Praying for all GOOD news!

      Comment

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