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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

    if breast cancer doesn,t cause pain then why did mine and why does it continue to cause pain?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    about 6 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • celien thorne Profile
      anonymous
      Patient

      Mine hurt felt like a sharp stabbing pain and it itched ... I ignored it :-(....so we all have diff symptoms Medical Comunity dosnt know everything so we have to b our own advocate and trust our gut feeling . Now after i had a right side mastectomy, I have No pain..

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I think the myth that "breast cancer doesn't hurt" can lull someone into a false sense of security. I was misdiagnosed for 7 months. I had pain, itching, and tingling, with my breast cancer. We are all such individuals, our symptoms can run the gamut. When in doubt.... check it out!
      Take...

      more

      I think the myth that "breast cancer doesn't hurt" can lull someone into a false sense of security. I was misdiagnosed for 7 months. I had pain, itching, and tingling, with my breast cancer. We are all such individuals, our symptoms can run the gamut. When in doubt.... check it out!
      Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Traciann brundage Profile

    I have the worst taste in my mouth and can't get it out. (have tried everything) Everything from candies to ice cream to chocolate to food lettuce. Any ideas? (have thrown up 5 times from the taste)

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 14 answers
    • View all 14 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Traciann,
      ARRRGH! You have THE TASTE! Since this is making you nauseated to the point of vomiting that may times, you need to contact your onc. I would give Altoids a try (you know... the "curiously" strong mint) Peppermint is a natural stomach soother. Foods tasted lousy to me and there was...

      more

      Traciann,
      ARRRGH! You have THE TASTE! Since this is making you nauseated to the point of vomiting that may times, you need to contact your onc. I would give Altoids a try (you know... the "curiously" strong mint) Peppermint is a natural stomach soother. Foods tasted lousy to me and there was not a lot that was acceptable. Hang in there but you can't keep vomiting, stomach acid is VERY tough on your teeth! Not to mention dehydration. BIg hugs, Sharon

      Comment
    • Sandy Zenda Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      I replaced silverware with plastic until that metallic taste left. Hope this helps you.

      Comment
  • Rafi Togoo Profile

    My mother (65 years old) has stage 4 breast cancer with bone metastasis. She is advised herceptin and chemotherapy every three weeks. Chemotherapy is for 6 cycles. How long do we have to continue with herceptin?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 7 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Catherine Nodurft Profile
      anonymous
      Family Member or Loved One

      Sometimes doctors prescribe Herceptin for 1+ years, but it depends. Ask her oncologist what they recommend for your mother's case.

      Comment
    • Isabel Souchet Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      I had chemotherapy with herceptin for 5 treatments n then another 9 months, every three weeks, of herceptin.

      Comment
  • Pamela Collins Profile

    I've had 2 rounds of chemo and I can no longer feel the lump. 4 more rounds to go. Oncologist said that means I'm responding well. Hopefully after the 6th round, there will be nothing left. Praise God!!!

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 5 years 11 answers
    • View all 11 answers
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      I saw an oncologist before seeing a surgeon and she felt I may need chemo. before surgery (I believe to shrink it some) but the surgeon told me that was the last thing I should consider so didn't do it. It makes me wonder if it would have worked in my case since we knew about 2 different areas...

      more

      I saw an oncologist before seeing a surgeon and she felt I may need chemo. before surgery (I believe to shrink it some) but the surgeon told me that was the last thing I should consider so didn't do it. It makes me wonder if it would have worked in my case since we knew about 2 different areas with 2 different cancer types but a 3rd one was found on surgical pathology.

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      More often that not, it DOES shrink the tumor. With a 3CM tumor you are slated for chemo one way or another. If it were me, I would do what is suggested. Since you want to salvage your breast, this would be especially important to do. Yes, any drug or drugs have side effects but breast cancer...

      more

      More often that not, it DOES shrink the tumor. With a 3CM tumor you are slated for chemo one way or another. If it were me, I would do what is suggested. Since you want to salvage your breast, this would be especially important to do. Yes, any drug or drugs have side effects but breast cancer is worse. There are trade-off's with every route taken. Breast cancer is a nasty, insidious disease and my choice was to throw everything at it while I had the best chance. We all make decisions based on our way of thinking and reasoning so I would never say my way is the only way.... it is just what I chose to do. It's a tough one but you get this one chance to to get rid of this disease and hope for no recurrence. No guarantees with this, unfortunately. Take care, Sharon

      Comment

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

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