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

    I'm 39 and have DCIS. I had a lumpectomy with clear margins. I'm supposed to start radiation soon but am considering not doing it. I'm taking tamoxifen. Anyone do radiation that wishes they hadn't or vice versa?

    Asked by anonymous

    over 3 years 11 answers
    • View all 11 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      The stat's I have heard.... the best longterm survival is, lumpectomy and radiation. I just don't understand why a woman would even contemplate not taking the treatment recommended to give them the best odds of longterm survival. The ladies here are all so kind and nice, I want to reach through...

      more

      The stat's I have heard.... the best longterm survival is, lumpectomy and radiation. I just don't understand why a woman would even contemplate not taking the treatment recommended to give them the best odds of longterm survival. The ladies here are all so kind and nice, I want to reach through the computer and shake you by the shoulders and say WHAT THE CATHAIR ARE YOU THINKING? You are young, this is your opportunity to give yourself the chance of never having to deal with this again. Take care, Sharon

      1 comment
    • anonymous Profile
      anonymous
      stage_4 Patient

      It's a personal choice that you should get your docs opinion on. I am 39 and just finished radiation in December with no issues. I also had IDC and went through chemo and lumpectomy prior to radiation. For me it was just another line of defense and they wouldn't do it if they didn't find...

      more

      It's a personal choice that you should get your docs opinion on. I am 39 and just finished radiation in December with no issues. I also had IDC and went through chemo and lumpectomy prior to radiation. For me it was just another line of defense and they wouldn't do it if they didn't find value in it. And at 39, I wanted to do everything I knew I could to fight it.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I am 14 and my family has a very strong history if breast cancer being in every generation of our family ad I am most likely to get it but I want to be safe. I was wondering if there is a way that I can give myself a self exam and how could I do it?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 1 answer
    • julie s Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      Never too early to start.. It's good to know your body so you know if there is a change. Google self breast exam... You'll find a step by step. Positive thoughts and prayers that you live a long cancer free life!

      Comment
  • jan bursky Profile

    Has anyone had invasive lobular cancer metastasize despite mastectomy and chemo? Stage 3 and loss of lymph nodes are involved. Very scary.

    Asked by anonymous

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

      10 years ago, my best friend had stage 4 Invasive Lobular Breast Cancer. She had 4 rounds of AC before a mastectomy and complete axillary removal of nodes. 17 out of 21 nodes were positive. She was scheduled for different chemo treatments but would only allow radiation. After the radiation,...

      more

      10 years ago, my best friend had stage 4 Invasive Lobular Breast Cancer. She had 4 rounds of AC before a mastectomy and complete axillary removal of nodes. 17 out of 21 nodes were positive. She was scheduled for different chemo treatments but would only allow radiation. After the radiation, she refused any other treatment. She lived for 5 years until it metastisized to her bone marrow. She passed away just as I found out I had breast cancer. She said she'd lived long enough and died at age 64. It still upsets me that she gave up the fight before she had even begun. It was her life and her decision but her loss left a big hole in the hearts of many people. Sharon

      Comment
    • Patricia Stoop Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Oh prayers for you. Very scary. I had liver masses too and found meditation a great help!

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I have just been diagnost with Metestaic Breast cancer. Mass in left side of my neck, spread to lumbar, throasic spine, pelvis and lumphs nodes. Doc is starting Xeloda (oral chemo) Has anyone else taken this med?

    Asked by anonymous

    almost 3 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • jo m Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I haven't tried it yet either but it is a strong consideration for my possibly next treatment after PET scan results this week. I have bone mets from breast cancer.my doctor said possible side effects from Xeloda are sore hands and feet and to a much lesser percentage nausea, diarrhea and, and...

      more

      I haven't tried it yet either but it is a strong consideration for my possibly next treatment after PET scan results this week. I have bone mets from breast cancer.my doctor said possible side effects from Xeloda are sore hands and feet and to a much lesser percentage nausea, diarrhea and, and low blood count. The other consideration fore is aromasin and affinities. Currently, Iam on faslodex injections. I seem to be feeling some better but tumor markers are up twice in a row. I will keep you close inc thoughts and prayers. This bone mets is a difficult new journey for me.

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      May I ask if you had any symptoms? Prayers are with you.

      Comment

Educational Video

Personal Story

Related Topics

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

Footer 3

Breast cancer affects one out of every eight women in their lifetime.

spread the word