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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

    Why is the pink ribbon a symbol for breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 4 years 1 answer
  • Thumb avatar default

    I have a small visible lump the size of a pea on my breast. It's been there 2 months. I thought it was maybe a spider bite… possible breast cancer sign? I thought you could feel the lumps sometimes, but not see them like a bite.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 3 answers
    • julie s Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      I agree with the others... Peace of mind is worth a visit to the doctor. My lump started out small. ( I guess they all do...). By the time I got it checked out it was 3.5 cm. don't wait... Call and get an appointment!

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      For your own peace of mind get it checked. My best advice to you is if it is something out of the ordinary for you and has been there two months get it checked. Most of these things are benign and not breast cancer. Good luck to you! Sharon

      Comment
  • Crystie Goldsmith Profile

    any one out there that knows any thing about pea shaped smooth lumps in the breast

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 4 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      Please get it checked out, don't procrastinate .

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Chrystie,

      We can't tell you what it is but if this is abnormal for you get it checked. Most of these things are not cancer but it is the best to get them looked at asap. You may have to have an ultrasound or it might go all the way to a biopsy. Try not to go "to the dark side" with this. It...

      more

      Chrystie,

      We can't tell you what it is but if this is abnormal for you get it checked. Most of these things are not cancer but it is the best to get them looked at asap. You may have to have an ultrasound or it might go all the way to a biopsy. Try not to go "to the dark side" with this. It doesn't help you or do anything for the outcome. For some reason if it does turn out to be something, the sooner you get it diagnosed the better. As it turns out, there are LOTS of treatments for breast cancer and it is not a death sentence! Take care, Sharon

      2 comments
  • Brooklyn Bowling Profile

    What should you do to figure out if you have breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 1 answer
    • Alice Eisele Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      The first step would be to see your doctor. They will examine the breast to see if there are any palpable lumps. The next step would normally be a mamogram, followed by an ultrasound. Sometimes, in young women, the doctor will bypass the mamogram and go right to the ultrasound. A biopsy will...

      more

      The first step would be to see your doctor. They will examine the breast to see if there are any palpable lumps. The next step would normally be a mamogram, followed by an ultrasound. Sometimes, in young women, the doctor will bypass the mamogram and go right to the ultrasound. A biopsy will only be ordered if there is some kind of suspicouse mass.

      By all means see your doctor as soon as possible when there is any question.

      Comment

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

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