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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

  • Amanda Roth Profile

    My grandmother had a spot removed which was breast cancer, very very early stage 1 if that. She is so worried about losing her breast, what should i tell her to make her feel better? She doesn't know anyone who has it to refer to or confide in.

    Asked by anonymous

    Family Member or Loved One
    over 8 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      I can totally understand your grandmother's fear of losing a breast. I had a double mastectomy in Oct. But I had a later stage cancer with lymph node involvement. By her cancer being detected early...her options will be greater.  :).  So she had the cancerous tissue removed with clean margins?...

      more

      I can totally understand your grandmother's fear of losing a breast. I had a double mastectomy in Oct. But I had a later stage cancer with lymph node involvement. By her cancer being detected early...her options will be greater.  :).  So she had the cancerous tissue removed with clean margins? That's good! In my opinion I would ask my doctor to perform a PET or CT scan just to make sure there are no other cancerous spots.  She might consider talking to her doctor about radiation for any "rogue" cells. I believe the objective is to do the steps needed to try to prevent a reoccurrence. I am not a Dr. but by what you've told me I don't see a reason your grandmother can't keep her breast. Tell her she will be in my thoughts & prayers, Diana

      Comment
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Amanda, I'm sorry about your grandmother. When I was newly diagnosed with breast cancer I didn't know anyone else who had it as well. That's very good her cancer was caught early. You said she had a spot removed. Was this from a biopsy or I'd she have a lumpectomy? Has her Dr. told her she...

      more

      Hi Amanda, I'm sorry about your grandmother. When I was newly diagnosed with breast cancer I didn't know anyone else who had it as well. That's very good her cancer was caught early. You said she had a spot removed. Was this from a biopsy or I'd she have a lumpectomy? Has her Dr. told her she needed more treatment such as chemo or radiation? 

      Comment
  • shirley graham Profile

    if my great grandmother died of breast cancer does that mean i will get it

    Asked by anonymous

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

      No, it doesn't mean you will get it. I had no family history that I'm aware of and got it. It's not always genetic and a great grandmother wouldn't be a first degree relative perse.

      Comment
    • Mary Navarro Profile
      anonymous
      Patient

      It depends on a lot of factors.it can also be any kind of cancer. Take the gene test.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    how much does a mastecomy cost for stage 2 breast cancer

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 2 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      That is impossible just as Betti says..... it varies. My mastectomy.... including everything was around $40,000. I had really lousy insurance but it helped. It also varies if you have insurance because insurance companies have agreements as to how much they "allow."
      Mine was over 6 years ago...

      more

      That is impossible just as Betti says..... it varies. My mastectomy.... including everything was around $40,000. I had really lousy insurance but it helped. It also varies if you have insurance because insurance companies have agreements as to how much they "allow."
      Mine was over 6 years ago too. Sharon

      Comment
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      I imagine it varies from place to place. My hospital bill was over $28,000. for the mastectomy and that didn't include the anesthesia, anesthegiolost, surgeon, etc. I was to spend 1 night and ended up spending an extra one. The biggest part of the bill was for the operating room charge; so...

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      I imagine it varies from place to place. My hospital bill was over $28,000. for the mastectomy and that didn't include the anesthesia, anesthegiolost, surgeon, etc. I was to spend 1 night and ended up spending an extra one. The biggest part of the bill was for the operating room charge; so much/minute.

      1 comment
  • norma crutchfield Profile

    What type of cancer is DCIS?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 9 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • tina piser Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      dcis is stage 0, or pre cancer. dcis can be ductal or lobular. some docs now consider dcis cancer and others pre cancer. listen to your intuition, get 2nd opinion if you aren't happy with what your doc has told you so far.

      3 comments
    • Ana Naluh Andrade Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is the most common NON invasive breast cancer! Ductal means is in the milk ducts. In situ, or encapsulated, means the tumor is in it's early stages, inside it's capsule. Better to understand is like a bubble that didn't rupture yet so the tissue around is,...

      more

      Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is the most common NON invasive breast cancer! Ductal means is in the milk ducts. In situ, or encapsulated, means the tumor is in it's early stages, inside it's capsule. Better to understand is like a bubble that didn't rupture yet so the tissue around is, probably, contaminated!

      Comment

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

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