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Breast Cancer

 
Breast Cancer

Chapter: 3 - Breast Cancer

Subchapter: 2 - Growth of Cancer

The growth and spread of cancer can be difficult to grasp because cancer cell growth is fueled by usually healthy chemicals of the body. Medical professionals usually illustrate these chemicals with complex diagrams and scientific formulae. But let’s simplify it: circles are estrogen, squares are progesterone, and triangles are the HER2/neu gene. These three bodily chemicals can stimulate the growth of breast cancer tumors.

Receptors
To understand how these chemicals fuel cancer cell growth, we must first define something called a ‘receptor’.

Here is a simplified illustration of a cancer cell. Notice the receptors for estrogen and progesterone. Think of a receptor as a mouth: when open, cancer cells can feed and grow. When blocked off, the same cells begin to starve. This particular cancer cell feeds off of the hormones estrogen and progesterone.

Now, this is a protein that is involved in cell growth, the HER2/neu protein. When a breast cell has more than two copies of this gene, the genes begin overproducing the HER2/neu protein. As a result, the affected cells rapidly grow and divide, forming a tumor.

By identifying the cancer’s unique receptors, your doctor can recommend effective treatment methods to block the receptors. Remember, inhibiting the cancer’s “food supply” works to restrict the cancer’s growth. More information about specific hormone treatments will be discussed in Sub-chapter 6.10.

Related Questions

  • Anyonmous Chixk Profile

    If you have symptoms of breast cancer does that mean you have it?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 8 years 1 answer
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      If you have any symptoms, you should visit your doctor. But, be encouraged - 9 out of 10 lumps are benign.

      Comment
  • hope crystal Profile

    what does chemotherapy do to breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 5 years 3 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Look at the learn section at this site. For me chemo killed any microscopic cancer cells floating around after surgery.

      Comment
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      I elected to do chemo. to drop my recurrence rate down as I plan on living a very long time.

      Comment
  • Megan Eastman Profile

    What are the odds of being cured of cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 3 answers
    • Joan Rosov Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 3A Patient

      We all are hoping for a cure. There are clinical trials on the development of a vaccine as well as new forms/drugs for treatment I have had 3 different cancers, there are persons in my support group that can just about situp in their chair. But, their are there giving advice and laughing.. HOPE...

      more

      We all are hoping for a cure. There are clinical trials on the development of a vaccine as well as new forms/drugs for treatment I have had 3 different cancers, there are persons in my support group that can just about situp in their chair. But, their are there giving advice and laughing.. HOPE i8s important.
      .

      1 comment
    • axel esquer Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I will be the one to find the cure to any kind of cancer

      Comment
  • Vicky Starkie Profile

    What is grade 3 breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 3 answers

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

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