Thursday, October 10, 2019

A Comprehensive Guide to Breast Cancer

Image result for breast cancer

What is Breast Cancer?

What is Cancer? Cancer is an illness that occurs when changes in the human body called mutations to take place in genes that regulate cell growth. These mutations let the cells divide and multiply in an uncontrolled way. 
It is cancer that develops in breast cells. Typically, cancer becomes in either the lobules or the ducts of the breast. Lobules are the glands that produce milk, and ducts are the pathways that bring the milk from the glands to the nipple. This cancer can also occur in the fatty tissue or the fibrous connective tissue within the breast. 
The uncontrolled cells often invade other healthy breast tissue and can travel to the lymph nodes under the arms and in the armpits. The lymph nodes are a chief pathway that helps the cancer cells move to other parts of the body. 

Image result for breast cancer

Symptoms of Breast Cancer

In the early stages, breast cancer may not cause any symptoms. In many cases, a tumor may be too small to be felt, but an abnormality can still be grasped on a mammogram. If a tumor can be felt, the first sign is usually a new lump in the breast that was not there before. However, not all lumps are cancer.
Each type of breast cancer can cause a multiplicity of symptoms. Many of these symptoms are alike, but some can be different. Symptoms for the most common breast cancers include:
  1. breast pain
  2. red, pitted skin over your entire breast
  3. nipple discharge other than breast milk
  4. bloody discharge from your nipple
  5. a breast lump or tissue thickening that feels different than surrounding tissue and has developed recently
  6. peeling, scaling, or flaking of the skin on your nipple or breast
  7. swelling in all or part of your breast
  8. a sudden, unexplained change in the shape or size of your breast
  9. changes to the appearance of the skin on your breasts
  10. inverted nipple
  11. a lump or swelling under your arm

Types of Breast Cancer

There are numerous types of breast cancer, and they are broken into two main classes: “invasive” and “noninvasive,” or in situ. While invasive cancer has spread from the breast ducts or glands to other parts of the breast, noninvasive cancer has not spread from the original tissue.
These two classes are used to label the most common types of breast cancer, which includes,
  • Invasive ductal carcinoma: Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) is the most common type of breast cancer. This type of breast cancer begins in your breast’s milk ducts and then invades nearby tissue in the breast. Once the breast cancer has spread to the tissue outside your milk ducts, it can begin to spread to other nearby organs and tissue.
  • Invasive lobular carcinoma: Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) first develops in your breast’s lobules and has invaded nearby tissue.
  • Ductal carcinoma in situ: Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a noninvasive condition. With DCIS, the cancer cells are confined to the ducts in your breast and haven’t invaded the surrounding breast tissue.
  • Lobular carcinoma in situ: Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) is cancer that grows in the milk-producing glands of your breast. Like DCIS, the cancer cells haven’t invaded the surrounding tissue.
  • Phyllodes tumor: This very rare type of breast cancer grows in the connective tissue of the breast. Most of these tumors are benign, but some are cancerous.
  • Angiosarcoma: This is cancer that grows on the blood vessels or lymph vessels in the breast.
  • Paget disease of the nipple: This type of breast cancer begins in the ducts of the nipple, but as it grows, it begins to affect the skin and areola of the nipple.

Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare but violent type of breast cancer. IBC makes up only between 1 and 5 percent Trusted Source of all breast cancer cases.
With this condition, cells block the lymph nodes near the breasts, so the lymph vessels in the breast can’t properly drain. Instead of generating a tumor, IBC causes your breast to swell, look red, and feel very warm. A cancerous breast may appear pitted and thick, like an orange peel.

Triple-negative Breast Cancer

Triple-negative breast cancer is another rare disease type, affecting only about 10 to 20 percent of people with breast cancer. To be diagnosed as triple-negative breast cancer, a tumor must have all three of the following characteristics:
  • It lacks estrogen receptors: These are receptors on the cells that bind or attach, to the hormone estrogen. If a tumor has estrogen receptors, estrogen can stimulate cancer to grow.
  • It lacks progesterone receptors: These receptors are cells that bind to the hormone progesterone. If a tumor has progesterone receptors, progesterone can stimulate cancer to grow.
  • It doesn’t have additional HER2 proteins on its surface: HER2 is a protein that fuels breast cancer growth.
If a tumor meets these three criteria, it’s labeled a triple-negative breast cancer. This type of breast cancer has a tendency to grow and spread more quickly than other types of breast cancer.
Triple-negative breast cancers are difficult to treat because hormonal therapy for breast cancer is not effective. 

Metastatic Breast Cancer

Metastatic breast cancer is another name for stage 4 breast cancer. It’s breast cancer that has spread from your breast to other parts of your body, such as your bones, lungs, or liver.
This is an advanced stage of breast cancer. Your oncologist (cancer doctor) will create a treatment plan with the goal of stopping the growth and spread of the tumor or tumors.

 Breast Cancer Stages

Breast cancer can be divided into stages based on how large the tumor or tumors are and how much it has spread. Cancers that are large and/or have invaded nearby tissues or organs are at a higher stage than cancers that are small and/or still contained in the breast. In order to stage breast cancer, doctors need to know:
  • if the cancer is invasive or noninvasive
  • how large the tumor is
  • whether the lymph nodes are involved
  • if the cancer has spread to nearby tissue or organs
Breast cancer has five main stages: stages 0 to 5.

Stage 0 breast cancer

Stage 0 is DCIS. Cancer cells in DCIS remain confined to the ducts in the breast and have not spread into nearby tissue.

Stage 1 breast cancer

  • Stage 1A: The the primary tumor is 2 centimeters wide or less and the lymph nodes are not affected.
  • Stage 1B: Cancer is found in nearby lymph nodes, and either there is no tumor in the breast, or the tumor is smaller than 2 cm.

Stage 2 breast cancer

  • Stage 2A: The tumor is smaller than 2 cm and has spread to 1–3 nearby lymph nodes, or it’s between 2 and 5 cm and hasn’t spread to any lymph nodes.
  • Stage 2B: The tumor is between 2 and 5 cm and has spread to 1–3 axillary (armpit) lymph nodes, or it’s larger than 5 cm and hasn’t spread to any lymph nodes.

Stage 3 breast cancer

  • Stage 3A:
    • Cancer has spread to 4–9 axillary lymph nodes or has enlarged the internal mammary lymph nodes and the primary tumor can be any size.
    • Tumors are greater than 5 cm and cancer has spread to 1–3 axillary lymph nodes or any breastbone nodes.
  • Stage 3B: A tumor has invaded the chest wall or skin and may or may not have invaded up to 9 lymph nodes.
  • Stage 3C: Cancer is found in 10 or more axillary lymph nodes, lymph nodes near the collarbone, or internal mammary nodes.

Stage 4 breast cancer

Stage 4 breast cancer can have a tumor of any size, and its cancer cells have spread to nearby and distant lymph nodes as well as distant organs.
The testing your doctor does will determine the stage of your breast cancer, which will affect your treatment.  
 If you have any of these symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have breast cancer. For instance, pain in your breast or a breast lump can be caused by a benign cyst. Still, if you find a lump in your breast or have other symptoms, you should see your doctor for further examination and testing. 

1 comment:

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