What is Breast Cancer ?
Cancer occurs if changes called mutations to take place in genes that regulate cell growth. The mutations cause the cells to be divided and multiplied in an uncontrolled way. Breast cancer is cancer that arises in the cells of the breast. Cancer usually develops in the lobules or the breast ducts. The glands that contain milk are lobules, and the channels that deliver the milk to the nipple from the glands are ducts. cancer may also occur in the fatty tissue or the fibrous connective tissue inside your breast. Unregulated cancer cells often invade other healthy breast tissues and may travel to the lymph nodes under the arms. A primary route that helps cancer cells migrate to other areas of the body is the lymph nodes.
Cancer occurs if changes called mutations to take place in genes that regulate cell growth. The mutations cause the cells to be divided and multiplied in an uncontrolled way. Breast cancer is cancer that arises in the cells of the breast. Cancer usually develops in the lobules or the breast ducts. The glands that contain milk are lobules, and the channels that deliver the milk to the nipple from the glands are ducts. cancer may also occur in the fatty tissue or the fibrous connective tissue inside your breast. Unregulated cancer cells often invade other healthy breast tissues and may travel to the lymph nodes under the arms. A primary route that helps cancer cells migrate to other areas of the body is the lymph nodes
Breast Cancer Symptoms
Breast cancer may not cause any symptoms in its early phases. A tumor may be too small to be felt in many cases, but on a mammogram, an abnormality may still be seen. If a tumor can be felt, a new lump in the breast which was not there before is typically the first indication. Not all lumps, however, are cancer. A number of symptoms can cause each type of breast cancer. Many are similar to these symptoms, but others may be distinct. Symptoms of the most frequent breast cancer include the following:
- A breast lump or thickening of the tissue that feels different from the surrounding tissue and has recently formed
- Breast pain
- Pitted, red skin over your entire breast
- Swelling in the breast
- The discharge of a nipple other than breast milk
- Discharge of blood from the nipple
- The skin on your nipple or breast is peeling, scaling, or flaking
- A rapid, unexplained shift in your breast shape or size
- inverted nipple
- Changes in the look of the skin on your breasts
- A lump or swelling under the arm
It does not necessarily mean you have breast cancer if you have all of these symptoms. For instance, a benign cyst may inflict pain in your breast or a breast lump. Even, you can see your doctor for further review and testing if you notice a lump in your breast or have any symptoms.
Types of breast cancer
There are several kinds of breast cancer, classified into two major categories: "invasive" and "noninvasive" or in situ. Whereas invasive cancer has spread to other areas of the breast from the breast ducts or glands, noninvasive cancer has not spread from the original tissue.
Ductal carcinoma in situ
A noninvasive disease is a ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). The cancer cells are restricted to the ducts in your breast with DCIS and have not penetrated the breast tissue surrounding them.
Lobular carcinoma in situ
Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) is cancer that develops in the breast's milk-producing glands. The cancer cells have not invaded the underlying tissue, much like DCIS.
Invasive ductal carcinoma
Invasive ductal carcinoma is the most prevalent type of breast cancer. It begins in the milk ducts of your breast and then invades surrounding tissue in the breast. When breast cancer has spread to the tissue outside the milk ducts, other surrounding organs and tissue may begin to spread.
Invasive lobular carcinoma
Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) arises first in the lobules of your breast and invades surrounding tissue.
Other, less frequent breast cancer forms include:
Paget disease of the nipple
This form of breast cancer starts in the nipple ducts, but as it develops, it begins to affect the nipple's skin and areola.
Phyllodes tumor is a rare kind of breast cancer that grows in the connective tissues of the breast These tumors are usually benign, but some of them are cancerous.
This is cancer in the breast that develops on the blood vessels or lymph vessels
Risk factors for breast cancer
- As the age of the people increases, the risk of breast cancer increases
- Drinking an excessive amount of alcohol raises the risk of breast cancer
- Dense breast tissue makes it difficult to read mammograms. It also raises the breast cancer risk.
- Women that have mutations in the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 are more likely to develop breast cancer than women who are not. Your risk could also be affected by other gene mutations.
- You have an increased risk of breast cancer if you have had your first cycle by age 12
- Women are more likely to develop breast cancer if they do not begin menopause until after 55 years of age.
Breast cancer stages
It is possible to separate breast cancer into stages depending on how big the tumor or tumors are and how far it has spread. There is a higher stage of cancers that are large and/or have penetrated surrounding tissues or organs than cancers that are small and/or only concentrated in the breast. For breast cancer to arise, doctors need to know:
- cancer is invasive or noninvasive
- Size of the Tumor
- The lymph nodes are involved or not
- Cancers are spread to tissues and organs or not
Breast cancer stages
Stage 0 Breast cancer
Stage 0 is DCIS. In DCIS, cancer cells remain restricted to the breast ducts and have not spread into surrounding tissue.
tage 1 breast cancer
Stage 1A: The primary tumor is 2 centimeters large or less and is unaffected by the lymph nodes.
Stage 1B: cancer is found in neighboring 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 or between 2 and 5 cm from 1-3 adjacent lymph nodes and has not spread to any lymph nodes
Stage 2B: The tumor is between 2 and 5 cm and has spread to or greater than 5 cm to 1-3 axillary (armpit) lymph nodes and has not spread to other lymph nodes
Stage 3 breast cancer
Stage 3A:Cancer has spread or expanded the internal mammary lymph nodes to 4-9 axillary lymph nodes, and any size can be the primary tumor.
Cancer has spread to 1-3 axillary lymph nodes or any breastbone nodes and the tumors are greater than 5 cm.
Stage 3B: The chest wall or skin has been invaded by a tumor and up to 9 lymph nodes may or may not have invaded it.
Stage 3C: Cancer may be located in 10 or more axillary lymph nodes, near-collarbone lymph nodes, or inner mammary nodes.
Stage 4 breast cancer
A tumor of any size may have Stage 4 breast cancer, and the cancer cells have spread to nearby and faraway lymph nodes as well as distant organs.
Diagnosis of breast cancer
Your doctor will do a comprehensive physical test in addition to a breast exam to decide whether your symptoms are caused by breast cancer or benign breast disease. To better explain what causes the symptoms, they can even order one or more medical tests.Test that helps to diagnose breast cancer includes:
An ultrasound examination called a mammogram, the most common way to see under the surface of your breast. In order to screen for breast cancer, many women aged 40 and over have regular mammograms. If your doctor believes that you might have a tumor or suspicious location, a mammogram may also be ordered. Your doctor can order additional tests if a suspicious area is seen on your mammogram.
In order to provide an image of the tissues deep in your breast, a breast ultrasound uses sound waves. Your doctor will use an ultrasound to differentiate between a solid mass, such as a tumor, and a benign cyst.
Breast cancer treatment
The stage of your breast cancer, how far it has invaded (if it has), and how big the tumor has developed all play a major role in deciding what sort of care you're going to need.
To begin, your doctor will decide the size, level, and grade of your cancer (how likely it is to grow and spread). You should explore your medical options after that. The most popular treatment for breast cancer is surgery. Additional therapies such as chemotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation, or hormone therapy are available for many women.
Types of surgery used to remove breast cancer are:
- Sentinel node biopsy
- Axillary lymph node dissection
- Contralateral prophylactic mastectomy
High-powered radiation beams are used to target cancer cells and kill them with radiation therapy. Radiation from external beams is used for most radiation therapies. On the outside of the body, this method employs a massive computer.
Advances in the treatment of cancer have also allowed physicians to irradiate cancer from within the body. This form of treatment with radiation is called brachytherapy. Surgeons insert radioactive seeds, or pellets, within the body near the tumor site to perform brachytherapy. For a brief period of time, the seeds remain there and work to kill cancer cells.
Chemotherapy is a treatment used for the killing of cancer cells by medications. Some people may undergo chemotherapy on their own, but with other treatments, particularly surgery, this form of treatment is often used.
In certain cases, before surgery, physicians tend to give chemotherapy to patients. The expectation is that the tumor will be shrunk by the drug, and then the surgery won't need to be as invasive. Chemotherapy has many undesirable side effects, so before beginning treatment, address your issues with your doctor.
Your doctor may start hormone therapy if your form of breast cancer is responsive to hormones. The development of breast cancer tumors can be induced by estrogen and progesterone, two female hormones. Hormone therapy works by preventing the development of these hormones by your body, or by blocking the receptors of hormones in cancer cells. This behavior helps to delay and eventually stop the progression of cancer.
Some therapies are intended to attack particular defects or mutations within cancer cells. Herceptin (trastuzumab), for example, will inhibit the development of the HER2 protein in your body. HER2 helps the growth of breast cancer cells, so taking a drug to slow the development of this protein can help slow the growth of cancer.