Understanding Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a type of cancer originating from breast tissue, most commonly from the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply the ducts with milk.[1] Cancers originating from ducts are known as ductal carcinomas, while those originating from lobules are known as lobular carcinomas. Breast cancer occurs in humans and other mammals. While the overwhelming majority of human cases occur in women, male breast cancer can also occur.

Understanding Breast Cancer

In case of breast cancer, it's essential to be aware of some basics that are what is mentioned below: What is breast cancer and how does it happen? In this section, you can learn about how breast cancer develops, how many people get breast cancer, and what factors can increase risk for getting breast cancer. You also can learn more about signs and symptoms to watch for and how to manage any fears you may have about breast cancer. Breast cancer is an uncontrolled growth of breast cells. To better understand breast cancer, it helps to understand how any cancer can develop. Cancer occurs as a result of mutations, or abnormal changes, in the genes responsible for regulating the growth of cells and keeping them healthy. The genes are in each cell’s nucleus, which acts as the “control room” of each cell. Normally, the cells in our bodies replace themselves through an orderly process of cell growth: healthy new cells take over as old ones die out. But over time, mutations can “turn on” certain genes and “turn off” others in a cell. That changed cell gains the ability to keep dividing without control or order, producing more cells just like it and forming a tumor. A tumor can be benign (not dangerous to health) or malignant (has the potential to be dangerous). Benign tumors are not considered cancerous: their cells are close to normal in appearance, they grow slowly, and they do not invade nearby tissues or spread to other parts of the body. Malignant tumors are cancerous. Left unchecked, malignant cells eventually can spread beyond the original tumor to other parts of the body. The term “breast cancer” refers to a malignant tumor that has developed from cells in the breast. Usually breast cancer either begins in the cells of the lobules, which are the milk-producing glands, or the ducts, the passages that drain milk from the lobules to the nipple. Less commonly, breast cancer can begin in the stromal tissues, which include the fatty and fibrous connective tissues of the breast.

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Breast Anatomy

Over time, cancer cells can invade nearby healthy breast tissue and make their way into the underarm lymph nodes, small organs that filter out foreign substances in the body. If cancer cells get into the lymph nodes, they then have a pathway into other parts of the body. The breast cancer’s stage refers to how far the cancer cells have spread beyond the original tumor Breast cancer is always caused by a genetic abnormality. Only 5-10% of cancers occur due to an abnormality inherited from your mother or father. About 90% of breast cancers are due to genetic irregularities that happen as a result of the aging route and the “wear and tear” of life in general. There are steps every person can take to help the body settle as healthy as feasible and lower risk of breast cancer or a breast cancer repetition. Always remember, breast cancer is never a part of anyone's mistake. Feeling blameworthy, or telling yourself that breast cancer occurred because of somewhat you or anyone else did, is not fruitful.

breast anatomy

Below are the several cases of Breast Anatomy

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What Causes Breast Cancer?

Numerous risk aspects can raise your chances of emerging breast cancer, but it is not yet known exactly how some of these risk factors cause cells to become cancerous. In many cases Hormones seem to play a role in of breast cancer, but whatever use to happen is not fully understood as yet. DNA is the chemical in each of our cells that makes up our genes—the instructions for how our cells function. We generally look like our parents because they are the foundation of our DNA. But DNA influence more than how we look. Some genes contain information for controlling when our cells grow, divide, and die. Genes that speed up cell division are called ontogenesis. Others that slow down cell division, or cause cells to die at the right time, are called tumor suppressor genes. Certain changes in DNA that “turn on” ontogenesis or “turn off” tumor suppressor genes can cause normal breast cells to become cancerous.

Stages of Breast Cancer

Cancer Stages
  • Early stage or stage 0 breast cancer is when the disease is localized to the breast with no evidence of spread to the lymph nodes (carcinoma in situ).
  • Stage I breast cancer: The cancer is 2 centimeters or less in size and it hasn't spread anywhere.
  • Stage IIA breast cancer is a tumor smaller than 2 centimeters across with lymph node involvement or a tumor that is larger than 2 but less than 5 centimeters across without underarm lymph node involvement.
  • Stage IIB is a tumor that is greater than 5 centimeters across without underarm lymph nodes testing positive for cancer or a tumor that is larger than 2 but less than 5 centimeters across with lymph node involvement.
  • Stage IIIA breast cancer is also called locally advanced breast cancer. The tumor is larger than 5 centimeters and has spread to the lymph nodes under the arm, or a tumor that is any size with cancerous lymph nodes that adhere to one another or surrounding tissue.
  • Stage IIIB breast cancer is a tumor of any size that has spread to the skin, chest wall, or internal mammary lymph nodes (located beneath the breast and inside the chest).
  • Stage IIIC breast cancer is a tumor of any size that has spread more extensively and involves more lymph node invasion.
  • Stage IV breast cancer is defined as a tumor, regardless of size, that has spread to places far away from the breast, such as bones, lungs,liver, brain,or distant lymph nodes.