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What you should know about breast cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and the second leading cause of cancer death , exceeded only by lung cancer in 1985. One woman in eight who lives to age 85 will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives .

Currently, there are over 2 million women living in the United States who have been treated for breast cancer. Approximately 41,000 women will die from the disease. The risk of dying from breast cancer is 1 in 33 . However, the death rate from breast cancer is decreasing . This decrease is probably the result of early detection and better treatment .

Breast cancer is not just a woman ‘s disease . The American Cancer Society estimates that 1,600 men will develop the disease each year and about 400 may die from the disease.

The risk of breast cancer is higher among those with a mother , aunt, sister or grandmother who had breast cancer before age 50. If only a mother or sister had breast cancer , double the risk. Having two first-degree relatives with a diagnosis increases the risk up to five times the average.

We do not know exactly what causes breast cancer , the culprit is often an inherited mutation in one of two genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2 . These genes normally protect against disease by producing proteins that protect against abnormal cell growth , but for women with the mutation, the lifetime risk of developing breast cancer may increase by up to 80 percent compared with 13 percent in the general population. In fact , over 25 percent of women with breast cancer have a family history of the disease.

For women without a family history of breast cancer, the risks are more difficult to identify. It is known that the hormone estrogen fuels many breast cancers , and several factors – diet , excess weight, and alcohol – may increase estrogen levels in the body.

first signs

The early signs of breast cancer include:

– A piece that is often unique , firm and usually painless is detected.

– An area of ​​the skin of the breast or underarm swells and has an unusual appearance .

– The veins of the skin surface is made ​​larger in a breast .

– The nipple of the affected breast is reversed , rash , changes in skin texture , or a discharge other than breast milk.

– A low pressure is in a region of the surface of the breast.

Types and stages of breast cancer

There are many types of breast cancer. Some are fast- growing and unpredictable , while others grow more slowly and regularly. Some are stimulated by estrogen levels in the body , resulting from a mutation in one of two genes mentioned above – BRCA1 and BRCA2 .

Ductal carcinoma in situ ( DCIS) is generally divided into comedo ( blackhead ) in which the surface of the tumor sample dead extrusion cutting and similar to a black dot necrotic tumor cells , not types – comedo. DCIS breast cancer at an early stage that is confined within the duct system. The distinction between the types of comedones and no – comedo is important, as in situ comedo generally behaves more aggressively and may show areas of micro – invasion through the ductal wall into the surrounding tissue .

Ductal : This is the most common type of breast cancer, accounting for 78 percent of all malignant tumors. On mammography , these lesions may appear in two different forms – Starry (star) or circumscribed (rounded) . Stellate lesions generally have a poorer prognosis .

Medullary carcinoma : This malignancy is composed of 15 percent of breast cancers . These lesions are generally well circumscribed and may be difficult to distinguish from fibroadenoma by mammography or ultrasound. With this type of breast cancer , prognostic indicators of estrogen and progesterone receptor negative cancer is 90 per cent of the time. Medullary carcinoma usually has a better prognosis than other types of breast cancer.

Infiltrating Lobular : Representing 15 percent of breast cancers , these lesions usually occur in the upper outer quadrant of the breast as a subtle thickening and are difficult to diagnose by mammography . Infiltrating lobular may involve both breasts (bilateral). Microscopically , these tumors have a linear array of the cells grow and around ducts and lobules .

Tubular carcinoma : This is described as an orderly or well-differentiated carcinoma of the breast. These lesions constitute about 2 percent of breast cancers . They have a favorable prognosis with a survival rate of almost 10 years of 95 percent.

Mucinous carcinoma: accounts for 1-2 percent of breast carcinoma and a favorable prognosis. These lesions are generally well circumscribed (rounded) .

Inflammatory Breast Cancer : This is a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer usually evidenced by changes in the skin of the breast including redness (erythema ) , thickening of the skin and the importance of hair follicles resembles an orange peel . The diagnosis is made by a skin biopsy that showed tumors in the lymphatic and vascular approximately 50 percent of the time channels.

Stages of breast cancer

The most common type of breast cancer is ductal carcinoma. It begins in the duct wall. Another type, called lobular carcinoma, arises in the lobules . When cancer is found, the pathologist can tell what kind of cancer it is – if it started in a duct (ductal ) or lobules ( lobular ) and whether it has invaded nearby tissue of the breast ( invasive) .

When cancer is detected , specific laboratory tests are usually made of fabric to learn more about cancer . For example , testing of hormone receptors (estrogen and progesterone) can help determine whether hormones help the cancer grow . If the test results show that hormones affect tumor growth (a positive result) , cancer is likely to respond to hormonal therapy . Current therapy of cancer cells deprived of estrogen .

Other tests are sometimes done to help predict whether the cancer is likely to progress . For example , X-rays and other laboratory tests are performed. Sometimes a breast tissue sample is tested for a gene, termed the human receptor -2 ( HER-2 gene ) of epidermal growth factor that is associated with an excess of the recurrence of breast cancer. Special examinations of the bones , liver or lungs are made because breast cancer can spread to these areas.

Options for the treatment of a woman depends on a number of factors. These factors include age and menopausal status , general health , the size and location of the tumor and the stage of the cancer , the results of laboratory tests and the size of your chest. Some features of tumor cells , for example , if they are dependent on growth hormone are also considered .

In most cases , the most important factor is the stage of the disease . The move is based on the size of the tumor and whether the cancer has spread. Here is a brief description of the stages of breast cancer and most widely used treatments for each stage. Other treatments may sometimes be appropriate.

stage 0

Stage 0 is sometimes called a non-invasive or in situ carcinoma carcinoma . Lobular carcinoma in situ ( LCIS ) refers to abnormal cells lining a lobe . These abnormal cells rarely become invasive cancer. However, they are an indicator of an increased risk of developing breast cancer in both breasts risk. Treatment of LCIS is a drug called tamoxifen , which can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. An affected person may choose not to receive treatment, but to control the situation by having regular checkups. And occasionally , the decision to undergo surgery to remove both breasts to try to prevent the development of cancer . In most instances, removal of the lymph nodes under the arm is not necessary.

A ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS ) refers to abnormal cells on the channel walls . DCIS also called ductal carcinoma. The abnormal cells do not extend beyond the pipe to invade the surrounding breast tissue . However, women with DCIS have an increased risk of risk of invasive breast cancer . Some women with DCIS undergoing breast-conserving surgery followed by radiotherapy. Alternatively, they may choose to undergo a mastectomy with or without breast reconstruction (plastic surgery ) to rebuild the breast. Lymph nodes in the armpit are removed not usually. In addition , women with DCIS may want to discuss with their doctors tamoxifen to reduce the risk of developing invasive breast cancer.

Stage I and II

Stages I and II are early stages of breast cancer in which the cancer has spread beyond the lobe or duct and invaded nearby tissues.

Stage I means the tumor is about an inch in diameter and cancer cells have not spread beyond the breast .

Stage II : one of the following elements :

The tumor in the breast is less than 1 inch in diameter and the cancer has spread to lymph nodes under the arm.
The tumor is between 1 and 2 inches ( with or without spread to lymph nodes under the arm).
The tumor is larger than 2 centimeters but has not spread to lymph nodes under the arm.
Treatment options for breast cancer at an early stage are saving surgery followed by radiation therapy to the breast, and mastectomy with or without breast reconstruction to rebuild the breast . These approaches are also effective in the treatment of early-stage breast cancer . (Sometimes , radiation therapy is also administered after mastectomy . )

Choosing breast surgery or mastectomy with conservation depends mainly on the size and location of the tumor, the size of the breast , certain features of cancer, and how the person feels about breast conservation . Whatever the approach , the lymph nodes under the arm are usually removed .

Chemotherapy and / or hormonal therapy after primary treatment with surgery or surgery and radiation therapy is recommended for stage I and more often stage II breast cancer. This additional treatment is called adjuvant therapy. Systemic therapy may be given to shrink the tumor before surgery is called neoadjuvant therapy. It is given to try to destroy any remaining cancer cells and prevent the cancer from recurring , or back , chest or elsewhere .

Stage III

Stage III is also called locally advanced cancer. At this stage, the tumor in the breast can be as follows :

More than 2 inches in diameter, and the cancer has spread to lymph nodes under the arm.
The cancer has spread to lymph nodes in the armpit .
The cancer has spread to lymph nodes near the breastbone or to other tissues near the breast .

Inflammatory breast cancer is a type of locally advanced breast cancer. In this cancer , the breast is red and swollen (or inflamed) color because cancer cells block the lymph vessels in the skin of the chest.

Patients with stage III breast cancer usually have two local treatment to remove or destroy the breast and systemic treatment to stop the spread of the disease. The local treatment may be surgery and / or radiotherapy in the chest and armpits . Systemic treatment may be chemotherapy, hormonal therapy , or both . Systemic therapy may be given before local treatment to shrink the tumor or after to prevent recurrence of the disease in the breast or elsewhere.

stage IV

Stage IV is metastatic cancer. The cancer has spread beyond the breast and lymph to other parts of the body lymph armpit.

Treatments for stage IV breast cancer are chemotherapy and / or hormonal therapy to destroy cancer cells and control the disease. Patients may undergo surgery or radiation therapy for the control of breast cancer. Radiation therapy may also be useful to control tumors in other parts of the body.

recurrent cancer

Recurrent cancer means that the disease has recurred despite initial treatment. Even when a tumor in the breast that has been removed or destroyed completely appear, the disease sometimes returns because undetected cancer cells remained somewhere in the body after treatment.

Most recurrences occur in the first 2 or 3 years after treatment , but breast cancer can recur many years later.

Cancer that returns only in the field of surgery is called local recurrence. If the disease returns in another part of the body , recurrence is metastatic breast cancer . The patient may have a type of treatment or combination of treatments for recurrent cancer .

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