Breast Cancer: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
Posted On: October 17, 2021
Breast cancer originates in the breast tissue. Like other cancers, it can spread from the base tissue in the breast to other surrounding tissues. It can also spread to other parts of the body and form tumours. This is also known as metastasis.
Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer apart from skin cancer. It has been noticed that increasing age is the most common risk factor for breast cancer.
Types of Breast Cancer
Infiltrating (invasive) ductal carcinoma – This type of cancer initiates in the milk ducts and then eventually travels to the surrounding tissues. This is the type of cancer which is mostly noticed.
Ductal carcinoma In Situ - This can be called as the initial stage, where the disease is confined to the milk ducts and has not invaded nearby breast tissue. This is curable most of the times.
Infiltrating (invasive) lobular carcinoma - This cancer commences in the lobules of the breast where breast milk is produced by the body, but has spread to surrounding tissues in the breast. This type of cancer is a little difficult to diagnose with mammograms.
Lobular carcinoma In Situ – It is not considered to be a true cancer, but serves as a marker for the increased risk of developing breast cancer later.
Less common forms of breast cancer are listed below:
- Angiosarcomas - This type of cancer begins in the cells that outline the blood vessels and lymph nodes
- Inflammatory Breast Cancer - This type of cancer is caused by obstructive cancer cells in the skin’s lymph vessels.
- Paget Disease of the Breast - This cancer affects the skin of the nipple and areola
- Phyllodes Tumours - These tumours begin in the breast’s connective tissue, which is called the stroma.
Stages of Breast Cancer
The anatomic staging system is as follows:
Stage 0: The disease is restricted to the milk ducts
Stage I: Breast cancer is < 2 cm across and hasn't spread anywhere, including the lymph nodes
- The tumour is < 2 cm across but has spread to the underarm lymph nodes
- The tumour is usually sized between 2 and 5 cm (with or without spread to the lymph nodes)
- The tumour is > 5 cm and has not spread to the lymph nodes under the arm
Stage III: The tumour can be in any size with cancerous lymph nodes that adhere to one and another or the surrounded tissues.
Stage IV: Breast cancer may be stated as a tumour, regardless of size, that has already spread to the places away from the breast, like bones, lungs, liver or brain.
- A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm is also present after your menstrual cycle has ended.
- A mass, which might feel as small as a pea.
- A change in the size, shape, or contour of the breasts
- A blood like discharge or clear discharge from the nipple
- A changed look or feel of the skin on the breast or nipple Redness of the skin
- An area that is very different and noticeable from the other area
- A marble-like hardened area beneath the skin
- Alcohol consumption
- Breast implants
- Choosing not to breastfeed
- Using hormone-based prescriptions
- Breast examination
- Digital mammography
- PET Scan
Contact the best oncology hospital in India, for world-class diagnostics and consult the best oncology surgeons to know what the correct treatment for your condition is.
If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, always make sure to get a second oncology opinion so that all your queries are cleared and you can understand the necessary treatment plan needed for you better. In case of breast cancer, the treatment usually starts after diagnosis, in the following mentioned ways.Breast Cancer Treatments are Local or Systemic.
- Local treatments are done to remove, destroy, or control the cancer cells in a specific area. Surgery and radiation treatment are classified as local treatments.
- Systemic treatments are used to eliminate or control cancer cells all over the body. Chemotherapy and hormone therapy are classified under systemic treatments.
A patient may undergo a single type of treatment or a hybrid type, according to the diagnosis. Consult the best oncologist in Ahmedabad or get a second medical opinion to understand the treatment you might be receiving and how it can affect you.
Surgery: Breast conservation surgery involves removing the cancerous cells of the breast and an area of normal tissue surrounding the cancer. This procedure is called a lumpectomy, and can also be referred to as a partial mastectomy.
Mastectomy (removal of the entire breast) involves removing the entire breast, and this is usually opted for in case the cancer has spread out to the breast tissues.
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