Tuesday, February 27, 2024
HomePopularHow Does Breast Cancer Start

How Does Breast Cancer Start

Factors That Affect Growth Rate

2010 – Marie-Liesse Asselin-Labat: How does breast cancer start?

A number of studies have identified other factors that affect the rate of growth of a breast cancer. These include:

  • The type of cancer: Inflammatory breast cancer tends to grow much more quickly than other types of breast cancer.
  • Age at diagnosis: Breast cancers in young women tend to grow more rapidly than breast cancers in older women. They also have a higher tumor grade.
  • Menopausal state: Breast tumors often grow more rapidly in women before menopause than they do in postmenopausal women. This is likely due to estrogen in the body.
  • Receptor status: Triple negative cancers, in general, grow more rapidly than estrogen receptor-positive tumors. Triple positive tumors also grow more rapidly.
  • Estrogen treatment: Women who used hormone replacement therapy after menopause had, in general, more rapid growth rate of breast tumors.
  • Ki-67 index: This measures a specific tumor marker. A higher index means a faster doubling time.
  • Tumor grade: This describes what the cells look like. A higher tumor grade indicates a faster doubling time.

What Are Breast Cancer Medical Treatments

Patients with breast cancer have many treatment options. Doctors adjust most treatments specifically to the type of cancer and the staging group. Treatment options undergo frequent adjustments, and your health care provider will have the information on the current standard of care available. Discusss treatment options with a health care team. The following are the basic treatment modalities used in the treatment of breast cancer.


Many women with breast cancer will require surgery. Broadly, the surgical therapies for breast cancer include breast-conserving surgery and mastectomy.

Breast-conserving surgery

This surgery will only remove part of the breast . The size and location of the tumor determine the extent of the surgery.

In a lumpectomy, surgeons only remove the breast lump and some surrounding tissue. Medical professionals inspect the surrounding tissue for cancer cells. If no cancer cells are found, doctors call this “negative” or “clear margins.” Frequently, patients receive radiation therapy after lumpectomies.


During a mastectomy , all the breast tissue is removed. If immediate reconstruction is considered, surgeons sometimes perform a skin-sparing mastectomy. In this surgery, surgeons remove all the breast tissue, as well, but preserve the overlying skin. A nipple-sparing mastectomy keeps the skin of the breast, as well as the areola and nipple.

Radical mastectomy

Modified radical mastectomy

Preventive surgery

Radiation therapy

Targeted therapy

How Does Cancer Spread

A malignant tumor can invade surrounding tissue and destroy it. Cancer cells also can break away from a malignant tumor and enter the bloodstream or lymphatic system. This is how cancer spreads within the body.

When breast cancer spreads outside the breast, cancer cells often are found in the lymph nodes under the arm. Cancer cells may spread beyond the breast such as to other lymph nodes, the bones, liver or lungs Although it is not common, some patients whose underarm lymph nodes are clear of breast cancer may still have cancer cells which have spread to other parts of the body.

Cancer that spreads to other parts of the body is the same disease and has the same name as the original cancer. When breast cancer spreads, it is called metastatic breast cancer even though it is found in another part of the body. For example, breast cancer that has spread to the bones is called metastatic breast cancer, not bone cancer.

Recommended Reading: Her2 Breast Cancer Symptoms

What Does A Mammogram Show

A mammogram is a test used to examine the inside of the breasts, using a low dose X-ray. A trained clinician can interpret the images to identify any abnormal areas, masses or calcium deposits that may or may not indicate breast cancer. Mammograms performed on women who have no signs or symptoms of breast cancer are called screening mammograms. Mammograms that used to evaluate an abnormal breast symptom are called diagnostic mammograms.

Change In Size Shape Or Feel Of Your Breast

How Does Breast Cancer Start &  Spread?

A cancer might cause your breast to look bigger or have a different shape than usual, it might feel different.

Many healthy women find that their breasts feel lumpy and tender just before their period.

It can help to be breast aware. This means getting to know the size, shape and feel of your breasts.

Recommended Reading: Invasive Breast Cancer Definition

Inflammatory Breast Cancer Symptoms

Unlike other breast cancers, inflammatory breast cancer rarely causes breast lumps and may not appear on a mammogram. Inflammatory breast cancer symptoms include:

  • Red, swollen, itchy breast that is tender to the touch
  • The surface of the breast may take on a ridged or pitted appearance, similar to an orange peel
  • Heaviness, burning, or aching in one breast
  • One breast is visibly larger than the other
  • Inverted nipple
  • No mass is felt with a breast self-exam
  • Swollen lymph nodes under the arm and/or above the collarbone
  • Symptoms unresolved after a course of antibiotics

Unlike other breast cancers, inflammatory breast cancer usually does not cause a distinct lump in the breast. Therefore, a breast self-exam, clinical breast exam, or even a mammogram may not detect inflammatory breast cancer. Ultrasounds may also miss inflammatory breast cancer. However, the changes to the surface of the breast caused by inflammatory breast cancer can be seen with the naked eye.

Symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer can develop rapidly, and the disease can progress quickly. Any sudden changes in the texture or appearance of the breast should be reported to your doctor immediately.

For women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, redness, swelling, itchiness and soreness are often signs of a breast infection such as mastitis, which is treatable with antibiotics. If you are not pregnant or nursing and you develop these symptoms, your doctor should test for inflammatory breast cancer.

Oncogenic Mutations Of Pik3ca In Breast Cancer

Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase is divided into three classes based on their structure and substrate specificity. Class I PI3K is further categorized into class IA and IB, in which Class IA PI3K is the class most closely implicated in cancer. Structurally, PI3K is constituted of a p110 catalytic subunit and p85 regulatory subunit. There are three isoforms of p110, namely p110α , p110β, and p110δ. While p110δ is expressed exclusively in leukocytes, p110α and p110β are ubiquitously expressed., Conversely, human regulatory subunits p85α, p85β, and p55γ are encoded by PI3K regulatory subunit 1 , PIK3R2, and PIK3R3, respectively. PI3K signaling is initiated by the growth factor activated receptor tyrosine kinase, or RAS protein, though direct interaction with p85 or via adaptor proteins, resulting PI3K being recruited to the membrane., Activated PI3K subsequently activates critical downstream mediators AKT and mTOR, leading to enhanced growth, anti-apoptosis, cell-cycle progression, and translation., ,

Also Check: Honey And Baking Soda Cancer

How Fast Breast Cancer Grows

One main reason for why people ask about how fast breast cancer grows, or its doubling time, is when they consider how long to wait to begin treatment. This growth rate also is important to understand if you have a lump and have been advised to simply observe it over time.

In general, the growth of breast cancer can be quite variable, but several studies provide at least an estimate of what may be happening.

Unless your healthcare provider is extremely confident that a lump is benign, it should be evaluated right away rather than waiting.

What Are The Most Common Types Of Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Surgery: Start with your Breast Surgeon

Breast cancer is a diverse group of diseases. It may be invasive or non-invasive.

The most common types of invasive breast cancer include:

Travis, R. C. and Key, T. J. . Oestrogen exposure and breast cancer risk. Breast Cancer Research 5: 239-247.

Ikeda, K. and Inoue, S. . Estrogen receptors and their downstream targets in cancer. Archives of histology and cytology 67: 435-442.

National Cancer Institute What is Cancer?

Macmillan Cancer Support. Types of breast cancer. .

Chip in to fund the next research breakthrough

If you share our concerns about the links between harmful chemicals and breast cancer, please consider donating to help fund our next important project. By understanding the causes of breast cancer we can reduce the chances of our loved ones being diagnosed in the future. By donating now you can feel proud of helping our scientists to conduct their crucial work. Thank you.

Recommended Reading: Is Breast Cancer Considered Internal Cancer

What Are Breast Cancer Survival Rates By Stage What Is The Prognosis Of Breast Cancer

Survival rates are a way for health care professionals to discuss the prognosis and outlook of a cancer diagnosis with their patients. The number most frequently discussed is 5-year survival. It is the percentage of patients who live at least 5 years after they are diagnosed with cancer. Many of these patients live much longer, and some patients die earlier from causes other than breast cancer. With a constant change in therapies, these numbers also change. The current 5-year survival statistic is based on patients who were diagnosed at least 5 years ago and may have received different therapies than are available today. As with all statistics, although the numbers define outcomes for the group, any individual’s outcome has the potential for a wide range of variation.

All of this needs to be taken into consideration when interpreting these numbers for oneself.

Below are the statistics from the National Cancer Institute’s SEER database.

IV 22%

These statistics are for all patients diagnosed and reported. Several recent studies have looked at different racial survival statistics and have found a higher mortality in African-American women compared to white women in the same geographic area.

How Do Health Care Professionals Determine Breast Cancer Staging

Staging is the process of determining the extent of the cancer and its spread in the body. Together with the type of cancer, staging is used to determine the appropriate therapy and to predict chances for survival.

To determine if the cancer has spread, several different imaging techniques can be used.

  • Chest X-ray: It looks for spread of the cancer to the lung.
  • Mammograms: More detailed and additional mammograms provide more images of the breast and may locate other abnormalities.
  • MRI: Health care professionals use an MRI to further evaluate the breast or examine other parts of the body.
  • Computerized tomography : These specialized X-rays look at different parts of your body to determine if the breast cancer has spread. It could include a CT of the brain, lungs, or any other area of concern.
  • Bone scan: A bonescan determines if the cancer has spread to the bones. Low-level radioactive material is injected into the bloodstream, and over a few hours, images are taken to determine if there is uptake in certain bone areas, indicating metastasis.
  • Positron emission tomography : Medical professionals inject a radioactive material that rapidly growing cells absorb preferentially. The PET scanner then locates these areas in your body.

Staging system

A health care team uses this system to summarize in a standard way the extent and spread of the cancer. They use this staging to determine the treatment most appropriate for the type of cancer.

You May Like: Stage Of Breast Cancer Survival Rate

Treatment Of Noninvasive Cancer

For ductal carcinoma in situ, treatment usually consists of one the following:

  • A mastectomy

  • Removal of the tumor and a large amount of surrounding normal tissue with or without radiation therapy

Some women with ductal carcinoma in situ are also given hormone-blocking drugs as part of their treatment.

For lobular carcinoma in situ, treatment includes the following:

  • Classic lobular carcinoma in situ: Surgical removal to check for cancer and, if no cancer is detected, close observation afterward and sometimes tamoxifen, raloxifene, or an aromatase inhibitor to reduce the risk of developing invasive cancer

  • Pleomorphic lobular carcinoma in situ: Surgery to remove the abnormal area and sometimes tamoxifen or raloxifene to reduce the risk of developing invasive cancer

Women with lobular carcinoma in situ are often given tamoxifen, a hormone-blocking drug, for 5 years. It reduces but does not eliminate the risk of developing invasive cancer. Postmenopausal women may be given raloxifene or sometimes an aromatase inhibitor instead.

Screening For Breast Cancer

Do you want to learn more about #BreastCancer but you don ...

Women aged between 50 and 74 are invited to access free screening mammograms every two years via the BreastScreen Australia Program.

Women aged 40-49 and 75 and over are also eligible to receive free mammograms, however they do not receive an invitation to attend.

It is recommended that women with a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer, aged between 40 and 49 or over 75 discuss options with their GP, or contact BreastScreen Australia on 13 20 50.

Also Check: Stage Four Breast Cancer Symptoms

What Is A Sentinel Lymph Node

A network of lymphatic vessels and lymph nodes drain fluid from the tissue in the breast. The lymph nodes are designed to trap foreign or abnormal cells that may be contained in this fluid. Sometimes cancer cells pass through the nodes into the lymphatic vessels and spread to other parts of the body.

Although fluid from breast tissue eventually drains to many lymph nodes, the fluid usually drains first through one or only a few nearby lymph nodes. Such lymph nodes are called sentinel lymph nodes because they are the first to warn that cancer has spread.

Molecular Basis Of Triple

Triple-negative breast cancer is broadly defined as tumors that lack expression of the estrogen receptor , progesterone receptor , and HER2., , TNBC accounts for approximately 20% of breast cancers and is more commonly diagnosed in women younger than 40 years, as well as in African-American women. Genetically, < 20% of patients with TNBC harbor a breast cancer gene mutation, particularly in BRCA1. Pathologically, TNBC is usually high grade and commonly infiltrating ductal carcinoma exhibiting geographic necrosis. TNBC Patients usually have a poorer outcome compared with those with other breast cancer subtypes owing to an inherently aggressive clinical behavior and a lack of effective targeted therapies., The diagnosis of TNBC relies on the accurate determination of ER and PR protein levels by immunohistochemistry and of HER2 by IHC and/or fluorescence in situ hybridization ., Such accurate assessment is crucial to avoid false diagnosis of ER-negative and/or HER2-negative disease in patients that would be benefited from endocrine therapy and/or HER2-targeted drugs., TNBC clinical phenotype usually consists of the basal-like molecular subtype, although TNBC and basal-like breast cancers are not synonymous and yet there is substantial heterogeneity within TNBCs.

Don’t Miss: Is Estrogen Positive Breast Cancer Hereditary

Effect Of Hormonal Changes On Breasts

As women develop from pre-puberty through puberty, pregnancy and to menopause, the breasts will be affected by a variety of fluctuations in hormones.

During puberty, hormones produced by the ovaries cause growth and development of the breast. After puberty, the hormones oestrogen and progesterone will change throughout a womans monthly menstrual cycle. This may cause women to have swollen or tender breasts at different times of the month.

During pregnancy the body will produce additional oestrogen and progesterone, which trigger further growth and development of the breast to prepare mothers for breastfeeding.

Around the time of menopause , the ovaries stop producing female hormones including oestrogen. Without oestrogen, the breast tissue decreases in size. After menopause , monthly menstrual periods stop.

Breast Cancer Doubling Time

Breast Cancer : How Does Cancer Work in the Body?

An important way to think about how fast a breast cancer grows is by looking at what’s called the volume doubling time. Growth rate is a part of tumor doubling time, which is exactly what it sounds like. It is the amount of time it takes for a tumor to double in size.

It would be unethical to leave a cancer untreated to see how rapidly it will grow, so researchers estimate the doubling time. However, when looking at these models, it becomes clear that doubling time estimates vary from study to study.

A 2018 study estimated doubling time by looking at serial ultrasounds in 265 people with invasive breast cancer to see if there were differences among breast cancer subtypes. These images were taken between diagnosis and surgery. The results suggest that growth varied significantly based on the breast cancer subtype and the role of estrogen receptors in those subtypes.

During an average interval of 57 days, 36% of tumors did not change in size, while 64% grew. Of those tumors that increased in size, the average gain in volume was 34.5%. Tumors that were triple negative had greater increases in volume and shorter doubling times than those that were estrogen receptor positive and HER2 negative tumors.

A similar 2016 study looked at growth in 323 people, based on ultrasound images taken between diagnosis and surgery over a 31 day period, On average, the tumors grew from 1.47 centimeters to 1.56 cm in diameter. The daily growth rate based on type was:

You May Like: Tubular Cancer Of The Breast

Clinical Staging And Survival Rates Of Breast Cancer

Once breast cancer is diagnosed, tests are performed to determine the stage of the disease, which will impact the treatment patients receive. The clinical staging of breast cancer is identical across breast cancer subtypes according to the American Joint Committee on Cancer and the International Union for Cancer Control Tumor, Node, and Metastasis breast cancer staging system: Stage 0, Stage I, Stage II, Stage III and Stage IV, as detailed in .

Clinical Trials For Dogs With Breast Cancer

Treatments for mammary tumors in dogs are constantly evolving. Some of the most promising clinical trials are discussed below.

Oncolytic Virotherapy

The administration of a recombinant measles virus has shown promise in slowing down the progression of tumor growth .

Flutamide Administration

Flutamide is an anti-androgen, or anti-testosterone, drug. Despite most tests of the drugs effectiveness being conducted on mice, the administration of flutamide has been shown to inhibit metastasis and reduce tumor sizes .

Adjuvant Oxytocin or Desmopressin

In aggressive cases of mammary tumors, surgery may not be enough to increase survival time. Treatment with oxytocin or desmopressin may have beneficial effects on simple carcinomas, although further studies are required .

Dont Miss: Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Survival Rate Stage 1

You May Like: Stage 3a Breast Cancer Prognosis


Popular Articles