Kinds Of Breast Cancer
The most common kinds of breast cancer are
- Invasive ductal carcinoma. The cancer cells begin in the ducts and then grow outside the ducts into other parts of the breast tissue. Invasive cancer cells can also spread, or metastasize, to other parts of the body.
- Invasive lobular carcinoma. Cancer cells begin in the lobules and then spread from the lobules to the breast tissues that are close by. These invasive cancer cells can also spread to other parts of the body.
Skin Rash On The Breasts
You may not associate breast cancer with redness or a skin rash, but in the case of inflammatory breast cancer , a rash is an early symptom. This is an aggressive form of breast cancer that affects the skin and lymph vessels of the breast.
Unlike other types of breast cancer, IBC doesnt usually cause lumps. However, your breasts may become swollen, warm, and appear red. The rash may resemble clusters of insect bites, and its not unusual to have itchiness.
Family History Of Breast Cancer
A positive family history of breast cancer is the most widely recognized risk factor for breast cancer. The lifetime risk is up to 4 times higher if a mother and sister are affected, and it is about 5 times greater in women who have two or more first-degree relatives with breast cancer. The risk is also greater among women with breast cancer in a single first-degree relative, particularly if the relative was diagnosed at an early age .
Despite a history indicating increased risk, many of these families have normal results on genetic testing. However, identification of additional genetic variants associated with increased risk may prove valuable. Michailidou et al conducted a controlled genome-wide association study of breast cancer that included 122,977 cases of European ancestry and 14,068 cases of East Asian ancestry, and identified 65 new loci associated with overall breast cancer risk. A GWAS by Milne et al identified 10 variants at 9 new loci that are associated with risk of estrogen receptornegative breast cancer.
A family history of ovarian cancer in a first-degree relative, especially if the disease occurred at an early age , has been associated with a doubling of breast cancer risk. This often reflects inheritance of a pathogenic mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene.
The family history characteristics that suggest increased risk of cancer are summarized as follows:
- Ontario Family History Assessment Tool
Direct-to-consumer genetic testing
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Heinz’s Form Of Cancer Rare But Treatable
Denise MannSTORY HIGHLIGHTS
- Teresa Heinz revealed that she has been diagnosed with early-stage cancer in both breasts
- Only about 2 to 5 percent of all breast cancer cases occur in both breasts simultaneously
- Tumors can be of different severity and/or type in each breast
- Expert: Prognosis depends on the side with the most aggressive type of cancer
— The recent revelation by Teresa Heinz, wife of U.S. Senator John Kerry, that she has been diagnosed with early-stage cancer in both of her breasts has likely left many women wondering, “Could this happen to me?”
It could, but it’s unlikely. Only about 2 percent to 5 percent of all breast cancer cases occur in both breasts at the same time, experts say.
” not unheard of, because whatever causes breast cancer on one side can act on both breasts,” says Nayana Dekhne, M.D., the director of the Comprehensive Breast Care Program at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan.
Even if you are one of the few women to experience this type of breast cancer, the scenario isn’t always as dire as it sounds. Breast cancer experts are quick to point out that a woman’s prognosis is not necessarily worse if she has breast cancer in both breasts, and that the outcomes in such cases are often excellent.
Considerations For Bilateral Mastectomy
Increasingly, women with unilateral breast cancer are treated with bilateral mastectomy . The reason is to stop the risk of death from developing bilateral breast cancer, or cancer in the opposite breast. However, this treatment is controversial because bilateral mastectomy is not proven to decrease death from breast cancer.
Its important to speak with your healthcare provider and assess your risk of developing bilateral breast cancer and whether this surgical intervention is warranted.
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Further Tests For Breast Cancer
If a diagnosis of breast cancer is confirmed, more tests will be needed to determine the stage and grade of the cancer, and to work out the best method of treatment.
If your cancer was detected through the NHS Breast Screening Programme, you’ll have further tests in the screening centre before being referred for treatment.
Disease Characteristics And Treatment
For UBC patients, data on patient characteristics, disease characteristics, and mortality was retrieved from the DBCG database. With SBBC patients, the policy has been only to register the patients in the database and subsequently let them go off-study. Thus, except for data on mortality and patient characteristics, no follow-up data is available on this patient group, and data on clinical and histopathologic characteristics are inconsistent in the DBCG database. For SBBC patients, detailed histopathologic information was therefore retrieved from the Danish Pathology Register.
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Mammography: Screening For Breast Cancer
Mammography is one of the best ways to detect breast cancer early. Mammography is designed to be sensitive enough to detect the possibility of cancer at an early stage, sometimes years before it can be felt. Because mammography is so sensitive, it may indicate cancer when none is presenta false-positive result. About 85 to 90% of abnormalities detected during screening are not cancer. Typically, when the result is positive, more specific follow-up procedures, usually a breast biopsy, are scheduled to confirm the result. Mammography may miss up to 15% of breast cancers. It is less accurate in women with dense breast tissue.
Breast tomosynthesis may be used with mammography to produce a clear, highly focused 3-dimensional picture of the breast. This technique makes it somewhat easier to detect cancer, especially in women with dense breast tissue. However, this type of mammography exposes women to almost twice as much radiation as traditional mammography.
Recommendations for routine screening with mammography vary. Experts disagree about
When it should start
When a lump or another abnormality is detected in the breast during a physical examination or by a screening procedure Screening Breast cancer occurs when cells in the breast become abnormal and divide uncontrollably. Breast cancer usually starts in the glands that produce milk or the tubes that carry… read more , other procedures are necessary.
Questions To Ask A Healthcare Professional
Here are some questions to ask a healthcare professional about a stage 2 breast cancer diagnosis:
- Is the cancer stage 2A or 2B? How will this affect the treatment and outlook?
- If the cancer has spread, where has it spread to, and what does this mean for my treatment and outlook?
- What other tests might I need?
- Do I need to talk to more doctors or other healthcare professionals?
- Are there any special characteristics about the cancer, such as HR and HER2 status, and what do these mean?
- What are my long-term outlook and estimated chances of survival based on what we know now?
- How can I obtain a copy of my pathology report?
- Are there any ways to help cover the costs of diagnosis and treatment?
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Types Of Invasive Breast Cancer
Most breast cancers are invasive, meaning the cancer has spread from the original site to other areas, like nearby breast tissue, lymph nodes or elsewhere in the body. Invasive breast cancer cells break through normal breast tissue barriers and spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream and lymph nodes. The two most common types of invasive breast cancer are invasive ductal carcinoma and invasive lobular carcinoma.
Invasive ductal carcinoma
The most common type of breast canceraccounting for roughly 70 to 80 percent of all casesis called invasive ductal carcinoma . IDC is a cancer that starts in a milk duct and grows into other parts of the breast. With time, it may spread further, or metastasize, to other parts of the body.
Invasive lobular carcinoma
Invasive lobular carcinoma is the second most common type, accounting for roughly 5 to 10 percent of all breast cancers. ILC starts in lobules and then spreads into nearby breast tissue. Like IDC, it may metastasize. However, this cancer is harder to detect on mammograms and other exams than IDC. One in five women with ILC have both breasts affected.
Inflammatory breast cancer
Pagets disease of the breast
Angiosarcoma of the breast
Other, even more rare, types of invasive breast cancer include adenoid cystic carcinoma, low-grade adenosquamous carcinoma, medullary carcinoma, mucinous carcinoma, papillary carcinoma and tubular carcinoma.
What Are The Warning Signs Of Breast Cancer
- A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm that persists through the menstrual cycle.
- A mass or lump, which may feel as small as a pea.
- A change in the size, shape, or contour of the breast.
- A blood-stained or clear fluid discharge from the nipple.
- A change in the look or feel of the skin on the breast or nipple .
- Redness of the skin on the breast or nipple.
- An area that is distinctly different from any other area on either breast.
- A marble-like hardened area under the skin.
These changes may be found when performing monthly breast self-exams. By performing breast self-exams, you can become familiar with the normal monthly changes in your breasts.
Breast self-examination should be performed at the same time each month, three to five days after your menstrual period ends. If you have stopped menstruating, perform the exam on the same day of each month.
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What Is Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
Breast ducts are the passageways where milk from the milk glands flows to the nipple.
Invasive ductal carcinoma is cancer that happens when abnormal cells growing in the lining of the milk ducts change and invade breast tissue beyond the walls of the duct.
Once that happens, the cancer cells can spread. They can break into the lymph nodes or bloodstream, where they can travel to other organs and areas in the body, resulting in metastatic breast cancer.
How Is It Treated
Your treatment will depend on the stage of your cancer. If the cancer is early stage meaning the tumors are only in one quadrant of your breast breast-conserving surgery is possible. This procedure removes as much of the cancer as possible, while preserving the healthy breast tissue around it.
After surgery, youll get radiation to kill any cancer cells that might have been left behind. Chemotherapy is another option after surgery.
Large tumors or cancers that have spread may require mastectomy surgery to remove the whole breast. Lymph nodes may also be removed during the surgery.
Although breast cancer treatments can improve your survival odds, they can have side effects.
Side effects from breast-conserving surgery include:
- pain in the breast
- swelling in the breast or arm
- change in the shape of the breast
- redness, itching, peeling, and irritation of the skin
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Risk Factors For Breast Cancer
There are several risk factors that increase your chances of getting breast cancer. However, having any of these doesnt mean you will definitely develop the disease.
Some risk factors cant be avoided, such as family history. You can change other risk factors, such as quitting smoking, if you smoke. Risk factors for breast cancer include:
- Age. Your risk for developing breast cancer increases as you age. Most invasive breast cancers are found in women over age 55 years.
- Drinking alcohol. Alcohol use disorder raises your risk.
- Having dense breast tissue. Dense breast tissue makes mammograms hard to read. It also increases your risk for breast cancer.
- Gender. White women are
While there are risk factors you cant control, following a healthy lifestyle, getting regular screenings, and taking any preventive measures your doctor recommends can help reduce your risk for developing breast cancer.
How Much Do Anastrozole And Exemestane Lower The Risk Of Breast Cancer
Studies have shown that both anastrozole and exemestane can lower the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women who are at increased risk of the disease.
In one large study, taking anastrozole for five years lowered the risk of developing estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer by 53 percent. In another study, taking exemestane for three years lowered the risk of developing estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer by 65 percent.
The most common side effects seen with anastrazole and exemestane are joint pains, decreased bone density, and symptoms of menopause .
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/31/2018.
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Stage 4 Breast Cancer
Stage 4 breast cancer can have a tumor of any size, and its cancer cells have spread to nearby and distant lymph nodes as well as distant organs.
The testing your doctor does will determine the stage of your breast cancer, which will affect your treatment.
Although they generally have less of it, men have breast tissue just like women do. Men can develop breast cancer too, but its much rarer.
According to the ACS , breast cancer is 100 times less common in white men than in white women. Its 70 times less common in black men than in black women.
That said, the breast cancer that men develop is just as serious as the breast cancer women are diagnosed with. It also has the same symptoms.
What Are The Risk Factors For Breast Cancer
Like many conditions, risk factors for breast cancer fall into the categories of things you can control and things that you cannot control. Risk factors affect your chances of getting a disease, but having a risk factor does not mean that you are guaranteed to get a certain disease.
Controllable risk factors for breast cancer
- Alcohol consumption. The risk of breast cancer increases with the amount of alcohol consumed. For instance, women who consume two or three alcoholic beverages daily have an approximately 20% higher risk of getting breast cancer than women who do not drink at all.
- Body weight. Being obese is a risk factor for breast cancer. It is important to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
- Breast implants. Having silicone breast implants and resulting scar tissue make it harder to distinguish problems on regular mammograms. It is best to have a few more images to improve the examination. There is also a rare cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma that is associated with the implants.
- Choosing not to breastfeed. Not breastfeeding can raise the risk.
- Using hormone-based prescriptions. This includes using hormone replacement therapy during menopause for more than five years and taking certain types of birth control pills.
Non-controllable risk factors for breast cancer
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Getting A Breast Biopsy
In a breast biopsy, the doctor takes out small pieces of breast tissue to check them for cancer cells. A biopsy is the only way to tell for sure if you have breast cancer.
There are many types of biopsies. Ask your doctor what kind you will need. Each type has risks and benefits. The choice of which type to use depends on your own case.
Sometimes, surgery is needed to take out all or part of the lump to find out if its cancer. This is often done in a hospital using local anesthesia . You might also be given medicine to make you sleepy.
History Of Breast Cancer Or Breast Lumps
A person who has had breast cancer is more likely to develop it again than a person with no history of the disease.
Having some types of noncancerous breast lumps increases the risk of developing the cancer later on. Examples include atypical ductal hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma in situ.
People with a history of breast, ovarian, fallopian tube, or peritoneal cancer should ask their doctors about genetic testing.
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Evaluation After Cancer Diagnosis
After cancer is diagnosed, doctors usually consult a team of cancer specialists , including surgeons, cancer drug treatment specialists, and radiologists , to determine which tests should be done and to plan treatment.
If cancer cells are detected, the biopsy sample is analyzed to determine the characteristics of the cancer cells, such as
Whether the cancer cells have estrogen or progesterone receptors
How many HER2 receptors are present
How quickly the cancer cells are dividing
For some types of breast cancer, genetic testing of the cancer cells
This information helps doctors estimate how rapidly the cancer may spread and which treatments are more likely to be effective.
Tests may include
A chest x-ray to determine whether the cancer has spread
Blood tests, including a complete blood count , liver tests, and measurement of calcium, also to determine whether the cancer has spread
When cancer is diagnosed, a stage Staging Cancer Cancer is suspected based on a person’s symptoms, the results of a physical examination, and sometimes the results of screening tests. Occasionally, x-rays obtained for other reasons, such as… read more is assigned to it. The stage is a number from 0 to IV that reflects how extensive and aggressive the cancer is:
Staging the cancer helps doctors determine the appropriate treatment and the prognosis.
Many factors go into determining the stage of breast cancer, such as the TNM classification system.
The TNM classification is based on the following: