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What Does Stage 4 Breast Cancer Look Like

Who Is More Likely To Develop Lobular Breast Cancer

Shannen Doherty reveals stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis, why she√Ęs sharing it now | Nightline

Risk factors for developing lobular breast cancer are the same as those for developing breast cancer in general. These include:

  • Older age. The risk of breast cancer increases with age. Most breast cancers are diagnosed after age 50.
  • Being diagnosed with lobular carcinoma in situ. This means you have abnormal cells confined within the lobules of your breast. Although this is not considered cancer, it does increase your risk of developing breast cancer.
  • Family history of breast cancer. Having a mother, sister, or daughter who has had breast cancer.
  • Early puberty/late menopause. Starting your period at an early age or experiencing late menopause .
  • Not having children/later childbirth. Not having children or having your first child after the age of 35.
  • Postmenopausal hormone use. Using the female hormones estrogen and progesterone for more than 5 years to manage menopause symptoms.
  • Exposure to radiation. Receiving radiation to the breast or chest to treat cancer before the age of 30.
  • Having genetic mutations for certain types of breast cancer. Being a carrier of the familial breast cancer genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2.
  • Being overweight.
  • Drinking alcohol. Compared with nondrinkers, women who consume one alcoholic drink a day have a 10% increase in risk. The risk increases the more you drink.

A Lump In The Breast And Nipple Discharge Are Some Of The Warning Signs

Triple-negative breast cancer is a type of breast cancer that does not have any of the three receptors that contribute to some types of breast cancer growth. Approximately 10-20% of breast cancers are diagnosed as triple-negative breast cancer, and its more likely to occur in younger people, African Americans or Hispanics, and those with a BRCA1 gene mutation.

While treatment of triple-negative breast cancer is different than the treatments used for other types of breast cancer, the symptoms are similar.

Triple-negative breast cancer is an aggressive form of breast cancer which makes up approximately 10% to 15% of breast cancer diagnoses. This type of breast cancer means that the three most common types of receptors responsible for tumor growth in the breast are missing, so standard routes of treatment which target these receptors will not be effective. This can make the prognosis for triple-negative breast cancer worse than estrogen receptor positive breast cancer in the first five years after diagnosis. Once a patient with a triple-negative breast cancer diagnosis has been in remission for longer than five years, the differences in prognosis are reduced.

The Number Staging System

Breast cancer can also be divided into four number stages. We have put these into a table to make them easier to understand. You can .

This information is about stage 1 to 3 breast cancer.

Stage 1 breast cancer is when the cancer is 2cm or smaller. There may be no cancer cells in the lymph nodes in the armpit or tiny numbers of cancer cells are found. Sometimes the cancer cannot be found in the breast, but cancer cells have spread to lymph nodes in the armpit.

Stage 2 breast cancer is when the cancer is up to or bigger than 5cm. It may or may not have spread to the lymph nodes under the arm. Sometimes the cancer cannot be found in the breast. But cancer cells have spread to 1 to 3 lymph nodes in the armpit or near the breast bone.

Stage 3 breast cancer is sometimes called locally advanced breast cancer. The cancer has spread to the lymph nodes in the armpit and sometimes to other lymph nodes nearby. It may have spread to the skin of the breast or to the chest muscle. The skin may be red, swollen or have broken down. Sometimes the cancer cannot be found in the breast or is small but has spread to 4 to 9 lymph nodes in the armpit.

Stage 4 breast cancer is also called secondary or metastatic breast cancer. This is when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones, the liver or lungs. We have separate information about secondary breast cancer.

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What Do Armpit Cancer Look Like

Different people have different symptoms of breast cancer. Some people do not have any signs or symptoms at all. Some warning signs of breast cancer are New lump in the breast or underarm . Thickening or swelling of part of the breast. Irritation or dimpling of breast skin. Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.

Posted by Dr. Chris

Skin rashes are a common medical problem that can occur anywhere on the body A breast rash is a common complaint among women at some point or the other in their lives. Depending on the type of rash, it may not be serious and not even require treatment. However, at other times it can cause distressing symptoms, affect a persons quality of life, impede breastfeeding and even lead to skin discoloration and darkening. The type of rash largely depends on the cause. Sometimes even the most innocuous breast rash can be a symptom of a serious and even life-threatening condition.

Additional Markers For Breast Cancer Staging

Stage 4 breast cancer symptoms and prognosis

Additional markers specific to breast cancer will further define your stage, which may be helpful in choosing targeted treatments to fight the cancer.

  • ER: The cancer has an estrogen receptor. Estrogen is a hormone, and some cancers have receptors that respond to estrogen.
  • PR: The cancer has a progesterone receptor. Progesterone is also a hormone.
  • HER2: The cancer makes the protein HER2 .
  • G: Grade of cancer refers to how different the cells look from normal. Grade 1 indicates that the cells look fairly normal, while grade 2 cells are growing a little faster, and grade 3 cells look markedly different than normal breast tissue.

These markers, along with the TNM measurements, define your stage.

A cancer recurrence refers to cancer that returns in the same breast, and it requires new staging. This new stage is marked by an R at the end to indicate restaging. If it develops in the other breast, its considered a new cancer.

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What Does It Mean If My Carcinoma Is Well Differentiated Moderately Differentiated Or Poorly Differentiated

When looking at the cancer cells under the microscope, the pathologist looks for certain features that can help predict how likely the cancer is to grow and spread. These features include the arrangement of the cells in relation to each other, whether they form tubules , how closely they resemble normal breast cells , and how many of the cancer cells are in the process of dividing . These features taken together determine how differentiated the cancer is .

  • Well-differentiated carcinomas have relatively normal-looking cells that do not appear to be growing rapidly and are arranged in small tubules for ductal cancer and cords for lobular cancer. These cancers tend to grow and spread slowly and have a better prognosis .
  • Poorly differentiated carcinomas lack normal features, tend to grow and spread faster, and have a worse prognosis.
  • Moderately differentiated carcinomas have features and a prognosis in between these two.

What Is The Prognosis For People With Inflammatory Breast Cancer

IBC usually develops quickly and spreads to other tissues outside the breast. Early diagnosis and treatment are key to managing the condition as effectively as possible.

Doctors use a system made up of four stages to diagnose all types of cancer. IBC is stage III or stage IV when it is diagnosed.

Because IBC is aggressive, and because it is found later than other cancers, the outlook for people with this condition is generally not as good as for other types of breast cancer. Still, some people have lived many years after an IBC diagnosis. Your doctor can explain your individual prognosis to you.

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Cancer Symptoms In Women

Breast lump or change. Although its a hallmark symptom of breast cancer, most lumps arent cancer. Theyre often fluid-filled cysts or noncancerous tumors.

Still, see your doctor right away if you find any new or changing growths in your breasts, just to make sure.

Also get these changes checked out:

  • Redness or scaling of the skin over the breast
  • Breast pain

The Risks The Causes What You Can Do

Shannen Doherty Reveals Stage 4 Breast Cancer

Skin cancers like melanoma have damaged DNA in skin cells that lead to uncontrolled growth of these cells. Ultraviolet rays from the sun or tanning beds damage DNA in your skin cells. Your immune system repairs some of this damage but not all. Over time, the remaining DNA damage can lead to mutations that cause skin cancer. Many other factors also play a role in increasing the risk for melanoma, including genetics , skin type or color, hair color, freckling and number of moles on the body.

Understanding what causes melanoma and whether youre at high risk of developing the disease can help you prevent it or detect it early when it is easiest to treat and cure.

These factors increase your melanoma risk:

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When Can Metastatic Breast Cancer Occur

Most often, metastatic breast cancer arises months or years after a person has completed treatment for early or locally advanced breast cancer. This is sometimes called a distant recurrence.

Some people have metastatic breast cancer when they are first diagnosed . This is called de novo metastatic breast cancer.

Komen Perspectives

What Does Stage 1 Skin Cancer Look Like

  • How long does it take skin cancer to spread?
  • Stage 1: The cancer is up to 2 millimeters thick. It has not yet spread to lymph nodes or other sites, and it may or may not be ulcerated. Stage 2: The cancer is at least 1 mm thick but may be thicker than 4 mm. It may or may not be ulcerated, and it has not yet spread to lymph nodes or other sites.

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    What Does Inflammatory Breast Cancer Look Like

    Inflammatory breast cancer has different symptoms. It presents itself in a way that can be confused with a breast infection. It will include a red, inflamed, thickening of the breast. It can appear bruised or puckered. The texture can look like the skin of an orange. Another common symptom is sores that look like the skin on your breast was burned welts, ridges or other scars can appear. Your nipple might become flat or inverted.

    How Can I Take Care Of Myself While Living With Metastatic Breast Cancer

    The Stages of Breast Cancer: What You Need to Know ...

    Living with metastatic breast cancer can be challenging. Your care team can help provide physical and emotional support. Talk to them about how you can:

    • Eat the most nutritious diet for your needs.
    • Exercise regularly.
    • Get emotional support, including finding support groups.
    • Reach out for help from friends, family and loved ones.
    • Find mental health services.
    • Find complementary therapies.

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    More Information About The Tnm Staging System

    The T category describes the original tumor:

    • TX means the tumor can’t be assessed.
    • T0 means there isn’t any evidence of the primary tumor.
    • Tis means the cancer is “in situ” .
    • T1, T2, T3, T4: These numbers are based on the size of the tumor and the extent to which it has grown into neighboring breast tissue. The higher the T number, the larger the tumor and/or the more it may have grown into the breast tissue.

    The N category describes whether or not the cancer has reached nearby lymph nodes:

    • NX means the nearby lymph nodes can’t be assessed, for example, if they were previously removed.
    • N0 means nearby lymph nodes do not contain cancer.
    • N1, N2, N3: These numbers are based on the number of lymph nodes involved and how much cancer is found in them. The higher the N number, the greater the extent of the lymph node involvement.

    The M category tells whether or not there is evidence that the cancer has traveled to other parts of the body:

    • MX means metastasis can’t be assessed.
    • M0 means there is no distant metastasis.
    • M1 means that distant metastasis is present.

    Treatment Of Fatigue In Breast Cancer Patients And Survivors

    Clinical trials of treatment regimens for the alleviation and management of cancer-related fatigue have been limited compared with those focused on the alleviation of pain and suffering. Treatment of cancer-related fatigue can be complex because of the links observed between fatigue and various physical and psychological variables. Thus, a multidisciplinary approach to treatment and management of cancer-related fatigue is likely to be necessary for many cancer patients and survivors and treatments must be individualized based on underlying pathology.

    To recap, in two large studies four and five years post-diagnosis or treatment of breast cancer, survivors fatigue was most strongly linked with depressive symptoms, pain and sleep disturbance and with worse physical health, less physical activity, and depressive symptoms. Depressed mood, cardiovascular problems, and cancer treatment modality were also linked with ongoing fatigue. Thus, several possible underlying factors have been implicated in cancer fatigue, many of which respond well to conventional treatments.

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    How Is Melanoma Diagnosed

    If you have a mole or other spot that looks suspicious, your doctor may remove it and look at it under the microscope to see if it contains cancer cells. This is called a biopsy.

    After your doctor receives the skin biopsy results showing evidence of melanoma cells, the next step is to determine if the melanoma has spread. This is called staging. Once diagnosed, melanoma will be categorized based on several factors, such as how deeply it has spread and its appearance under the microscope. Tumor thickness is the most important characteristic in predicting outcomes.

    Melanomas are grouped into the following stages:

    • Stage 0 : The melanoma is only in the top layer of skin .
    • Stage I: Low-risk primary melanoma with no evidence of spread. This stage is generally curable with surgery.
    • Stage II: Features are present that indicate higher risk of recurrence, but there is no evidence of spread.
    • Stage III: The melanoma has spread to nearby lymph nodes or nearby skin.
    • Stage IV: The melanoma has spread to more distant lymph nodes or skin or has spread to internal organs.

    Basal Cell Carcinoma Early Stages

    Shannen Doherty reveals stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis | ABC News

    Basal cells are found within the skin and are responsible for producing new skin cells as old ones degenerate. Basal cell carcinoma starts with the appearance of slightly transparent bumps, but they may also show through other symptoms.

    In the beginning, a basal cell carcinoma resembles a small bump, similar to a flesh-colored mole or a pimple. The abnormal growths can also look dark, shiny pink, or scaly red in some cases.

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    What Is The Survival Rate For Triple Negative Breast Cancer

    Survival rates are a way to discuss the prognosis and outlook of a cancer diagnosis. The number most frequently mentioned is 5-year survival. Many patients live much longer, and some die earlier from causes other than breast cancer. With a constant change and improvement in therapies, these numbers also change. Current 5-year survival statistics are based on patients who were diagnosed at least 5 years ago and may have received different therapies than are available today.

    Below are the statistics from the National Cancer Institutes SEER database for survival of all patients with breast cancer, by tumor stage:

    Stage

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    Is Stage 4 Breast Cancer Painful

    Stage iv metastatic breast cancer can be painful for patients similar to other cancer types. Because the prognosis of metastatic cancer is often less favorable, many patients question is stage 4 breast cancer painful? It depends on several factors such as, where the cancer has and what type of cells are being affected. For example, if the cancer has spread to the bone, patients may experience persistent bone pain. Palliative treatments can be given to patients to help relieve symptoms such as pain. These treatments can include chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or radiation therapy.

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    What Is A Primary Tumor

    The primary tumor refers to the original breast tumor. So, any metastases are either secondary tumors, or simply metastatic breast cancer.

    Note, when breast cancer spreads to the bones, it is not bone cancer, it is metastatic breast cancer in the bones.

    Metastatic describes a breast cancer that has already spread to distant areas and organs of the body. Metastatic cancer is the most advanced stage of breast cancer. Furthermore, the most common sites for breast cancer to metastasize to are the:-

    • bones
    • liver
    • lungs.

    Once breast cancer is at this most advanced metastatic stage, the odds of completely curing the breast cancer are quite low. .

    The treatment of metastatic breast cancer, after a reasonable effort, will often focus on the quality of life and relieving symptoms rather than a cure.

    Myth #: Metastatic Breast Cancer Is A Single Type Of Cancer That Will Be Treated The Same Way For Every Person

    Breast Cancer Stages, Illustration

    The label metastatic contributes to the myth that it is one kind of breast cancer. But like earlier-stage breast cancers, stage IV cancers can have different characteristics that will guide treatment choices. They can test positive or negative for hormone receptors and/or an abnormal HER2 gene the gene that causes the cells to make too many copies of HER2 proteins that can fuel cancer growth. These test results guide treatment choices.

    For triple-negative stage IV cancers meaning they test negative for hormone receptors and an abnormal HER2 gene testing for PD-L1 is becoming more common. PD-L1 is a checkpoint protein found on the surface of healthy cells that prevents the bodys immune system T-cells from attacking them. Some breast cancer cells also have large amounts of PD-L1 on their surfaces, which helps shield them from the bodys immune response. Newer immunotherapies are being used to treat PD-L1-positive MBC.

    Furthermore, treatment choices can depend on a persons age, overall health, and whether there are other medical conditions present.

    The bottom line? Treatments vary. DivineMrsM of Ohio says it well: There is the misconception that there is one standardized treatment for every case of MBC, like a one size fits all. But there are different approaches and it cant always be said that one approach is better than another. Most people dont realize different subcategories of this disease.

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