Inflammatory Breast Cancer Program At Ctca
Thats why we developed the CTCA Inflammatory Breast Cancer Program, where our team of breast cancer experts work quickly to properly diagnose and stage each patient’s disease so she can make more informed decisions about her treatment options. Our breast cancer experts collaborate daily, allowing them to reach a diagnosis more efficiently and provide an individualized care plan designed to allow you to start treatment as soon as possible. The team also offers opportunities to enroll qualified patients in carefully selected clinical trials in areas such as immunotherapy and genomically targeted chemotherapy.
If you believe you may be experiencing symptoms of IBC and want to schedule an appointment for diagnostic testing, or chat online with a member of our team.
Breast Examination After Treatment For Breast Cancer
The incision line may be thick, raised, red and possibly tender for several months after surgery. Remember to examine the entire incision line.
If there is redness in areas away from the scar, contact your physician. It is not unusual to experience brief discomforts and sensations in the breast or nipple area .
At first, you may not know how to interpret what you feel, but soon you will become familiar with what is now normal for you.
After breast reconstruction
Following breast reconstruction, breast examination for the reconstructed breast is done exactly the same way as for the natural breast. If an implant was used for the reconstruction, press firmly inward at the edges of the implant to feel the ribs beneath. If your own tissue was used for the reconstruction, understand that you may feel some numbness and tightness in your breast. In time, some feeling in your breasts may return.
After radiation therapy
After radiation therapy, you may notice some changes in the breast tissue. The breast may look red or sunburned and may become irritated or inflamed. Once therapy is stopped, the redness will disappear and the breast will become less inflamed or irritated. At times, the skin can become more inflamed for a few days after treatment and then gradually improve after a few weeks. The pores in the skin over the breast also may become larger than usual.
What to do
Who Provides Breast Cancer Treatment
A medical team may involve several different health professionals. It may include a GP, a radiologist, an oncologist, a breast care nurse, a surgeon and other allied health professionals such as counsellors and therapists. Having a multi-disciplinary team means a patient can receive the best care possible.
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Conventional Stages Of Breast Cancer Progression: 0 Through Iv
As mentioned, there are five basic stages of breast cancer with a couple of sub-categories.
This is a bit of an unclear term which specialists use to describe the development of abnormal cells that are not yet invasive breast cancer. Indeed physicians consider Ductal Carcinoma in situ, or DCIS, stage 0 breast cancer.
Here the malignant cancer cells are present in the lining of the breast d uct but have not yet invaded the surrounding breast tissue or spread beyond the duct. Almost 100% of DCIS is curable, but it obviously, does need treatment.
Early-stage breast cancer Stage 1
Stage 1 breast cancer is an early stage breast cancer. There is a considerable difference in medical opinion as to what exactly constitutes early stag e breast cancer. Also, how aggressive the treatment for Stage I breast cancer is another area of debate.
The standard definition of a stage 1 breast tumor is that a certain amount of breast cancer cells invade tissues and structures beyond the duct lining. However, no cancer cells have spread beyond the breast.
Furthermore, the tumor size is less than 2 cm in diameter. If physicians can detect and treat breast cancer before it grows beyond 2cm, the prognosis is very very good.
The average age of diagnosis of a stage 1 breast tumor is about 52 years old. In over 90% of cases, treatment tends to involve breast conservation surgery, followed by radiation therapy.
Chance of stage 1 cancer recurrence or spreading.
Local Breast Cancer Recurrence
Breast cancer can return to the same area where it first appeared, Lange says. In this case, your doctor will base a treatment approach on how the first cancer was addressed.
If the original tumor was treated with lumpectomy and radiation, many patients may then need a bigger surgery, such as mastectomy, for the purpose of local control, she explains. If the original tumor was treated with mastectomy, then local resection of the recurrence should be considered. This is often followed by radiation therapy to the resection site.
Lange says an oncologist will evaluate a patient with recurrent breast cancer. Based on characteristics of the cancer cells and how they are behaving, the oncologist might recommend chemotherapy, hormonal therapy or a combination of treatments. For some patients, clinical trials of new therapies may be available.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Breast Cancer
Symptoms of breast cancer can include:
- a lump or area of thickened tissue in the breast
- a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
- a change in the shape or appearance of the nipple, such as crusting, sores, redness or inversion
- changes to the skin of the breasts, such as dimpling , rash, or redness
- discomfort or swelling in either armpit
Symptoms of breast cancer in men are similar to those that women experience.
If you have any unusual symptoms, such as the above, you should see your doctor to get them checked.
What Is A Tumor
When cells divide when new cells are not needed, too much tissue is formed. This mass of extra tissue, called a tumor, can be benign or malignant.
Are rarely a threat to life
Do not come back in most cases
Do not spread to other parts of the body and the cells do not invade other tissues
May be a threat to life
Can invade and damage nearby tissues and organs
Metastasize – cancer cells can break away from a malignant tumor and enter the bloodstream or lymphatic system to form secondary tumors in other parts of the body
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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.
What Are The Different Types Of Breast Cancer
There are several types of breast cancer, including:
The most common type begins in the lining of the ducts and is called ductal carcinoma.
Another common type, called lobular carcinoma, occurs in the lobules .
Paget’s disease is a rare form of breast cancer that begins in the glands in or under the skin. It is often characterized by inflamed, red patches on the skin. The patches can occur in sweat glands, in the groin, or near the anus. Because Paget’s disease often originates from breast duct cancer, the eczema-like cancer usually appears around the nipple.
Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare form of invasive breast cancer. Usually there is no lump or tumor rather this cancer makes the skin of the breast look red and feel warm. The breast skin also looks thick and pitted, much like an orange peel.
Triple negative breast cancers are those that do not have estrogen receptors and progesterone receptors, and do not have an excess of the HER2 protein on the cancer cell surfaces. These breast cancers tend to occur more often in younger women and in African-American women. They tend to grow and spread faster than most other types of breast cancer.
When breast cancer metastasizes, or spreads outside the breast, cancer cells are often found in the lymph nodes under the arm. If the cancer has reached these nodes, it may mean that cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body.
Types of breast cancer, in alphabetical order, are:
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How Does Breast Cancer Spread
Breast cancer can spread through the lymphatic system, the bloodstream, or uncommonly, by local invasionwhich is when cancer cells actually invade nearby tissues, such as the chest wall or ribs.
When breast cancers spread and enter the lymphatic system, they usually first arrive at nearby lymph nodes and may still be early-stage. The spread of breast cancer to lymph nodes does not necessarily mean that its metastatic, even though pathology reports often somewhat confusingly state breast cancer metastatic to lymph nodes.
A growing cancer may shed a cell or a clump of cells, and It can use your blood or lymph system as a network of highways for traveling. So, if a loose cancer cell makes it via the lymphatic system to your lymph nodes, its also possible that it may spread via the bloodstream to other parts of your body.
When cancer recurs in a lymph node near the breast, it is considered a regional recurrence and not a distant recurrence.
When breast cancer spreads to lymph nodes it has essentially declared its intent to metastasize. Breast cancer reaching the lymph nodes is in effect a declaration that its working to spread further.
In women with negative nodes, its trickier. What we want is a way to identify the 20 to 30 percent who have microscopic cells elsewhere and not over-treat the other 70 percent. At present we dont have a perfect way to do this.
Treatment Of Specific Types Of Breast Cancer
For inflammatory breast cancer, treatment usually consists of both chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Mastectomy is usually done.
For Paget disease of the nipple, treatment is usually similar to that of other types of breast cancer. It often involves simple mastectomy or breast-conserving surgery plus removal of the lymph nodes. Breast-conserving surgery is usually followed by radiation therapy. Less commonly, only the nipple with some surrounding normal tissue is removed. If another breast cancer is also present, treatment is based on that type of breast cancer.
For phyllodes tumors, treatment usually consists of removing the tumor and a large amount of surrounding normal tissue around the tumor)called a wide margin. If the tumor is large in relation to the breast, a simple mastectomy may be done to remove the tumor plus wide margins. Whether phyllodes tumors recur depends on how wide the tumor-free margins are and whether the phyllodes tumor is noncancerous or cancerous. Recurrence rates are
For noncancerous phyllodes tumors: 10 to 17%
For cancerous phyllodes tumors: 21 to 36%
Cancerous phyllodes tumors can metastasize to distant sites such as the lungs, bone, or brain. Recommendations for treatment of metastatic phyllodes tumors are evolving, but radiation therapy and chemotherapy may be useful.
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Breast Cancer Cell Lines
Part of the current knowledge on breast carcinomas is based on in vivo and in vitro studies performed with cell lines derived from breast cancers. These provide an unlimited source of homogenous self-replicating material, free of contaminating stromal cells, and often easily cultured in simple standard media. The first breast cancer cell line described, BT-20, was established in 1958. Since then, and despite sustained work in this area, the number of permanent lines obtained has been strikingly low . Indeed, attempts to culture breast cancer cell lines from primary tumors have been largely unsuccessful. This poor efficiency was often due to technical difficulties associated with the extraction of viable tumor cells from their surrounding stroma. Most of the available breast cancer cell lines issued from metastatic tumors, mainly from pleural effusions. Effusions provided generally large numbers of dissociated, viable tumor cells with little or no contamination by fibroblasts and other tumor stroma cells.Many of the currently used BCC lines were established in the late 1970s. A very few of them, namely MCF-7, T-47D, MDA-MB-231 and SK-BR-3, account for more than two-thirds of all abstracts reporting studies on mentioned breast cancer cell lines, as concluded from a Medline-based survey.
Lifestyle Changes Can Reduce The Risk Of Breast Cancer Returning
Surviving breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery can cause uncertainty and concern that the cancer will come back or that a new cancer will occur. Addressing self-care after breast cancer and tending to your overall well-being can help restore a more positive outlook, and might even reduce your chances of facing cancer again.Does using deodorant increase your breast cancer risk? Learn about breast cancer myths and facts
We are experts in managing local breast cancer recurrence and metastatic disease, Lange says. As a comprehensive breast center, our patients range from the newly diagnosed to those with advanced metastatic disease.
Our goal is to find treatment and management options for all patients, using all the healing modalities that evidence-based medicine has proven to be beneficial in the treatment of breast cancer.
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Lifestyle Changes After Breast Cancer
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Should I Have Regular Routine Scans Or Blood Tests To Check For Distant Breast Cancer Recurrence
No. Routine scans to check for the presence of distant disease recurrence are not recommended in the absence of symptoms
Given the ominous nature of stage 4 disease, the obvious question is, why dont we scan for spread regularly after a first diagnosis, so that we can detect it early if it does return? The reason we dont scan or test for metastasis is that there really is no early stage 4 disease, and thus no real opportunity to intervene earlier and increase the chance of cure. Its also important to know that with recurrence, one does not progress from one stage to the next: a woman who was originally diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer does not recur as stage 2, because once cells have taken up residence elsewhere, she is immediately considered to have stage 4 disease. And with stage 4 disease, either you respond well to treatment and the disease regresses, or you dont and it doesnt. Studies have shown that getting frequent scans after a first cancer diagnosis does not lead to improved survival, which is why we dont scan for stage 4even if we wish we could.
Current guidelines and evidence therefore recommend against routine CT or bone scans, or blood tests, to look for recurrence of cancer in patients who do not have any symptoms or other concerns that need to be followed up on.
If you do have concerning symptoms , then you should bring them to the attention of your healthcare team to be checked out.
Types Of Recurring Breast Cancer
Breast cancer may recur locally, regionally, or distantly:
Local recurring breast cancer occurs when a new tumor develops in the breast that was originally affected. If the breast has been removed, the tumor may grow in the chest wall or nearby skin.
Regional recurring breast cancer happens in the same region as the original cancer. In the case of breast cancer, this may be the lymph nodes above the collarbone or in the armpit.
Distant recurring breast cancer happens when cancer cells travel to a different part of the body. This new location is far away from the original cancer. When cancer recurs distantly, its considered metastatic cancer.
Not everyone with metastatic breast cancer experiences symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they can vary. Symptoms depend on the location of the metastasis and its severity.
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What Are The Types Of Breast Cancer
The most common types of breast cancer are:
- Infiltrating ductal carcinoma. This cancer starts in the milk ducts of the breast. It then breaks through the wall of the duct and invades the surrounding tissue in the breast. This is the most common form of breast cancer, accounting for 80% of cases.
- Ductal carcinoma in situ is ductal carcinoma in its earliest stage, or precancerous . In situ refers to the fact that the cancer hasn’t spread beyond its point of origin. In this case, the disease is confined to the milk ducts and has not invaded nearby breast tissue. If untreated, ductal carcinoma in situ may become invasive cancer. It is almost always curable.
- Infiltrating lobular carcinoma. This cancer begins in the lobules of the breast where breast milk is produced, but has spread to surrounding tissues in the breast. It accounts for 10 to 15% of breast cancers. This cancer can be more difficult to diagnose with mammograms.
- Lobular carcinoma in situ is a marker for cancer that is only in the lobules of the breast. It isn’t a true cancer, but serves as a marker for the increased risk of developing breast cancer later, possibly in both or either breasts. Thus, it is important for women with lobular carcinoma in situ to have regular clinical breast exams and mammograms.
What Are The Common Signs And Symptoms Of Breast Cancer
The following early signs and symptoms of breast cancer can happen with other conditions that are not cancer related.
- 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 of the breast
- Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood
- Any change in the size or the shape of the breast
- Pain in any area of the breast
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