October – Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Breast Cancer- begins when normal cells in the breast change and grow uncontrollably forming a mass called a tumor.
Types of Breast Cancer: Most breast cancer starts the ducts or lobes.
Ductal Carcinoma- Accounts for 75%. It begins in the cell lining of the milk ducts.
Lobular Carcinoma- Cancer that begins in the lobules.
The difference between the two is determined by a pathologist who examines a tumor sample removed during a biopsy.
Invasive or Infiltrating Ductal or Lobular Carcinoma- when the disease has spread outside of the duct or lobule and into the surrounding tissue.
Cancer that is located only in the duct or lobule is called situ meaning “in place”. How situ grows, spreads and is treated depend on whether it is Ductal Carcinoma in situ (DCIS) or Lobular Carcinoma in situ (LCIS). Most situ cancers are DCIS.
LCIS is not considered a cancer and is usually monitored by doctors.
Less common types of Breast Cancer: Medullary, mucinous, tubular, metaplastic and papillary.
Very uncommon: Inflammatory breast cancer- A faster growing cancer that accounts for 1%-5%. It may be misdiagnosed as a breast infection because there is often swelling of the breast and redness of the breast skin that starts suddenly.
Pagat’s Disease-type of cancer that begins in the ducts of the nipple. The skin often appears scaly and may be itchy. Although it is usually an situ it can also be an invasive cancer.
Signs and Symptoms:
- Lumps that feel like a hard knot (Many women normally have lumpy breast) or thickening in the breast or under the arm.
- Change in the size or shape of the breast
- Nipple tenderness, discharge (may occur suddenly, be bloody or occur only in one breast) or physical changes such as nipple turned inward or a persistant sore
- Skin irritation or changes such as puckers, dimples, scaliness or new creases
- Warm red swollen breasts with or without a rash resembling the skin of an orange ( called peau d’orange)
- Pain in the breast ( usually not a symptom of breast cancer but it should be reported to a doctor especially if pain doesn’t go away)
Prevention: Self breast exams and annual mammograms.
Also if you haven’t already please read these previous posts!!!