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Breast Cancer
 
  


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Breast Cancer  

What is breast cancer?

Each of our bodies is made up of million and millions of cells. Cells are the building blocks of tissue. There are lung cells, brain cells, blood cells, breast cells, and so on. The appearance and makeup of individual cells are unique to the tissue they compose. Brain cells are different from breast cells, and vice versa.

Most cells in the body normally divide to produce more cells when the body signals them to do so. However, occasionally cells fail to divide at the appropriate time, or cells may start dividing when no new cells are needed. If new cells start being produced when the body does not need them, the cells can form a mass of extra tissue. This extra tissue commonly is referred to as a growth, mass, or tumor. Breast tumors can be benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

Malignant tumors are composed of cells that are growing out of control. These breast cancer cells also become undifferentiated, which means that they lose the distinguishing characteristics of the original breast tissue (i.e.: the breast cancer cells no longer have the features that characterize a normal breast cell as a breast cell). Malignant breast cancer cells can invade and injure nearby tissues and organs.

Breast cancer cells can also break away from the tumor and enter the bloodstream or lymphatic system. This is how breast cancer spreads to form secondary tumors in other parts of the body. The process by which cancer spreads to far away places in the body is called metastasis.


Questions Related to Breast Cancer
Recently I finished my treatment for breast cancer. When should I get a bone scan?
What are the signs and symptoms of breast cancer?
I found a lump in my breast. What should I do?
What is a breast mass?
Will I die if I get breast cancer?
What percentages of mammograms uncover cancer?
Why do I need a biopsy, if a mammogram has located a mass?
What is a biopsy? What do the results of biopsies mean?
What are the different types of biopsies?
What is a benign tumor?
What is the sentinel lymph node?
What is a sentinel lymph node biopsy?
What is a pathologist?
What are the different categories of mammograms? What do the categories mean?
Which categories of mammogram results should I be concerned about?
What are intra-mammary lymph nodes?
What are calcifications?
What are microcalcifications?
What are macrocalcifications?
What is the Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BIRADS)?
What is DCIS?
How is DCIS different from invasive breast cancer?
What is Pagetís disease?
What is inflammatory breast cancer? Why is it so difficult to diagnose?
What are the stages of breast cancer?
What are terms other than the numerical staging categories used for assessing how far the cancer has spread?
What is peau díorange?
What is ploidy?
What is oncogene overexpression?
What are the characteristics of breast cancers that determine treatment options?
What is HER-2 status?
What are hormone receptors?
What are estrogen receptors? What do they have to do with breast cancer?
My cancer is ER-positive. Is this a good thing?
What is the difference between invasive, infiltrating, and non-invasive breast cancer?
What is meant by a tumorís margins?
What is LCIS?
What is sclerosing adenosis?
What are the different types of breast cancer?
I have been diagnosed with breast cancer. What questions should I ask my doctor?
I have been diagnosed with breast cancer and am planning to have a mastectomy. I would rather not have to take chemotherapy after the surgery. I heard that there is some sort of a diagnostic test that will show whether or not I need to have chemo. What is this test, and can I take it?
What is nodular adenosis?
What is nodular density in a mammogram?
What is a carcinoma?
What is fibrosis?
What is a malignant tumor?
What is a metastasis? What is a metastatic tumor? What are metastases?
What is a tumor?
What is fibrocystic disease of the breast?
What is a fibroadenoma?

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