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All you need to know about breast cancer, its types, signs and symptoms, stages and treatment of breast cancer

All you need to know about breast cancer, its types, signs and symptoms, stages and treatment of breast cancer

All you need to know about breast cancer, its types, signs and symptoms, stages and treatment of breast cancer

Cancer is an abnormal proliferation of body cells that invade tissues and negatively affect human health.  According to recent studies and research conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer is a global disease that kills millions of people every year, and accounts for 1 in 6 deaths.  Notably, more deaths from  breast , lung and prostate cancer have been documented than from any other type of cancer. Therefore, to reduce mortality from cancer globally, substantive advocacy and analysis regarding the treatment and management of this life-threatening disease is required rather than an alternative.   The World Health Organization dedicates entirely specific months and days to educate people about a variety of infectious and inflammatory diseases, and for this purpose, October is International Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Isn't that amazing?

the breast

Breasts What some might call the chest is a well-proportioned, round glandular tissue located on top of the chest muscles.  It's made up of connective tissue, ligaments, and fatty tissue, which helps keep it in place over time.  These tissues are also responsible for the soft texture and varying size of any of the breasts.

breast anatomy

Although the anatomy of both sexes (male and female) differs slightly, it cannot be excluded from the general overview.  According to WebMD, a woman's breasts produce milk for breastfeeding and the normal fatty tissue responsible for their smooth texture and varied size.  A man's breasts have no function except that they may have a nice appearance.

What we physically see as the breast is only two parts, the nipple (the middle part of the areola) and the areola (the slightly darker or brownish-colored area of ​​skin surrounding the nipple).  Therefore, they are many parts of the breast that are fully developed during puberty and each performs a special function.

1. lobes

Each breast contains 15-20 lobes that surround the nipple.  They wrap like soft rivets around a car's wheel.

2. lobules

Lobules, also known as glandular tissue, are small sections found at the outermost lobes.  Each lobule contains a hollow sac (alveoli) responsible for milk production.

3. Breast duct

This is a network of tiny ducts that transport milk from the lobules to the center of the darkened area of ​​the breast (the nipple).  It plays a vital role in staging a woman's breast cancer.

4. Nipple

The mammary ducts connect to form a larger duct/tube that exits from the center of the areola to form the nipple.  It is made of a good number of nerves.

How do nerves work?

The nerve is a small endoskeleton that transmits information and carries electrical impulses from one part of the body to another. 

5. Hariola

As mentioned earlier, the areola is the dark-colored area of ​​skin on the breast that surrounds the nipple.

6. Blood vessels

These medications play a vital role in distributing the blood pumped from the heart to various parts of the body, including the chest and breast muscles.

7. Lymph nodes

This is an integral part of the breast - a group of small nodes containing a clear fluid that fights breast infections.

Male breast anatomy

Tactically, male breasts stop growing after they release testosterone (the male sex hormone) during puberty.  The man has a nipple and an areola.

Breast cancer types

Breast cancer consists of different types and is judged by the criteria of the location of the affected cells and how aggressive the growth of the cancer cells (tumor) is.

Non-invasive breast cancer

Stage 0 cancer, also known as non-invasive breast cancer, is the first stage of cancer.  This type of cancer does not show any symptoms because the tumors are too small to be detected.

Invasive breast cancer

This type of cancer is aggressive in growth.  It begins in a part of the breast, often more than the milk duct (breast) and the lobules before it invades the tissues surrounding the breast.  Doctors give a maximum of 5 years for anyone with invasive breast cancer.  Invasive breast cancer may lead to the removal of the breast completely (mastectomy).

 Ductal carcinoma (in situ and invasive)

Ductal carcinoma is a type of cancer that begins in the milk ducts.  It could be another aggressive growth and spread to other parts of the breast (invasive ductal carcinoma) or a tumor reproducing somewhere (ductal carcinoma in situ).  The 5-year survival rate for an individual with invasive ductal carcinoma is 86%.

lobular carcinoma (in situ and invasive)

Just like ductal carcinoma, lobular carcinoma can be in situ or invasive.  It begins in the milk ducts but grows very slowly.  And anyone with invasive lobular carcinoma has a 5-year survival rate of 100% which is quite reasonable than other cancers if treated early.

 inflammatory breast cancer

This is a rare type of breast cancer.  It cannot be detected by mammography because instead of forming tumors, cancer cells block the lymph nodes in the armpits near the breast, making the breast red, warm, and swollen.

 metastatic breast cancer

This is an unusual type of breast cancer.  It may not cause detectable symptoms but it quickly progresses to other parts of the breast.  It is an uncontrolled type of breast cancer.  Lumps can infect the lungs, causing problems in the respiratory system, chest, bones, liver, and even the brain.

General signs and symptoms

Although a breast tumor is the most common symptom of breast cancer, it should not be used as a true verdict due to misconceptions about the presence of breast tumors with breast cysts or breast cysts.  Thus, it is important to know the other early signs and symptoms of this disease, including:

  • The thickness of the skin of the affected area differs from that of other surrounding breast tissue.
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the armpit.
  • Constant pain in one breast.
  • A rash around the nipple.
  • Breast color change.
  • Changes in the shape of the breast.
  • Itching in the breasts.
  • Peeling/flaking of the skin around the nipple.

Before seeing your doctor, if you experience any of these symptoms, don't assume you have breast cancer.

 breast cancer

Stages cancer cells develop in 5 stages

stage 0

We also know this stage as ductal carcinoma in situ.  At this point, the tumor is inside the breast (milk) ducts.  The tumor is very delicate and has not spread.  Stage 0 breast cancer cannot be detected by a mammogram (a device used to diagnose breast cancer).

level 1

Visible signs and symptoms such as lumps may appear at this stage because the cancer cells are 2 centimeters wide and have not affected the lymph nodes.

 The second phase

Cancer cells are now present in clusters 2-5 cm wide.  It has begun to spread to the lymph nodes.

Stage 3

The tumor exceeds 5 cm and has spread to a few lymph nodes.  It is difficult to treat but curable.  The chance that an individual with stage 3 cancer will develop breast cancer again even after treatment is high.

 The fourth stage 

Cancer cells are now more than 5 cm long and have spread to vital organs in the body and sometimes the brain.  At this point, a person may experience weight loss, persistent breast pain, loss of appetite, and other severe symptoms.

Breast Cancer Diagnosis

To properly diagnose breast cancer, a health professional, preferably a breast specialist, must perform some diagnoses along with detailed tests.  The best way to achieve this is with a mammogram and a breast biopsy.

 1. Mammogram.

A mammogram is an x-ray that helps detect a tumor, regardless of size, to determine whether treatment can be achieved.

2. Breast biopsy

This involves taking a sample of breast tissue for laboratory testing.  Most doctors perform a breast biopsy after a mammogram of the patient's breast to determine whether the cell is cancerous.  A breast biopsy lasts 15-20 minutes and the pain is minimal.

Can breast cancer be cured?

Yes, it is possible!  Treatment depends on the stage.  Surgery combined with chemotherapy is often the best treatment for breast cancer.  Rest assured that after a proper diagnosis, your doctor will discuss different treatment options with you and from them.

1. Surgery

Surgery can involve removing the entire breast to avoid a recurrence of breast cancer (mastectomy) or removing the tumor and surrounding tissue while leaving the breast (lumpectomy).

2. Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy involves using chemicals to shrink cancer cells before or after the medical practitioner (surgeon) has surgery.

Conclusively, if you are or have not been a victim of breast cancer, it is best to stay away from problems by taking care of your breasts.  You can achieve this by practicing healthy eating, doing a breast self-exam, or visiting a health practitioner frequently for a check-up.