Breast cancer originates in the breast tissue. Like other cancers, breast cancer can invade and grow into tissue surrounding the breast. Breast cancer can travel to other parts of the body and form a new tumor.
The cause of breast cancer is not known but factors such as age, genetic constitution, diet and personal health history of a person contribute to breast cancer risk.
Symptoms that may indicate breast cancer are:
. Thickening in or near the breast resulting to change in size and shape of the breast.
. Change in appearance of the skin on the breast and nipple.
. Blood-stained or in some cases clear fluid discharge from the nipple.
The most common types of breast cancer
Invasive ductal carcinoma. It is the most common form of breast cancer. This type starts in the milk ducts of the breast then it breaks through the wall of the duct and invades the fatty tissue of the breast.
Ductal carcinoma in situ. It is often curable but if untreated, ductal carcinoma in situ may become invasive cancer.”In situ” refers to the fact that the cancer has not spread beyond it’s point of origin.
Infiltrating carcinoma in situ. This one is cancer that is only in the lobules of the breast. It serves as a marker for the increased risk of developing breast cancer later.
Early stage/stage 0.It is when the disease is localized to the breast with no evidence of spread to the lymph nodes.
Stage 1.The cancer is 2cm or less in size and it has not spread anywhere.
Stage IIA. The cancer is smaller than 2cm across with lymph node involvement or a tumor that is larger than 2 but less than 5cm across without underarm lymph node involvement.
StageIIB. Tumor that is greater than 5 cm across without underarm lymph nodes testing positive for cancer.
Stage IIIA. Tumor is larger than 5cm and has spread to the lymph nodes under the arm.
Stage IIIB. Breast cancer is a tumor of any size that has spread to the skin.
Stage IIIC. Breast cancer is a tumor of any size that has spread more extensively and involves more lymph node invasion.
Stage IV .Breast cancer that has spread to places far away from the breast such as bones, lungs, liver and brain.
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