What is Breast Cancer?
Edited By: Stephanie Dawson
Breast cancer is a cancer that originates in breast tissue. It forms in tissues, commonly the ducts (tubes that flow milk to the nipples) and lobule (glands responsible for producing milk). It can happen to men and women. Early detection and proper treatment can heal it completely and the person can live a normal life.
Breast cancer can be described as an uncontrolled growth of breast cells, malignant tumors sometimes develop in breast cells and in surrounding tissue. People often think it cannot happen to men which is incorrect, its more common in women.
Over a period of time cancer cells may spread and invade other healthy tissues and reach the underarm lymph nodes. Once these cancer cells reach lymph nodes they can spread to other parts of the body which may be fatal.
Before studying about breast cancer its important to know what breasts do. Men and women have same blueprint for breast development at time of birth. The difference arises puberty starts in females, they start producing estrogen, a hormone responsible for enlargement of breasts along with other changes. Estrogen is responsible for the development of mammary glands which secretes milk required for feeding human infants.
Breast cancer is caused because of genetic abnormality. While about 5-10% of breast cancers are due to inherited abnormality, 90% of breast cancers happen due to wear and tear that come as we progress with life and the aging process. In order to grow, the breast cancer cells need to be fed. They get nourishment by developing new blood vessels in a process called angiogenesis. The process in which breast cancer cells grow and expand is called invasion.
There are two types of breast cancer tumors:
Benign tumors are not cancerous and are less harmful. Once removed these tumors don’t come back. Cells of benign tumors don’t invade and spread to other parts of the body.
Malignant tumors are composed of abnormal cells and are cancerous in nature. They are more harmful than benign cells and can spread to other parts of the body.
There are two main types of breast cancer:
The most common form of breast cancer, tumor cells develop in the ducts. Ductal carcinoma is threatening and can spread to other parts of the body. Statistics show that one in every five cases of breast cancer is ductal.
Takes place in milk-producing glands in the breast called lobules. Lobular carcinoma may or may not have the potential to spread. In this type the cancer cells spread to mammary glands and the entire breast.
Breast cancer is not anyone’s fault, it can happen to anyone. Feeling guilty about it or hiding it from your loved ones is not productive. We wish health for all and hope the information could be help for anyone who is fighting with breast cancer. Be positive.