Each year in the United States thousands of women learned that they have breast cancer. Breast cancer is an extremely aggressive disease. Early detection of breast cancer plays an important role. The increased cure rate of breast cancer can be attributed to effective surgical and medical treatment.
To understand breast cancer you need to know a little about breast tissue. The female breast contains a number of pipes or ducts that lead from the area where milk is made. Under normal circumstances, the inside of those ducts contains a single layer of cells that are responsible for making milk. Cancer occurs when cells divide over and over again in a process that runs out of control.
Most breast cancers occurred by accidents one cell divided into two cells and creates the only abnormal cell in the whole body, this is called a sporadic or somatic mutation. Every other cell in the breast is fine so the risk of recurrence, once this cancer is treated, is relatively low. In some cases, breast cancers are runs in the family.
Inflammatory breast cancer is breast cancer that presents with a very swollen, hot tender breast. Inflammatory breast cancer or IBC is a rare form that presents without the lump. The heat, redness, and swelling are results from rapid development. Then cancer cells block the lymphatic of the breast and so it can’t drain. IBC generally picked up in late stages. 30 to 35 percent of patients the disease had already spread to other organs before they were diagnosed.
The five-year survival rate for IBC is 40 percent compared to 87 percent for invasive ductal breast cancer. The things to look for are breast dramatically increased in size it’s probably about twice the size of the other breast.
There are two types of breast cancer non-invasive and invasive.
In non-invasive breast cancer, the duct fills with cancer cells but there is no evidence of cancer outside of the ducts. The medical term for this is ductal carcinoma in-situ.
In invasive breast cancer, cancer cells have broken down the wall of the duct and are found in the fatty part of the breast. Invasive cancer has access to the circulation and the lymph system within the breast. Cancer cells may travel to the lymph gland beneath the armor enter the bloodstream and move into other parts of the body. Invasive means it is invading outside the confines of the ductal system itself. An invasive breast cancer does not only do we have to do the local control in the breast and lymph node, but we must also treat the whole body.
The size of the breast is discovered by annual mammograms are very small compared to the size of cancer detected by a first mammogram and the size of the breast cancer is discovered by a physician examining women’s breast. The size of breast cancer detected by self-examination is even larger.
Breast cancer stages use a TNM classification system. T is the size of a primary tumor. N notes if lymph nodes are involved. M addresses whether any cancer is beyond the breast and lymph nodes.
- Stage 0 breast cancer confined to the duct in the breast. It has not spread to the surrounding breast tissue and is unlikely to spread beyond the breast.
- Stages 1, 2, and 3 are based on tumor size and lymph node involvement.
- Stage 4 is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.
Unfortunately, a woman who is diagnosed with breast cancer is at higher risk of developing a new breast cancer for the rest of her life regardless of family history the chance of developing new breast cancer is approximately half a percent per a year. Which means about 1 in 200 women a year will develop new breast cancer.
A cancer cell can also travel through the bloodstream and it can hide in some organs like the lungs, liver, and bone. They can hide in those organs for a long period of time and can be waiting to grow back. Currently, we do not have technology that can detect these small little cells and that’s why most of the time in most patients with early-stage breast cancer doctor often considers systemic treatment.
Systematic treatment means things like chemotherapy or medical treatment like hormone treatment, the endocrine therapy, the hormone blocker, which will go through the bloodstream then all treat the patient’s whole body.
Often patients have a misconception that they don’t want to get therapy and they don’t want to get chemotherapy now while they still feeling well and they often think that perhaps they can wait until cancer comes back then treated them with the chemotherapy. But that’s actually a big misconception the thing is that when doctors try to treat smaller little micrometastases we have a better chance to eradicating cancer cells entirely.
For breast cancer disease, first the patients go through a treatment of chemotherapy, then they have a mastectomy and then they will need radiation after the mastectomy