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Types Of Breast Cancer

Types Of Breast Cancer

What Is Breast Cancer ?

Breast cancer is a very common type of cancer that originates in the breast tissue. While most cases occur in women, it can also occur in men. There are two main classifications of breast cancer – ductal carcinoma and lobular carcinoma. Ductal carcinoma originates in the ducts that transport milk to the nipple from the breast and is the most common type of breast cancer. Lobular carcinoma originates in the lobules where milk is produced. In very rare cases, it may develop in other parts of the breast. Like most cancers, the prognosis and treatment vary greatly depending upon the individual patient, size, and stage of cancer.

Breast Cancer Screenings

Patients often detect breast cancer when they feel an unusual lump in the breast or the lymph nodes in the armpit. In some cases, however, mammograms can detect cancer before a lump becomes large enough to feel. Doctors may perform numerous tests to determine whether cancer is present and the cancer a patient may have. These tests include mammograms, breast MRIs and ultrasounds, and biopsies to determine if a mess is cancerous. Once cancer has been detected, CT scans are commonly performed to see if cancer has spread to other parts of the body. This test is done as part of a series of tests and examinations called staging. Staging allows doctors to determine how advanced the cancer is and guides their decisions regarding treatment, follow-up care, and general prognosis.

Breast Cancer Symptoms

In addition to abnormal lumps, there are several other common symptoms of breast cancer. These symptoms include changes in the appearance or feel of the breast or nipple. Redness, puckering, dimpling, or changes in breast size commonly occur. Patients may also experience nipple discharge that may be bloody or look like pus. In cases of advanced breast cancer, symptoms may include pain in the breast, bone pain, skin ulcers, weight loss, and swelling of the arm next to the breast with cancer.

Breast Cancer Treatments

When detected early, breast cancer can often be treated and cured. In later stages, the primary goal is typically to extend life and reduce unpleasant symptoms if the disease is considered terminal. In the early stages, lumps can often be removed, and patients may be treated with radiation or chemotherapy. Hormone therapy may also be used. In later stages, patients often undergo mastectomies where the cancerous breast is removed. Those who survive cancer after having a mastectomy may undergo breast reconstructive surgery. With new treatments, the prognosis for breast cancer is better than ever before. With early detection and treatment, many patients can beat cancer and go on to live full lives without a recurrence of breast cancer.

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