Breast Cancer Can Be DiagnosedDimpling on the skinChange in the size of breastChange in shape of breastInversion of the nippleDiscoloration of the skin on breastLump or thickening ofbreast often painlessChange in color orappearance of areolaDischarge of bleeding fromnipple
Common Kinds Of Breast Cancer• Ductal carcinoma– Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)– Invasive ductal carcinoma• Lobular carcinoma– Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)– Invasive lobular carcinoma
Ductal carcinoma – A type of tumorprimarily present in ducts of a gland.Ductal carcinoma in situ - an uncontrolled growth of cellswithin the breast ducts. “in situ” means “in its original place”.It is considered as stage 0 cancer , it is curable.Invasive ductal carcinoma - it begins in the milk ducts of thebreast. It grows through the duct walls and into thesurrounding breast tissue and also spreads to other areas ofthe body.
Lobular Carcinoma – lobulas are the glands that producesmilk. The milk then moves to the ducts. Majority of thebreast cancer starts in the ducts some through lobulas.Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS) – Abnormal growth of cells in milkproducing glands. It is commonly diagnosed after biopsy.Invasive Lobular Carcinoma – Condition begins in one of the breastlobules and then spreads to other parts of the breast. Feel of athickened area or a hardening in part often occurs in the area abovenipple moving in the direction of armpit.
Imaging TestsImaging tests are very important for breast cancerDiagnosis. If there is a suspicious area, these tests helpfind out whether it is cancerous and also determinehow far it has spread. Doctors may use several imagingtests such as diagnostic mammography, ultrasound andMRI scans.
DiagnosticMammography is used totake pictures of the areaconcerned and is usuallyused when a womanexperiences nippledischarge, finds a lump ordetects an abnormalresult on her screeningmammogram
Ultrasound is used to help distinguish between a solidcancerous mass and a fluid-filled cyst. It can also be usedto locate the position of the known tumor.
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is done after thecancer has been diagnosed. MRI scans are used tocheck the other breast for cancer.
Biopsy a small amount oftissue is removed from thebreast area and examinedunder a microscope. Thereason why a biopsy is soimportant is because eventhough other tests mayhelp in detecting cancer,only a biopsy can make aproper diagnosis.
Apart from these standard tests, the doctor may alsorecommend additional tests which are generallyprescribed for patients with more advanced stagedisease.Tests such as x-rays, to look for cancer that has spreadfrom the breast to the lungs, bone scans, used to lookfor spread of cancer to the bones, CT or CAT(computerized tomography scan) scans, used to lookfor distant tumors and PET (positron emissiontomography) scans, used to check the extent to whichcancer has spread are some of the additional testsdone.
Stages of Breast Cancer• Stage I And II Breast Cancer refers to a tumor less than2 cm in size that is node-negative. Stage II tumors arethose with spread to the axillary lymph nodes or atumor size larger than 2 cm but not larger than 5 cm• Stage III Breast Cancer these consist of large breasttumors (greater than 5 cm across), those withextensive axillary nodal involvement, or nodalinvolvement of the soft tissues above or below thecollarbone• Stage IV Breast Cancer — Stage IV breast cancer refersto tumors that have metastasized to areas outside thebreast and lymph nodes to the brain, bones, skin, orother organs. The primary tumor may be any size, andthere may be any number of affected lymph nodes.This is referred to as metastatic breast cancer