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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Battle Against Breast Cancer Can Be Won: Types of Breast Cancer

Part 1     [2]     [3]     [4]

CANCER OF THE BREAST
is the most common cancer among women (alongside skin cancer).  It is the second leading cause of cancer death (following lung cancer) for women in the United States.  


Statistics 

The American Cancer Society estimates that every year, about 175,000 people are diagnosed as having breast cancer, and about 43,300 deaths occur from the disease.

The lifetime risk of developing breast cancer for American women is one in eight.  Surveys suggest that it is the health problem most feared by women--but the good news is that, since 1990, the number of new cases of breast cancer has stopped increasing.

And if breast cancer is detected early, the five-year-and-beyond survival rates is very high--about 95 per cent.

The human breast is a gland that contains milk ducts, lobes, fatty tissue, and a network of lymphatic vessels.  Cancerous tumors can arise in virtually any part of the breast, and are most often detected when a woman feels a lump.

In general, cancerous lumps are firm, never go away, and are usually (though not always) pain-free.  The vast majority of breast lumps are not cancerous (many are cysts or fibroid masses), but there is no way to tell without a professional's examination.

A lump that seems to be growing or does not move when pushed may be cancerous or may simply be caused by normal fibrocystic changes during the menstrual cycle.  A biopsy is required to identify the lump.  

Breast cancer can also cause a yellow, bloody, or clear discharge from the nipple. 

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Types of Breast Cancer

People tend to think of breast cancer as a single entity, but there are actually different types of the disease.  Some types of breast cancer include the following:

1.  Adenoid cystic carcinoma, malignant cysto-sarcoma phylliodes, medullary carcinoma, and tubular carcinoma.  -- These and several other relatively uncommon types of breast cancer tend to be less aggressive than the other forms. 

2.  Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). -- This is a condition that most doctors consider to be breast cancer at its earliest stage.  DCIS is a cancer contained within the milk ducts.  The rate of this type of cancer has increased dramatically over the past twenty-five years.  Fortunately, the survival rate for DCIS is nearly 100 percent.

3.  Infiltrating ductal carcinoma. -- This is a cancer that arises in the lining of the milk ducts and infiltrates (invades) the surrounding breast tissue.  Approximately 80 percent of all cases of breast cancer are infiltrating ductal carcinomas.

4.  Inflammatory carcinoma. -- In this type of cancer, a tumor arises in the lining of the milk ducts, and, as it grows, it plugs the lymphatic and blood vessels.  The skin thickens and turns red, and the breast becomes extremely tender and looks infected.  This type of cancer spreads very quickly due to the rich blood and lymph vessel supply associated with the inflammatory reaction.

5.  Intraductal carcinoma in situ. -- This is a localized type of cancer in which cancerous cells grow within the ducts.  This type of cancer may not invade other tissues.

6.  Lobular carcinoma. -- A less common form of breast cancer, lobular carcinoma--breast cancer that arises in the loves--accounts for about 9 per cent of breast cancers.   Lobular carcinomas occasionally occur in both breasts simultaneously.

7.  Paget's disease of the nipple. -- This form of cancer occurs when cells from an underlying cancerous tumor migrate to the nipple.  The symptoms are itching, redness, and soreness of the nipple.  Paget's disease always signals the presence of primary ductal carcinoma elsewhere in the breast tissue.

[SOURCE:   Phyllis A. Balch, CNC and James F. Balch, MD, Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Third Edition, p. 221]

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