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About Cancer

Cancer Is Cells Growing Out of Control

There are many types of cancer. With all cancers, affected cells in the body change and grow out of control. Usually, the multiplying cancer cells form a lump called a
tumor. Cancerous tumors are also called malignant tumors. Not all tumors are cancerous. Those that are not are called benign. Cells from benign tumors do not spread to other parts of the body.

Sometimes malignant tumor cells can break away from the original tumor and travel through the bloodstream or
lymphatic system to other parts of the body. This process is called metastasis (pronounced muh-tass-tuh-sis).

Cancer is usually named after the part of the body where it first develops. Breast cancer begins in the breast tissue. If it spreads to the lungs, for example, it is still breast cancer, not lung cancer.
Recurrence1

Local recurrence is when breast cancer returns to the breast (after lumpectomy), and/or the chest area and scar (after mastectomy), but no other area of the body.

Regional recurrence is when breast cancer returns to one or more of the axillary lymph nodes, and/or to the lymph nodes in the center of the chest and elsewhere near the chest. Regional recurrence can also include a combination of a local recurrence and a recurrence in the chest-area lymph nodes.

Systemic recurrence is when breast cancer has traveled (or metastasized) to one or more locations outside of the breast or chest area. This is known as advanced or
metastatic breast cancer.

Breast Cancer

Monthly Breast Self-Exam

5 Steps to Your Monthly Breast Self-Exam

1..  In the shower

Raise your right arm. Use the finger pads of your left hand to touch every part of your right breast. Feel gently for any lumps or changes under the skin. Then raise your left arm and use your right hand to examine your left breast.

2..  Before a mirror

Place your arms at your sides. Check both breasts for anything unusual ?discharge, puckering, dimpling, or changes in skin texture. Clasp your hands behind your head and look carefully for any changes in the shape or contour of your breasts. Gently squeeze both nipples and look for discharge.

3..  Lying down

Lie flat on your back, with your left arm over your head and a pillow under your left shoulder. Put your left hand behind your head. Use your right hand to begin touching your left breast gently but firmly.

4..  Starting in your armpit and move down or just below your breast. Now move your finders and move up again. Continue this up-and-down pattern until you have covered the area.

5..  Rest your arm on a firm surface and use the same up-and-down motion to examine the area between the breast and the underarm, and the underarm itself.


This self-exam is not a substitute for periodic examinations by a qualified physician.

Report any lumps or changes to your physician.

About the Breast

Parts of the Breast

A breast is made up of
lobules, ducts, fatty tissue, blood vessels, and lymph vessels. The lobules are glands that make milk; the ducts are tubes that link the lobules to the nipple. The fatty tissue surrounds the lobules and ducts. Lymph vessels carry lymph to lymph nodes in the underarm, above the collarbone, and in the chest. There are also lymph nodes throughout the body.

Breast Cancer Stages

Early stages of breast cancer

Stage 0
Cancer cells are present in either the lining of a lobule or a duct but they have not spread to the surrounding fatty tissue

Stage I
Cancer has spread from the lobules or ducts to nearby tissue in the breast, and tumor is generally 2 cm (3/4 inches) or less in diameter; the lymph nodes are not involved

Stage II
Cancer has spread from the lobules or ducts to nearby tissue in the breast, and tumor may be 2 to 5 cm (3/4 to 2 inches) in diameter; sometimes the lymph nodes may be involved

Advanced stages of breast cancer

Stage III
Known as locally advanced cancer; tumor may be larger than 5 cm (2 inches) in diameter, and cancer may or may not have spread to lymph nodes or other tissues near the breast

Stage IV
Known as
metastatic; cancer has spread from the breast and lymph nodes under the arm to other parts of the body, such as bone, liver, lung, or brain

Thanx to

ARIMIDEX

for this information