Health Encyclopedia

 

Document Search by P00142



General Information About Breast CancerEl Cáncer del Seno

General Information About Breast Cancer

What is cancer?

The body is made up of various kinds of cells, which normally divide in an orderly way to produce more cells only when they are needed. Cancer is a group of diseases - more than 100 types - that occur when cells become abnormal and divide without control or order.

What is a tumor?

When cells divide when new cells are not needed, too much tissue is formed. This mass of extra tissue, called a tumor, can be benign or malignant.

  • Benign tumors:

    • Are not cancer

    • Can usually be removed

    • Are rarely a threat to life

    • Do not come back in most cases

    • Do not spread to other parts of the body and the cells do not invade other tissues

  • Malignant tumors:

    • Are cancer

    • May be a threat to life

    • Can invade and damage nearby tissues and organs

    • Metastasize - cancer cells can break away from a malignant tumor and enter the bloodstream or lymphatic system to form secondary tumors in other parts of the body

What are the different types of breast cancer?

There are several types of breast cancer, including:

  • The most common type begins in the lining of the ducts and is called ductal carcinoma.

  • Another common type, called lobular carcinoma, occurs in the lobules (milk-producing glands).

  • Paget's disease is a rare form of breast cancer that begins in the glands in or under the skin. It is often characterized by inflamed, red patches on the skin. The patches can occur in sweat glands, in the groin, or near the anus. Because Paget's disease often originates from breast duct cancer, the eczema-like cancer usually appears around the nipple.

  • Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare form of invasive breast cancer. Usually there is no lump or tumor; rather this cancer makes the skin of the breast look red and feel warm. The breast skin also looks thick and pitted, much like an orange peel.

  • Triple negative breast cancers are those that do not have estrogen receptors and progesterone receptors, and do not have an excess of the HER2 protein on the cancer cell surfaces. These breast cancers tend to occur more often in younger women and in African-American women. They tend to grow and spread faster than most other types of breast cancer.

     

When breast cancer metastasizes, or spreads outside the breast, cancer cells are often found in the lymph nodes under the arm. If the cancer has reached these nodes, it may mean that cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body.

Cancer that spreads is the same disease and has the same name as the original, or primary cancer. When breast cancer spreads, it is called metastatic breast cancer, even though the secondary tumor is in another organ. This may also be called "distant" disease.

Types of breast cancer, in alphabetical order, are:

Adenocarcinoma (adenocystic carcinoma)

Angiocarcinoma

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)

Infiltrating (or invasive) ductal carcinoma (IDC)

Infiltrating (or invasive) lobular carcinoma (ILC)

Inflammatory breast cancer

Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) (also called lobular neoplasia)

Medullary carcinoma

Metaplastic carcinoma

Mixed tumors

Mucinous carcinoma

Paget's disease of the nipple

Papillary carcinoma

Phyllodes tumor (also spelled phylloides)

Triple-negative breast cancer

Tubular carcinoma

Listed in the directory below you will find some additional information regarding breast cancer, for which we have provided a brief overview.

Signs and Symptoms

Statistics

Risk Factors

Genetics of Breast Cancer

Hereditary Breast Ovarian Cancer Syndrome (BRCA1 / BRCA2)

Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome

Li-Fraumeni Syndrome

Cowden Syndrome

Ataxia Telangiectasia (A-T)

Diagnostic Procedures

Stages

Treatments

Surgery

Post-Mastectomy

Breast Reconstruction

Lymphedema Following a Mastectomy

Post-Mastectomy Prosthesis

Radiation Therapy

Chemotherapy

Other Treatments

About Tamoxifen

About Taxol

About Clinical Trials

National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP)

Breast Cancer Prevention Trial

Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene

 
Related Items
Wellness Library
  Solving the Breast Cancer Puzzle
  Reducing Your Risk for Breast Cancer
  Certain Factors Help Predict Invasive Breast Cancer
  Hope on the Horizon for Breast Cancer
  Stay Healthy After Breast Cancer
Content Type 167
  BRCA
  CA 15-3
  CA 27-29
  Immunohistochemical Test for Estrogen and Progesterone Receptors
Cancer Source
  Sex and Cancer: Questions for Your Doctor
  Breast Cancer—Understanding Genetic Testing
  The Soy and Breast Cancer Controversy: Cause for Concern?
  The 'Chemobrain' Phenomenon in Breast Cancer
  MRIs for Breast Cancer Screening—Who Needs Them?
  Hormonal Therapy: Managing Side Effects in Women
  If You Are Having Hormonal Therapy
  What Is Breast Cancer?
  What to Know About Your Treatment Choices for Breast Cancer
  Ductal Carcinoma
  Statistics About Breast Cancer
  Can I Get Checked for Breast Cancer Before I Have Symptoms?
  What Can I Do if I Am at Risk for Breast Cancer?
  What Are the Symptoms of Breast Cancer?
  How Does My Doctor Know I Have Breast Cancer?
  Tests That Help Evaluate the Traits of Your Breast Cancer
  Understanding Your Grade and Stage of Breast Cancer
  What to Know About Surgery for Breast Cancer
  Breast Cancer: What Happens After Reconstructive Surgery
  Goal of Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer
  Do What You Can to Ease Side Effects of Treatment and Symptoms for Breast Cancer
  Finding Out You Have Breast Cancer
  What to Know About Combination Therapy for Breast Cancer
  How You Get Radiation for Breast Cancer
  What You Need to Know About Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer
  Tips for Feeling Your Best During Treatment for Breast Cancer
  Taking Care of Your Incision After Breast Surgery
  How Your Doctor Uses Biopsies to Make Your Diagnosis of Breast Cancer
  Understanding Your Type of Breast Cancer
  What to Know About Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC)
  Can I Survive Breast Cancer? What Is My Prognosis?
  Am I at Risk for Breast Cancer?
  Myths About What Causes Breast Cancer
  Questions to Ask About Treatment for Breast Cancer
  What to Expect After Surgery for Breast Cancer
  What Happens During Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer
  What to Expect After Radiation Treatment for Breast Cancer
  What Happens During Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer
  Making the Decision to Have Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer
  What Happens During Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer
  Ovarian Ablation as Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer
  What to Expect After Taking Hormone Therapy Drugs for Breast Cancer
  What to Know About Targeted Therapy for Breast Cancer
  What Happens During Targeted Therapy for Breast Cancer
  Making the Decision to Have Breast Reconstruction After a Mastectomy for Breast Cancer
  When Breast Cancer Spreads to the Bones
  Exercising After Breast Cancer: Moving Toward Health
  Aromatase Inhibitors for Breast Cancer
Cancer FAQs
  Breast Cancer FAQ
NCI Patient Summary
  Breast Cancer Treatment and Pregnancy (PDQ®)
Quizzes
  Breast Cancer Quiz
MRAs
  Breast Cancer Risk Assessment
Adult Diseases and Conditions
  Breast Cancer Prevention Trial (BCPT)
  Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer Treatment
  About Clinical Trials: Information from the National Cancer Institute
  How Is Breast Cancer Diagnosed?
  Other Treatments for Breast Cancer
  National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP)
  Post-Mastectomy
  Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer Treatment
  Risk Factors for Breast Cancer
  Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer
  Stages of Breast Cancer
  Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene (STAR)
  Breast Cancer Statistics
  About Taxol
  Breast Health: Three-Step Plan for Preventive Care
  Treatments for Breast Cancer
  Hereditary Breast Ovarian Cancer Syndrome (BRCA1/BRCA2)
  Genetics of Breast Cancer
  Breast Cancer Overview
Newsletters
  Should You Consider Preventive Drugs for Breast Cancer?
  Should You Be Tested for the Breast Cancer Gene?
Test and Procedures
  Breast Biopsy