Breast Cancer - An Insight

Posted by Rohini Juneja on 29th Dec 2020

Breast Cancer - An Insight

Does your breast look or feel different? Were you told that your mammogram is abnormal? Did you find a lump? Then call your health provider and make an appointment. In the meantime read up the rest of this post.

What are breast changes?

Many breast changes are changes in how your breast or nipple looks or feels. You may notice a lump or firmness in your breasts or under your arm. Or perhaps the shape of your breasts has changed. Your nipple may be pointing or facing inward (inverted) or feeling tender. The skin on your breasts, areola or nipple may be scaly, red or swollen. You may have nipple discharge, which is abnormal fluid coming out from the nipple.

If you have these or other breast changes, talk with your health care provider to get these changes checked as soon as possible.

" I was in the shower one morning when I felt a lump in my breast. I was afraid and busy but I didn't let that stop me. I made an appointment to see my doctor and I got the answers I needed."

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS):

DCIS is a condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lining of a breast duct. These cells have not spread outside the duct to the breast tissue. This is why it is called “in situ,” which is a Latin term that means “in place.” You may also hear DCIS called Stage 0 breast carcinoma in situ or noninvasive cancer. Since it’s not possible to determine which cases of DCIS will become invasive breast cancer, it’s important to get treatment for DCIS. Talk with a doctor who specializes in breast health to learn more. Treatment for DCIS is based on how much of the breast is affected, where DCIS is in the breast, and its grade. Most women with DCIS are cured with proper treatment. 

Treatment choices for DCIS include:

  • Lumpectomy - This is a type of breast-conserving surgery or breast-sparing surgery. It is usually followed by radiation therapy.
  • Mastectomy - This type of surgery is used to remove the breast or as much of the breast tissue as possible.
  • Tamoxifen - This drug may also be taken to lower the chance that DCIS will come back, or to prevent invasive breast cancer.
  • Clinical trials - Talk with your health care provider about whether a clinical trial is a good choice for you.

Breast cancer is a disease in which cancer cells form in the tissues of the breast. Breast cancer cells:

  • Grow and divide without control
  • Invade nearby breast tissue
  • May form a mass called a tumor
  • May metastasize, or spread, to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body. After breast cancer has been diagnosed, tests are done to find out the extent, or stage, of the cancer. The stage is based on the size of the tumor and whether the cancer has spread. Treatment depends on the stage of cancer.