Facts about breast cancer

Facts about Breast Cancer

divider

Simply stated, breast cancer is an uncontrolled growth of breast cells. Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. It differs by individual, age group and even the kinds of cells within the tumours themselves.

How Does Breast Cancer Occur?

Cancer is a result of mutations, or abnormal changes, in the genes responsible for regulating the growth of cells and keeping them healthy. The genes are in each cell’s nucleus, which acts as the “control room” of each cell. Normally, the cells in our bodies replace themselves through an orderly process of cell growth; healthy new cells take over as old ones die out. But over time, mutations can “turn on” certain genes and “turn off” others in a cell. That changed cell gains the ability to keep dividing without control or order, producing more identical cells which form a tumour.

Breast Cancer is Caused by a Genetic Abnormality

According to cancer societies, only 5% to 10% of cancers are due to an abnormality inherited from your mother or father. About 90% of breast cancers are due to genetic abnormalities that happen as a result of the aging process and the strain of life in general.

Did you Know That Not All Tumors are Cancerous?

A tumour can be benign (not dangerous to health) or malignant (has the potential to be dangerous). Benign tumours are not considered cancerous: their cells are close to normal in appearance, they grow slowly, and they do not invade nearby tissues or spread to other parts of the body. Malignant tumours are cancerous.

The Term "Breast Cancer" Refers to a Malignant Tumor that has Developed from Cells in the Breast.

Breast cancer usually begins either in the cells of the lobules, which are the milk-producing glands, or the ducts (the passages that drain milk from the lobules to the nipple.) Less commonly, breast cancer can begin in the stromal tissues, which include the fatty and fibrous connective tissues of the breast.

Over Time, Cancer Cells can Invade Nearby Healthy Breast Tissue and Make their way into the Underarm Lymph Nodes, Small Organs that Filter out Foreign Substances in the Body.

If cancer cells get into the lymph nodes, they then have a pathway into other parts of the body. The breast cancer’s stage refers to how far the cancer cells have spread beyond the original tumour.

Print this page