Breast cancer is one or more malignant tumors that develop in the breast cells. The cancer cells that form the tumor begin in the breast tissue and spread throughout the body. Although more common in women, men can contract the disease as well. Invasive, or infiltrating, ductal carcinoma; invasive, or infiltrating, lobular carcinoma; medullary carcinoma; Paget's disease; and inflammatory breast cancer are all cancers that afflict the human body. Several rare types can strike people as well.
Invasive, or infiltrating, ductal carcinoma is the most common, making up 70% of all cases. This particular form of cancer starts in the breast duct, where it infiltrates the duct's wall until it arrives at the breast's fatty tissue. From there, it has the ability to spread to other sections of the body by means of the bloodstream and lymphatic system.
The second most common cancer of the breast is called invasive, or infiltrating, lobular carcinoma. It represents 10% of all cases. This type of cancer starts in the terminal ducts of the glands that produce breast milk.
Comprising 3 to 6% of cases is the cancer called medullary carcinoma. In this particular type, cancer tissues are easily distinguished from normal tissues. The cancer cells are larger and immune system cells hover around the border of the tumor. This makes medullary carcinoma easier to treat than other forms of invasive cancer of the breast.
Paget's Disease is a cancer that comprises 3% of all cancer of the breast incidents. This cancer is focused on the areola and nipple area of the breast. It is characterized by redness of the skin and around the nipple and areola. The cancer victim often feels a burning or itching situation around the area.
Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare form that represents only about 1% of cases. Beginning signs of the disease include swelling of the skin, redness, and warmth, and it basically looks as if the skin is infected.
Rare types of cancer of the breast include mucinous carcinoma, a form of cancer that attacks older women. This type of cancer represents 3% of all cases. Tubular carcinoma and papillary carcinoma represent 1% of cases. Adenocystic breast cancer comprises 0.4% of cases, while carcinosarcoma represents 0.1% of cases.
An excellent way to detect cancer of the breast is to undergo screening. Mammograms can typically detect cancer before the disease becomes problematic. Women who are 40 years and older should have a mammogram each year.
Women who are in their 20s and 30s should have regular clinical breast exams conducted by a healthcare professional. Monthly breast self exams are another important way for women to become accustomed to the look and feel of their own breasts. They can then notify a medical professional of any changes in their breasts that may be the early signs of cancer.