Breast Cancer Cancer is not just one diseas

Breast Cancer Cancer is not just one disease but rather a group of diseases. All forms of cancer cause cells in the body to change and grow out of control. Most types of cancer cells form a lump or mass called a tumor. Cells from the tumor can break away and travel to other parts of the body. There they can continue to grow. This spreading process is called metastasis. When cancer spreads, it is still named after the part of the body where it started. For example, if breast cancer spreads to the lungs, it is still breast cancer, not lung cancer. Another word for cancerous is malignant. So a cancerous tumor is called malignant. But not all tumors are cancer. A tumor that is not cancer is called benign. Benign tumors do not grow and spread the way cancer does. They are usually not a threat to life. A few cancers, such as blood cancers (leukemia), do not form a tumor. Most kinds of cancer are named after the part of the body where the cancer first starts. Breast cancer begins in the breast tissue. This article refers only to breast cancer in women. Men can also get breast cancer, although this is rare. [Women.com, pp. 6] Inside the breasts are glands that produce and release milk after a woman has a baby. The glands that make the milk are called lobules and the tubes that connect them to the nipple are called ducts. The breast itself is made up of lobules; ducts; and fatty, connective, and lymphatic tissue. There are several types of breast tumors. Most are benign; that is, they are not cancer. These lumps are often caused by fibrocystic changes. Cysts are fluid-filled sacs, and fibrosis refers to connective tissue or scar tissue formation. Fibrocystic changes can cause breast swelling and pain. The breasts may feel lumpy and sometimes there is a clear or slightly cloudy nipple discharge. Benign breast tumors are abnormal growths, but they do not spread outside of the …

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