HEALTH and MEDICAL EDUCATION

HEALTH and MEDICAL EDUCATION

Breast Cancer: Early Symptoms, Malignant (cancerous)

Breast cancer is a malignant (cancerous) growth that begins in the tissues of the breast. Over the course of a lifetime, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast Cancer no Early symptoms!!

Breast Cancer: Early Symptoms, Malignant (cancerous) Symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer:

Breast lump or breast mass noted upon breast exam -- usually painless, firm to hard and usually with irregular borders
Lump or mass in the armpit
A change in the size or shape of the breast
Abnormal nipple discharge
Usually bloody or clear-to-yellow or green fluid
May look like pus (purulent)
Change in the color or feel of the skin of the breast, nipple, or areola
Dimpled, puckered, or scaly
Retraction, "orange peel" appearance
Redness
Accentuated veins on breast surface
Change in appearance or sensation of the nipple
Pulled in (retraction), enlargement, or itching
Breast pain, enlargement, or discomfort on one side only
Any breast lump, pain, tenderness, or other change in a man
Symptoms of advanced disease are bone pain, weight loss, swelling of one arm, and skin ulceration

In the center of the human female breast is the protruding nipple, which is surrounded by a pigmented circular area called the areola. Internally, the breast is composed of milk glands surrounded by fatty tissue and some connective tissue. Produced by the lobules in the interior of the breast, milk is carried to the nipple by a collection of tubes known as ducts. Breast cancers may start in the milk glands, milk ducts, fatty tissue, or connective tissue. Cancers of the breast are the most common cancers in women, affecting 1 in every 8 American women who live to age 80.

Prognosis

The five-year survival rate (a measure used to monitor persons who are living five years after diagnosis of cancer) for American women diagnosed with localized breast cancer increased from 72 percent in the 1940s to 96 percent in the late 1990s. If the cancer has spread to adjacent tissue, the five-year survival rate falls to 78 percent. For women who have been treated for breast cancer, the outlook is increasingly optimistic, especially with regular follow-up examinations by a physician and frequent breast self-examination. The clinical stage of breast cancer is the best indicator for prognosis (probable outcome), in addition to some other factors. Five-year survival rates for individuals with breast cancer who receive appropriate treatment are approximately:

95% for stage 0
88% for stage I
66% for stage II
36% for stage III
7% for stage IV

The axillary (armpit) lymph nodes are the main passageway that breast cancer cells must use to reach the rest of the body. Their involvement at any time strongly affects the prognosis. Chemotherapy and hormone therapy can improve prognosis in all patients and increase the likelihood of cure in patients with stage I, II, and III disease.

Continue Reading: Treatment of Breast Cancer »