Thursday, 24 January 2013

Stages Of The Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is just one of the commonest kinds of cancer . Cancer may be simply described as misbehaving maniac tissues that follow no regular pattern of life with continuous multiplication or extended life . Once being diagnosed with breast cancer , the treatment methods are decided depending up on a number of factors including the type of the cancer , its location , its spread or the stage of the cancer etc .
Firstly the oncologist determines if the cancer is invasive or non-invasive .
Non-invasive breast cancer - Like the name hints , when the cancer is in the non-invasive stage , it means the cancerous cells are still contained to their site of origin . Typically referred as non-invasive In situ breast cancer , this type of cancer has not spread to the surrounding tissues , if not detected at this stage , it can eventually spread further . Ductal and lobular carcinoma is the two most common types of breast cancer .
Invasive breast cancer - Invasive type of cancer spreads beyond the site of origin to the surrounding tissues and organs further . Inflammatory cancer is an invasive type of breast cancer where the soft tissues of the breast are the target cells .
The stage of cancer depends on the size of the cancer , whether it is non-invasive or invasive , if the lymph nodes are affected or if the cancer has spread beyond to other organs and parts of the body . Stage 0 describes the non-invasive stage where the cancer is contained only to the site of origin as in DCIS and the LCIS . In stage I and stage II the cancer is in the initial phase of invasive stage .
Ductal carcinoma - ductal carcinoma is the most common type of cancer . Almost more than 85 % of the cases of breast cancer have ductal origin or ductal carcinoma in situ . The ducts lie underneath the areola of the breast and the nipple , and are the milk ducts to the nipple . DCIS or the ductal carcinoma in situ is a non invasive cancer , which can be treated by removing the cells in focus or the lump of the cells and further radiation . If this type of cancer has further grown to invasive stage and has spread to the surrounding tissues chemotherapy and mastectomy may be advised .
Lobular carcinoma - lobular carcinoma is lesser common than the ductal carcinoma . Here the cells of the lobes that produce milk are affected . The lobular carcinoma , if not treated timely , can further spread to the nearby tissues of the breast .
The tumor is measured less than 2 cm in stage I , between 2 cm and 5 cm in stage II , and the lymph nodes may or may not be involved . In stage III the tumor is measured larger in size and the axillary lymph nodes may be affected . In stage IV breast cancer , the metastasis of the cancer cells may have occurred to the other organs like skin , bones , lungs , ribs etc . TNM staging of cancer is based on the size of tumor ( T ) , the involvement of lymph node ( L ) and the grade of metastasis ( M ).


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