What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer.
Breasts are made of fat with connective and glandular tissue divided into lobes. A network of milk ducts spreads from the lobes to the nipple.
Breast cancer happens when these cells begin to grow abnormally and multiply quickly, forming a tumour. Both women and men can get breast cancer, but it’s rarer in men. The risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer by age 85 is 1 in 8 for women and 1 in 631 for men.
Different types of breast cancer
Non-invasive means the cancer cells haven’t spread from their original location.
- Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) – in DCIS, cancer cells are found within the milk ducts of the breast
- Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) – in LCIS, abnormal cells are found within breast lobules – but it’s not cancer. LCIS increases the risk of developing cancer, although most women with this condition won’t go on to develop breast cancer
‘Invasive’ means the cancer cells have spread to nearby tissue.
- Early breast cancer – in early breast cancer, cancer cells have spread from the ducts or lobules into nearby breast tissue. The cancer may also have spread to lymph nodes in the armpit. The most common types are invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) and invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC)
- Locally advanced breast cancer – in locally advanced breast cancer, the cancer has spread to other areas nearby, such as the chest (including the skin, muscles and bones of the chest) and lymph nodes
Secondary, metastatic or advanced breast cancer means that the cancer cells have spread from the breast to other areas of the body, such as the bones, liver or lungs
Anneliese's breast cancer journey at GenesisCare
Anneliese was diagnosed with breast cancer and was referred by her oncologist to GenesisCare. Anneliese talks about taking advantage of GenesisCare’s complimentary wellbeing services and why she would recommend GenesisCare to others.
Common symptoms of breast cancer
Swelling in all or part of the breast
Irritation or dimpling on the skin
Pain in the breast or nipple
Nipple turning inwards (retraction)
Redness or scaliness