Breast Cancer is something that scares a lot of us, no matter what our age is. We all know that there is no known cause or reasoning behind breast cancer, even if there are some factors that increase the risk of cancer cell growth. That's why it is very important to us this month to join in the breast cancer awareness conversation because the earlier you find out about it, get diagnosed, and understand about the different breast cancer types and treatments, the higher the possibility is to survive it.
The truth is that many of us don't know a lot about breast cancer. So, we had to do a lot of research to find out as much as we can about breast cancer for Pink October. So let's talk about the different types of breast cancer and breast cancer treatments…
Types of Malignant Breast Cancer
A lot of us misunderstand breast cancer, thinking that there is only one type. Actually, there are 7 types of breast cancer:
1. Phyllodes Tumor
It comes in the form of a tumor that grows in the connective tissue in the breasts. It is not very common because it is only 1% of breast tumor cases.
This is also not very common and is formed in the lining of the blood vessels and lymph vessels and can spread to the skin.
3. Inflammatory Breast Cancer
Only 5% of women get this type of breast cancer. Its symptoms are usually swelling and redness. Which happens due to the blockage of the lymph vessels.
4. Metastatic Breast Cancer
This is a very dangerous type of breast cancer as it grows fast and can spread really quickly to areas other than the breasts, such as the brain, bones, or lungs.
5. Invasive Ductal
This is a common type of breast cancer where the cancerous cells spread to the tissue surrounding the milk ducts.
6. Paget's disease of the Nipple
This cancer forms in the milk ducts and gradually spreads to the nipples and areola. It is also not very common, constituting only 3% of breast cancer cases.
7. Ductal Carcinoma in situ
This type of cancer causes the cancer cells to concentrate and gather in the milk ducts without ever leaving or spreading to other areas of the breasts or body.
Malignant Breast Cancer Treatments
There are different types and forms of malignant breast cancer treatments and it depends on each patient and the doctor’s diagnosis.
Treatments for Malignant Breast Cancer Stage 1 & 2
This is chosen for patients with ages below 50 or in cases where there is cancer in the lymph nodes.
2. Radiation Therapy
This treatment removes the tumor and lymph nodes without removing or affecting the breasts.
When the tumor is big, sometimes, they opt for the removal of the breast or part of it, along with the lymph nodes.
4. Hormone Therapy
This type of therapy depends on how the cancer cells receive and react to the hormones.
Treatments for Malignant Breast Cancer Stage 3
In this stage, the cancer spreads to the surrounding cells. Therefore, at this point doctors recommend chemotherapy because it reduces the size of the tumor before any decisions regarding surgery are made, whether for removing the tumor or the breast.
Treatments for Malignant Breast Cancer Stage 4
Doctors follow two forms for treatment for this stage...
1. Hormone treatment is used whenever the cancer cells respond effectively to the hormones.
2. Chemotherapy is recommended when the cancer cells don't respond well to the hormones.
What are the types of benign breast cancer and treatments?
Not all cancer diagnoses are categorized as malignant. There are some tumors that are benign and they are:
A fibroadenoma is a defined solid rubbery round tumor that occurs to some women above 40. It happens due to the increase in growth of some of the glands and tissue in the breasts. This tumor goes away after menopause and it can also be removed surgically.
2. Breast Cysts
These are fluid filled sacs that are moveable when pressed on. It starts appearing to some women who are close to the age of menopause. It is treated through specialized doctors by the extraction of the fluid.
3. Breast Abscesses
Breast abscesses happen sometimes due to the presence of infections. Women who are at risk of getting it are sometimes those who breastfeed. Breast abscesses are a painful pus that causes a high fever and nipple discharge.
It is a lump in the fat tissue of the breast. It often goes away on its own, but if that doesn't happen, it is better to just remove it surgically.
How breast cancer is diagnosed:
There are reliable methods besides clinical examination or self-examination, with which breast cancer can be diagnosed in detail:
1. MRI (or Magnetic Resonance Imaging).
2. Taking a sample from the breast, which is 'tissue biopsy', and analyzing it in a lab to look for the presence of cancer cells.
3. Mammograms (It is not recommended for those under 40).
Does breast cancer affect only women?
Although it is more common for breast cancer to affect women, it can actually also affect men. We talked about male breast cancer's symptoms so make sure to read about it.
Main Image Credits: Instagram @flamingocandles