What is breast cancer

Breast cancer is a malignant tumour developed from abnormal cells in the breast, invading and destroying normal healthy breast tissues. Overtime, the cancer cells can spread into the underarm lymph nodes, and other organs. Although breast cancer can occur in both man and women, male breast cancers only account for an exceedingly small percentage while it is far more common in women. 

Early stage of breast cancer (cancer in situ), the cancer cells are confined to the breast duct or breast lobules without spreading to other breast tissues, so it is also called non-invasive breast cancer.

Breast cancer cells may spread through the blood and lymphatic system to the nearby breast tissue, lymph nodes and other parts of the body, such as the lungs, bones, liver, and brain, and may threaten the lives of patients.

Common breast cancer types

1.Ductal Carcinoma in situ (DCIS): abnormal cells are found within the lining of the breast milk duct.

2. Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS): abnormal cells are found within the lining of the milk-producing glands of the breast (the lobules), not invade through the wall of the lobules.  

3.Invasive Ducal Carcinoma (IDC): cancer cells in the milk duct have spread out and invaded other tissue of the breast.

4.Invasive Lobular carcinoma (ILC): cancer cells have broken through the wall of the lobule where they began and spread to other areas of the body.

The survival rate of early stage breast cancer is exceedingly high. Early detection is the key to reduce the needs for extensive treatment and the associated negative side effects of treatment.