Breast or breasts are made up of fat, connective and glandular tissue. This tissue are the glands that produce milk that are born some 15-20 breast ducts, to transport milk to the nipple, surrounded by the areola. These lobules and ducts occur in the stroma, adipose tissue, which are also the blood and lymph vessels. Breast tissues are also connected, with a group of lymph nodes located in the armpit. These nodes are keys for the diagnosis of breast cancer, since cancer cells spread to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system. When speaking of Sentinel lymph node refers, precisely, to the lymph node closest to the place where the cancer is located.
Self-examination and mammograms are the most useful tools to find suspicious lumps in the breasts. In general, the mammography technique facilitates the detection of small growths, difficult to predict by the palpation of the breast. Such evidence should be repeated annually from the age of 45.
Mammography is a proof of x-ray imaging that detects the presence of the tumor in the breast, until it is perceptible to the touch. To be the best method of detection, specialists recommend that all women perform this test every year starting at age 50-55. These tests can be completed with other more specific, to detect the severity of the cancer, such as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasonography, or biopsy, in which part of the affected tissue is taken to analyze the characteristics of cancer cells in the laboratory.
Not all packages that appear in the breast are a symptom of cancer. In fact, nine out of every ten lumps are benign. These non-cancerous lumps may be fibrosis or tumors of connective and glandular, fabric or cysts or fluid-filled bags. Benign tumors of breast (fibroadenomas) do not constitute a danger to life, generally easy treatment. The main type of breast cancer is adenocarcinoma, which is produced in glandular of any part of the body tissues. Specific breast tumors are:
(located in the ducts). The ductal cancer in situ fits into the lactiferous, or breast ducts through which the milk reaches the nipple. If untreated, it can spread beyond the breast ducts and cause metastasis. That is why it is very important to detect its presence, in time to prevent progression to cancer. This detection can only be done through specific, such as a mammogram testing, since that in situ carcinoma does not usually produce no symptoms. The invasive ductal carcinoma or infiltrating invades the fatty tissue of the breast, from one of the ducts. The invasive carcinoma is the most frequent cancers of breast; It is approximately 80 per cent of all those who produce.
Lobular carcinoma and lobular
. This type is lobular carcinoma in situ, also called lobular neoplasia. Invasive lobular carcinoma following the same process of filtration that the invasive ductal carcinoma into the adipose tissue, but from the lobules.
Inflammatory breast cancer
: less frequent. It's a very aggressive cancer that grows fast. It is called inflammatory because the cancer cells block the lymph vessels, and this manifests itself in the skin, which acquires a thick and cupped, appearance resembling an orange peel.
There are several types of treatment that can be used in breast cancer. The therapy that is applied depends on many factors, including the stadium or step in to find the tumor, if there is or not metastases, the size of the cancer and also how are cancer cells. With the classification carried out by doctors lays down the size of the tumor, lymph nodes affected and the degree of metastasis or spread to other organs, if it is there. The most used is the TNM system, created by the American Joint Committee of cancer. Each letter refers to a feature that is defined with a number:
T (size), followed by a number from 0 to 4, refers to the size of the tumor, bigger is the cancer, the greater the number.
N (nodule), from 0 to 3, refers to the lymph nodes that are affected by the cancer cells.
M (metastasis) followed by a 0 or 1, indicates whether the cancer has spread (1) or not (0) to other organs.
In the early stages of cancer, surgery is used to remove the tumor, although often the surgical approach is complemented by radiotherapy to kill tumor cells that have managed to escape to the scalpel. If the cancer is disseminated in other parts of the body, chemotherapy or hormonal therapy is used. Here also include the administration of radiation therapy, in specific areas where they are located groups of cancerous cells.
Surgery. The type of surgery depends on the extent of the tumor. If the size of the tumor so permits, the surgeon may perform a Lumpectomy, which consists of the removal of part of the breast tissue. With the mastectomy, instead, the breast is removed altogether. Both interventions may require the eradication of the nearest lymph node (located in the armpit).
Radiation therapy. It is a local treatment, as well as surgery. In fact, sometimes is given radiotherapy after surgery, to eliminate cancer cells that have not been removed. Radiation therapy is an elevated concentration of x-ray addressed to a specific point. To apply this treatment after remove a cancer, doctors sure completely eradicate the tumor.
Chemotherapy. Along with hormone therapy, they are the most used in breast cancer treatments. Hormone treatments aim to stop the progression of cancer, by altering the levels of female hormones. On the other hand, chemotherapy eradicated the cancer cells, destroying them. These are the main families of employed chemotherapy against breast cancer:
-Alkylating: Act on DNA while avoiding the cancerous cell to reproduce. This family belongs busulfán, cisplatin, cyclophosphamide, Dacarbazine, ifosfamide, mecloretamina and melphalan.
-Antimetabolites: they interfere with the growth of the DNA and cellular RNA. They are in this group: 5-fluorouracil, methotrexate, cytarabine and Gemcitabine, Fludarabine.
-Antitumor antibiotics: Act on DNA by stopping the action of certain enzymes that cause of mitosis (Division by which cells are reproduced). Some of them are the bleomycin, dactinomycin, daunorubicina, doxorubicin and idarubicin.
-Mitosis inhibitors – are naturally occurring substances that are holding back the mitosis (cell reproduction formula). These inhibitors include paclitaxel, docetaxel, etoposide, vinblastine, vincristine, and vinorelbine. Chemotherapy is usually given intravenously, although sometimes chemotherapy can give oral or even intramuscular. Normally it is one to four weeks between a service and another of chemo. These cycles or courses set up by the oncologist according to the degree of disease and the side effects of chemotherapy tolerance.
Tamoxifen: it is the hormone therapy used most frequently in breast cancer. This drug prevents the release of estrogen, so that the cells affected by cancer continue not stretching.
Toremifeno: like tamoxifen, is a modulator of the receptor estrógenico and seems to have demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of certain types of breast cancer.
Progestogen: these hormones produced naturally in the body of women, but their artificial derivatives may be useful in certain breast tumors. Together with progestogens, other hormonal therapies include aromatase, the análagos of the LHRH and somatostatin, the latter often used among the patients postmenospáusicas.
Various research has found a group of factors of risk, or circumstances, that make a person more prone to develop the tumor.
Age: the risk increases with age. Most breast cancers occur on the 50 years; the 60 risk is higher and is rare under age 35, although it is also possible.
Sex: women are more likely to develop breast cancer. Men may also experience, but the probability is one for every hundred females.
Family history: chances increase if a sister, mother or daughter has suffered this disease. In addition this risk rises if the family that has suffered from cancer has done prior to menopause, or if it has affected the two breasts.
Having suffered another cancer: the risk of breast cancer increases if it has suffered previously another cancer, especially ovarian or colon, or a lobular or ductal carcinoma in situ (two types of malignant tumor that appear in the lobes or in the ducts of the breast or mammary ducts). Another possible risk factor is a benign hyperplasia, a kind of not malignant tumor, which alters the tissue of the breast.
Late menopause (after age 55). Not having children, or the first delivery from age 30.
Environmental factors: it is investigating the possible influence of pesticides, pollutants or electromagnetic fields in food and water.
Lifestyle: some studies have found a possible link between alcohol consumption and the development of breast cancer.
Obesity: Despite not having any definitive scientific observation, many researchers suggest that follow a diet low in fat and rich in fruits and vegetables, as well as physical exercise on a regular basis can help prevent the onset of breast cancer.
Stress: An active life to excessive limits is not convenient or beneficial. Lead a stressful life is harmful to health and can therefore favour the appearance of diseases
THS: Some researchers indicate that from age 10 with therapy hormone replacement (HRT) can increase the risk of cancer, while others emphasize that no matter how time has taken in the past, as there is the risk of cancer among the following hormone therapy, not between that followed her in the past.