Benign Breast Cancer

Benign Breast Cancer

What is the benign breast cancer?

Benign Breast cancer is a benign (non-cancerous) tumor that starts in the cells of the breast. It is found mostly in women, but men can get breast cancer, too. A woman’s breast is made up of glands (called lobules) that make breast milk, ducts (small tubes that carry milk from the lobules to the nipple), fatty and connective tissue, blood vessels, and lymph (pronounced limf) vessels. Most breast cancers begin in the cells that line the ducts (ductal cancer), some begin in the lobules (lobular cancer), and a small number start in other tissues.

The lymph system is one of the main ways in which breast cancers can spread. Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped groups of immune system cells (cells that fight infections) that are connected by lymphatic vessels. Lymphatic vessels are like small veins, except that they carry a clear fluid called lymph (instead of blood) away from the breast. Breast cancer cells can enter lymphatic vessels and begin to grow in lymph nodes.

Most lymph vessels of the breast lead to lymph nodes under the arm. These are called axillary nodes. If breast cancer cells reach the underarm lymph nodes and keep on growing, they cause the nodes to swell. The doctor needs to know whether cancer cells have spread to lymph nodes because if they have, there is a higher chance that the cells have also gotten into the bloodstream and spread to other places in the body. The more lymph nodes that have cancer in them, the more likely it is that the cancer will be found in other organs, too. This could affect the treatment plan.

Most breast lumps are benign. This means they are not cancer. Benign breast tumors are abnormal growths, but they do not spread outside of the breast and they are not life threatening. But some benign breast lumps can increase a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer.

Most lumps are caused by fibrocystic changes. Cysts are fluid-filled sacs. Fibrosis is the formation of scar-like tissue. These changes can cause breast swelling and pain. They often happen just before a woman’s period is about to start. The breasts may feel lumpy, and sometimes there is a clear or slightly cloudy nipple discharge.

Benign Breast Cancer – Early detection

How to detect benign breast cancer?

The best defense is to find breast cancer as early as possible – when it is small, has not spread, and is easier to treat. Finding breast cancer early is called “early detection. The following are shown is for early detection:

    • Women should have mammograms each year starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as they are in good health.
    • A breast exam by a doctor or nurse should be part of a regular health exam and should be done at least every 3 years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and older.
    • Women should know how their breasts normally look and feel and report any breast change to a doctor right away. Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women starting in their 20s.

There also has recommendation from Health Ministry, that some women – because of their family history, a genetic tendency, or certain other factors – be screened with MRI along with mammograms.

Benign Breast Cancer – Sign and Symptoms

What are the sign and symptoms of Benign Breast Cancer?

The first noticeable symptom of benign breast cancer is typically a lump that feels different from the rest of the
breast tissue. More than 80% of breast cancer cases are discovered when the woman feels a lump. The earliest
benign breast cancers are detected by a mammogram. Lumps found in lymph nodes located in the armpits can also indicate benign breast cancer. Indications of benign breast cancer other than a lump may include thickening different from the other breast tissue, one breast becoming larger or lower, a nipple changing position or shape or becoming inverted, skin puckering or dimpling, a rash on or around a nipple, discharge from nipple, constant pain in part of the breast or armpit, and swelling beneath the armpit or around the collarbone. Pain (“mastodynia”) is an unreliable tool in determining the presence or absence of breast cancer, but may be indicative of other breast health issues.

Inflammatory benign breast cancer is a particular type of benign breast cancer which can pose a substantial
diagnostic challenge. Symptoms may resemble a breast inflammation and may include itching, pain, swelling, nipple inversion, warmth and redness throughout the breast, as well as an orange-peel texture to the skin referred to as peau d’orange; the absence of a discernible lump delays detection dangerously.

Another reported symptom complex of benign breast cancer is Paget’s disease of the breast. This syndrome presents as eczematoid skin changes such as redness and mild flaking of the nipple skin. As Paget’s advances, symptoms may include tingling, itching, increased sensitivity, burning, and pain. There may also be discharge from the nipple. Approximately half of women diagnosed with Paget’s also have a lump in the breast.

In rare cases, what initially appears as a fibroadenoma (hard movable lump) could in fact be a phyllodes tumor.
Phyllodes tumors are formed within the stroma (connective tissue) of the breast and contain glandular as well as
stromal tissue. Phyllodes tumors are not staged in the usual sense; they are classified on the basis of their
appearance under the microscope as benign, borderline, or malignant.

Occasionally benign breast cancer, cancer that  presents as metastatic disease,  that has spread beyond the original organ. Metastatic breast cancer will cause symptoms that depend on the location of metastasis. Common sites of metastasis include bone, liver, lung and brain. Unexplained weight loss can occasionally herald an occult breast cancer, as can symptoms of fevers or chills. Bone or joint pains can sometimes be manifestations of metastatic breast cancer, as can jaundice or neurological symptoms. These symptoms are called non-specific,meaning they could be manifestations of many other illnesses.

Most symptoms of breast disorders, including most lumps, do not turn out to represent underlying breast cancer.Less than 20% of lumps for example are cancer and benign breast diseases such as mastitis and fibroadenoma of the breast are more common causes of breast disorder symptoms. Nevertheless, the appearance of a new symptom should be taken seriously by both patients and their doctors, because of the possibility of an underlying breast cancer at almost any age.

Other possible signs of breast cancer include:

      • Swelling of all or part of a breast (even if no distinct lump is felt)
      • Skin irritation or dimpling
      • Breast or nipple pain
      • Nipple retraction (turning inward)
      • Redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
      • Nipple discharge (other than breast milk)
Benign Breast Cancer – Causes and Risk Factors

Do we know what causes breast cancer?

Many risk factors may increase your chance of developing breast cancer, but it is not yet known exactly how some of these risk factors cause cells to become cancerous. Hormones seem to play a role in many cases of breast cancer, but just how this happens is not fully understood.

Certain changes in DNA can cause normal breast cells to become cancerous. DNA is the chemical in each of our cells that makes up our genes — the instructions for how our cells function. We usually look like our parents because they are the source of our DNA. But DNA affects more than how we look.

Some genes contain instructions for controlling when our cells grow, divide, and die. Certain genes that speed up cell division are called oncogenes. Others that slow down cell division, or cause cells to die at the right time, are called tumor suppressor genes. Cancers can be caused by DNA mutations (changes) that “turn on” oncogenes or “turn off” tumor suppressor genes. Actually there are 2 causes of benign breast cancer:

  • Inherited gene mutations
  • Acquired gene mutations

Inherited gene mutations

Certain inherited DNA changes can increase the risk for developing cancer and are responsible for the cancers that run in some families. For example, the BRCA genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2) are tumor suppressor genes. Mutations in these genes can be inherited from parents. When they are mutated, they no longer suppress abnormal growth, and cancer is more likely to develop.

Women have already begun to benefit from advances in understanding the genetic basis of breast cancer. Genetic testing can identify some women who have inherited mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 tumor suppressor genes (or less commonly in other genes such as PTEN or p53). These women can then take steps to reduce their risk of developing breast cancers and to monitor changes in their breasts carefully to find cancer at an earlier, more treatable stage. These are discussed in the following sections of this article.

Acquired gene mutations

Most DNA mutations related to breast cancer occur in single breast cells during a woman’s life rather than having been inherited. These acquired mutations of oncogenes and/or tumor suppressor genes may result from other factors, like radiation or cancer-causing chemicals. But so far, the causes of most acquired mutations that could lead to breast cancer remain unknown. Most breast cancers have several gene mutations that are acquired.

Tests to spot acquired gene changes may help doctors more accurately predict the outlook for some women with breast cancer. For example, tests can identify women whose breast cancer cells have too many copies of the HER2 oncogene. These cancers tend to be more aggressive. At the same time, drugs have been developed that specifically target these cancers.


Benign Breast Cancer – Diagnose

How is benign Breast Cancer Diagnosed?

If you have any signs or symptoms that might be due to benign breast cancer, be sure to see your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms, any other health problems, and possible risk factors for benign breast conditions or breast cancer.

Your breasts will be thoroughly examined for any lumps or suspicious areas and to feel their texture, size, and relationship to the skin and chest muscles. Any changes in the nipples or the skin of your breasts will be noted. The lymph nodes in the armpit and above the collarbones may be palpated (felt), because enlargement or firmness of these lymph nodes might indicate spread of breast cancer. Your doctor might also do a complete physical exam to judge your general health and whether there is any evidence of cancer that may have spread.

If breast symptoms and/or the results of your physical exam suggest benign breast cancer might be present, more tests will probably be done. These might include imaging tests, looking at samples of nipple discharge, or doing biopsies of suspicious areas. There are several ways the diagnosis of benign breast cancer include:

  • Diagnostic mammograms
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the breast
  • Breast ultrasound
  • Ductogram
  • Biopsy
Benign Breast Cancer – Treatment

How is benign breast cancer treated?

General types of treatment

Treatments can be classified into broad groups, based on how they work and when they are used.
Local versus systemic therapy

Local therapy is intended to treat a tumor at the site without affecting the rest of the body. Surgery and radiation therapy are examples of local therapies.

Systemic therapy refers to drugs which can be given by mouth or directly into the bloodstream to reach cancer cells anywhere in the body. Chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy are systemic therapies.
Adjuvant and neoadjuvant therapy.

Patients who have no detectable cancer after surgery are often given additional treatment to help keep the cancer from coming back. This is known as adjuvant therapy. Doctors believe that even in the early stages of breast cancer, cancer cells may break away from the primary breast tumor and begin to spread. These cells can’t be felt on a physical exam or seen on x-rays or other imaging tests, and they cause no symptoms. But they can go on to become new tumors in nearby tissues, other organs,and bones. The goal of adjuvant therapy is to kill these hidden cells. Both systemic therapy (like chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy) and radiation can be used as adjuvant therapy.

Not every patient needs adjuvant therapy. Whether or not you are likely to benefit from adjuvant therapy depends on the stage and characteristics of your cancer and what type of surgery you had. Generally speaking, if the tumor is larger or the cancer has spread to lymph nodes, it is more likely to have spread through the bloodstream, and you are more likely to see a benefit. But there are other features, some of which have been previously discussed, that may determine if a patient should get adjuvant therapy. Recommendations about adjuvant therapy are discussed in the sections on these treatments and in the section on treatment by stage.

Some patients are given treatment, such as chemotherapy or hormone therapy, before surgery. The goal of this treatment is to shrink the tumor in the hope it will allow a less extensive operation to be done. This is called neoadjuvant therapy.

Benign Breast Cancer – Research and Treatment by Malaysia Chinese Master

Malaysia Chinese Master Way of Treatment and Research on Benign Breast Cancer

MALAYSIA Chinese Master’s Neuro Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are important components of Chinese historical culture. And there are parts of the discipline of MALAYSIA Chinese Master’s ancestors’ up bringing. As early as the new Stone Age in China, the primitive humans use stone as the earliest MALAYSIA Chinese Master’s NEURO ACUPUNCTURE instrument to treat diseases. With the development of the productive forces, bone needles and bamboo needles were introduced. After the development of metal casting techniques and metal tools, the people began to use metal Medicine needles, such as bronze, iron, gold and silver.

MALAYSIA Chinese Master’s NEURO ACUPUNCTURE Today- Today stainless steel needles are widely used. Moxibustion was gradually created after discovery and use of fire. At first, primitive man found that warming themselves by fire may relieve, stop cold pain or stop a certain type of diseases. Thus, they came to know how to use burnt hot stone or sand wrapped in animal skin to treat disease through hot compression, using ignited branches of wood to warm parts of the body. This is the most primitive form of moxibustion. In modern society, people use moxa leaves as moxibustion material.

MALAYSIA Chinese Master‘s NEURO ACUPUNCTURE was known throughout the world by 1971 for its anesthesia effects, thus in 1975 the W.H.O. has accepted Chinese Master’s NEURO ACUPUNCTURE as a Medicine science.

Therefore it is up to you to choose whether modern medicine or Chinese herbal treatment. However, modern medicine now more advance than once a poor medical equipment. With this all the causes of the disease can be detected more efficiently and quickly. But always remember,”Prevention is better than cure.”


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June 27, 2012Permalink