Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer overview and Definition

Breast cancer is an abnormal growth of the cells in the breast region. It is a lump or tumour  in the breast region


It is more common among the women when compared to men.

Structure of Breast Cancer

Structure of Breast:

A breast is made of fat cells and lobules. The breast is not made of muscle but it rest on the muscle and these muscles cover the ribs. A breast is made of three parts namely lobules, ducts, and connective tissues. The lobules are the glands that produce milk. The ducts are the tubes that carries the milk to the nipple. The connective tissue which consists of fibrous and fatty tissue surrounds thses lobules and hold everything together. Most breast cancer is initiated at the duct or lobules level. Fat fills the spce between lobules and ducts. Each breast contains blood vessels and also the lymph vessels. These lymph vessels drains into the lymph nodes. These lymph nodes are also found in groups underneath the arms, above the collarbone, and in the chest. These lymph nodes is also present in other parts of the body

Clinical signs & symptoms

  • pain in the armpits or breast that does not change with the monthly cycle
  • pitting or redness of the skin of the breast, similar to the surface of an orange
  • a rash around or on one of the nipples
  • discharge from a nipple, possibly containing blood
  • a sunken or inverted nipple
  • a change in the size or shape of the breast
  • peeling, flaking, or scaling of the skin on the breast or nipple

Differential Diagnosis


In this type of investigation the sound waves are used. The sound waves penetrate the breast and notifies the affected areas. The echoes are not heard by the humans but the echoes are utilized by the computers in processing the abnormalities of the breast.

An ultrasound can say if the lump consists of an solid mass or the cyst filled with the fluid or the combination of the both.

Exact size and the location of the lump can be revealed.


A mammogram is a x ray of the breast tissue. The radiologist who is doing the test zoom the specific area of the breast where the abnormality is more.

The mammogram also reveals the ductal carcinoma insitu. Ductal  carcinoma insitu is a cancer which is developed by the cells lining the ducts. These cells later might invade the ductal cells and becomes invasive cancer in future.

Nowadays the 3D MAMMOGRAMS OR TOMOSYNTHESIS are used which reveals the breast cancer more accurately than the normal x ray analogue mammogram.

Magnetic resonance imaging:

This can be used to assess the extent of the disease.

Magnet is connected to the computer and this magnet help in the emission of magnetic energy and radio waves through the tissues,with the help of this the abnormality is ruled out.

Blood/Lab test:

The two most common lab tests are the HORMONE RECEPTOR TEST AND THE HER2/NEU TEST.

The test which shows positive for both estrogen and progesterone receptors shows good prognosis than others.

 Similar to the hormone receptor test, the HER2/neu test looks for a specific kind of protein that is found with certain types of cancer cells and the gene that produces it. The formal name of that gene is the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, and it makes HER2 proteins. These proteins are receptors on breast cells.


The fluid or cells are drawn from the breast and the alteration in the morphology of the cells are seen.



The average 5 year survival rate of non invasive(not spreading to other part) is 90%.

The 5 year survival rate of invasive cancer is 5-6%.


Follow healthy diet

Screening is must for the people who have crossed 40 years of age

Avoid smoking and consumption of alcohol

Reduces the stress

Reduce the weight

Intake large amount of fiber containing foods

Be physically active