What is Breast Cancer?
The cell is the basic building block of the body, making up all of our tissues and organs. As cells grow old and wear out, new ones replace them. This process is called cell division.
The balance between dying and growing cells is vital to maintain the normal functioning of our bodies. If the number of growing cells exceeds the number of dying cells, then a lump (or tumour) will develop. If the cells in the tumour divide haphazardly and grow in an aggressive manner, this is called a cancer or malignant tumour. Malignant cells have the potential of invading adjacent tissues and can spread to other parts of the body some distance away from the main (or primary) tumour. This process of distant spread is called metastasis. It can occur through the blood stream or the lymph vessels. A breast cancer occurs when the cells of the milk glands or the milk ducts grow and divide in a disorderly manner. This may be detected as a lump in the breast. It can take months or years for a tumour of 1 cm in diameter to grow in the breast. It is estimated that a tumour of this size contains one billion breast cancer cells!
- The Normal Breast
- What is Breast Cancer?
- What are the different Types of Breast Cancer?
- Am I at Risk of Getting Breast Cancer?
- What Does 'Increased Risk' Mean to Me?
- How Can I Reduce the Risk?
- Breast Screening
- Breast Lumps
- What Happens at the Breast Clinic?
- Emotional Reaction to a Diagnosis of Breast Cancer
- What are the Treatment Options for Breast Cancer?
- Radiotherapy - What is it and How it is Used
- Chemotherapy - What is it and How it is Used
- Hormone Therapy - What is it and How it is Used
- Treatment of Non-invasive Breast Cancer
- The Follow-up Clinic