FAQ

Click on a topic below for more information.

What is Breast Cancer? What are the Signs of Breast Cancer?
What are the Risks for Breast
Cancer?
What are the different kinds of breast biopsy?
What are the advantages of
Digital Mammography?
 

What is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer (carcinoma) is an abnormal growth of cells in the breast. It begins with ONE cancer cell that then divides into more cells as the cancer grows. Initially it is small and cannot be detected, but as it grows larger, it can usually be seen on a mammogram. As it grows larger still, it will become palpable, which means it can be felt as an abnormal lump in the breast. The cancer can begin in the lobules (where the milk is made) or in the ducts (the tubules that take the milk to the nipple).

  • Lobular carcinomas account for about 10% of breast cancers
  • Ductal carcinomas account for about 80% of  breast cancers
  • Ductal-Carcinoma-in-Situ (DCIS) occurs when abnormal cancer cells are confined to the milk ducts of the breast

Image source:  www.dslrf.org

  • Invasive ductal cancer occurs when cancer cells break through the walls of the ducts and spread to the fatty tissue surrounding the ducts
  • INVASIVE BREAST CANCER DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE CANCER IS ‘INVADING’ OTHER PARTS OF YOUR BODY!

Image source:  www.dslrf.org

WHAT CAUSES BREAST CANCER?

When a normal cell changes and begins to grow and divide abnormally and uncontrollably it has become cancerous. Unfortunately, exactly what triggers these changes in the breast and what allows them to continue is still unknown. The good news is that when breast cancers are detected early, they are CURABLE.


   For further information about The Breast Center at Nyack Hospital, please call 845.348.8551.