Benign Breast Disease
Benign breast conditions or diseases (BBD) are noncancerous breast disorders of the breast which can occur in both women and men.
Types of BBD:
There are many types of benign breast conditions, usually termed as fibrocystic change.
Some common types of BBD are Fibroadenomas, Cysts and Hyperplasia.
When breast cells divide and grow without their normal control. Breast tumors tend to grow slowly. Although, it can take up to 10 years to feel as a large lump but some tumors can aggressively grow much faster.
Types of Breast Cancers
- Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS): When abnormal cells grow inside the milk ducts, but do not spread to nearby tissues or beyond. Although, DCIS is a non-invasive breast cancer but without treatment it may develop into invasive breast cancer.
- Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS): When abnormal tumor cells from inside the milk ducts or lobules spread into nearby breast tissue. Tumor cells can travel from the breast to other body parts through the blood or the lymphatic system.
- Metastatic breast cancer: This invasive breast cancer also known as stage IV or advanced breast cancer that can spread beyond the breast to other body organs in the body such as the bones, lungs, liver or brain. It is the most advanced stage of breast cancer.
- These are solid benign tumors often feel like marbles and mostly occur in women ages 15-35 years. Some fibroadenomas are very small and cannot be felt.
- There are two types- simple and complex fibroadenomas.
- The simple tumors do not increase breast cancer risk but complex fibroadenomas can increase the risk.
- Taking oral contraceptives before the age of 20 can be the associated cause of higher risk of developing fibroadenomas.
- Although fibroadenomas are not life-threatening but it may still require treatment.
- A fine needle biopsy or aspiration may be performed for testing.
- The removal of fibroadenoma typically depends on the natural shape of the breast, breasts pain, family history, and questionable biopsy results
- It occurs due to an overgrowth (proliferation) of cells on the inner side of the milk ducts in the breast.
- Hyperplasia has two main types—usual and atypical.
- Although both types can increase the risk of breast cancer, but atypical hyperplasia do it with a greater degree.
- A special breast cancer screening is recommended for women with atypical hyperplasia.(a). Mammogram every year, (b). Clinical breast exam every 6-12 months, (c). Screening with breast MRI
- Women with atypical hyperplasia are prescribed with risk-lowering drugs such as tamoxifen or raloxifene.
- These are fluid-filled sacs that always remain benign.
- Usually they are quite small to feel but in some cases they can be felt as large lumps that may cause breast pain.
- Commonly occur in premenopausal women. And less often occur after menopause.
- Cysts are non-invasive and do not increase the breast cancer risk.
- Cysts can be diagnosed with breast ultrasound and/or a fine needle aspiration or biopsy.
- Cysts can be aspirated, if reoccurs then excision is done.
- Once the fluid has been drawn off, the cyst usually disappears.
Treatment of breast cancers
Treatment of locally-advanced breast cancers (stages I, II and III) include following combination of procedures:
- Radiation therapy
- Hormononal therapy
- Targeted therapy
Patients who complete the full course of treatment have a higher chance of survival.
Treatment Plan depends on both medical and personal choices of a doctor and is tailored to:
- Type of breast cancer
- Stage of the breast cancer
- Patient’s overall health, age and other medical issues
The basic aim of breast cancer surgery is to remove whole tumor from the breast.
Mainly two types of surgeries are performed to remove breast cancer:
- Lumpectomy- It removes the breast tumor and a small rim of normal tissue around it, but the rest of the breast remains intact.
- Mastectomy- It removes the entire breast (in many, but not all, cases this includes the nipple and areola).
Myths Are Debunked
- Exposing breast cancer to air, removing some tumor tissue with a biopsy or cutting through the cancer during surgery does not cause it to spread.
- Surgery and diagnostic procedures (such as surgical and needle biopsies) don’t cause breast cancer to spread.
Don’t worry, there is recovery from cancers!
You are not alone who are facing this breast cancer surgery. Lots of hopes are there. Many women who have gone through surgery are enjoying their survival and living their lives happily!
Talk to your health care provider who can help you find a local support group.