WHAT TO EXPECT
How breast cancer develops
In the case of malignant tumours, the tumour cells reproduce unhindered, destroy the surrounding tissue, and can be transported along the blood and lymph channels to other parts of the body where they can start forming metastases.
Malignant tumours in the breast (breast cancer) start in surface (epithelial) cells of the milk ducts, although some also form in the lobes.
If the tumour has not penetrated the cell walls, the basal membrane of the gland tissue, it is referred to as a carcinoma in situ, contained at its location of occurrence. At such an early, non- invasive stage, the chances of curing the cancer by surgically removing the tumour are good. Once the tumour cells have penetrated the basal membrane and started growing in the surrounding connecting and fatty tissue, they become what is known in medicine as an invasive tumour – breast cancer.
Cancer is caused by changes in the genetic material of body cells that result in dysfunctional growth. Why a healthy cell mutates into a cancer cell is, however, still largely un-researched, although statistics do permit the derivation of specific risk factors. Accordingly, women face a higher risk of contracting breast cancer
- If their close relatives had breast cancer
- If they are older than 50
- If they have formerly suffered from breast cancer
- If they have problematic mastopathy
- If numerous microcalcifications are detected by mammography
- If tissue samples indicate a higher risk of cellular degeneration