Breast cancer is any malignant tumor that arises from cells in breast gland tissue.
There are several types of breast cancer (listed by breastcancer.org):
- DCIS – Ductal carcinoma in situ
- IDC – Invasive ductal carcinoma
- Tubular carcinoma of the breast
- Medullary carcinoma of the breast
- Mucinous carcinoma of the breast
- Papillary Carcinoma of the breast
- Cribriform carcinoma of the breast
- ILC – Invasive lobular carcinoma
- Inflammatory breast cancer
- LCIS – Lobular carcinoma in situ
- Male breast cancer
- Paget’s Disease of the nipple
- Phyllodes tumor of the breast
- Recurrent & Metastatic breast cancer
Some of the symptoms include:
- Change in size
- Irregularities and/or lumps in the surrounding tissue
- Changes in the appearance (colour, texture, like “the skin of an orange”)
- Breast dimpling/indentation
- Lump in the underarm area
- Pain and breast feels warm to the touch
Some risks factors include:
- Cigarette smoking
- A family history of breast cancer
- Drinking alcohol
- Unhealthy diet
Breast cancer and the available treatments can be categorised as:
Stages I, II & III – small tumors are present (I), medium-sized tumors and/or extended to a few lymph nodes (II), large tumors with extended involvement of nodes and tissues (muscle).
Stage IV (metastasis) – tumors have spread to various parts of the body such as the bones, lungs, liver or brain.
Treatments for Stages I, II, III:
- Hormonal therapy
- Surgery (mastectomy or lymphadenectomy depending on the part to be removed)
- A combination of these treatments
For the most severe stage of the disease (stage IV) and the cancer has spread (metastasis), you may have chemotherapy, radiotherapy or immunotherapy to help you manage your symptoms.
The result varies depending on each patient, their physical condition and the tumour progression. If we are in the first two phases the probabilities of overcoming this disease are very high, most patients eradicate it.
The probabilities of being clean of cancer diminish according to the stage so there will be cases in which our treatment is focused on maintaining a quality of life as satisfactory as possible.
This will depend on the stage in which the disease has been detected. Your recovery time may range from a few weeks, two to three months or more, depending on your individual case, your doctor may specify a longer period of time.
If you came to us in the early stages, you may be able to return home after a few weeks or a month, although you will have to maintain a close follow-up with your medical team (in your country or in ours) to check your progress.