Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of female centric cancers - but it can also affect men. There is a wealth of support and information out there regarding Breast Cancer - remember that you're never alone in your fight against cancer.

Find out the latest medical information and Breast Cancer help here.

Symptoms and Diagnosis of Breast Cancer

In its early stages, breast cancer usually has no symptoms. As a tumour develops, the following symptoms may develop:

These changes may be found during a breast self-exam.

Invasive Breast Cancer: Symptoms, Treatments, Prognosis

Breast cancer can happen to anyone. It is not bound by age, gender, or ethnic group. Invasive breast cancer is cancer that spreads outside the membrane of the lobule or duct into the breast tissue. The cancer can then spread into the lymph nodes in the armpit or beyond to the brain, bones, liver, or lungs. There are several types of invasive breast cancer, including:

Signs of invasive breast cancer

Breast cancer may have no signs or symptoms at all, especially during the early stages. As the cancer progresses, one or more of the following warning signs may be observed:

Tumour grading

After surgery to remove the breast tumour, a pathologist will check the breast tissue. The pathologist will then assign a grade to the tumour. The grade depends on how closely the cancer cells resemble normal tissue cells when viewed under a microscope. Low-grade cancer cells are similar to normal breast cells. Higher grade breast cancer cells look more abnormal. They indicate the breast cancer is more aggressive.

The pathologist will also do a test called the oestrogen progesterone receptor test. This test will show whether female hormones -- oestrogen or progesterone -- influence the cancer cells. If the test is positive, it means hormones cause the cancer cells to grow. In that case, hormonal therapy may be effective in treating the cancer.

Breast Cancer Diagnosis/Detection

As with any type of cancer, the earlier breast cancer is detected, the better it may be for the patient's long-term health. For women at normal risk of breast cancer, self-exams, clinical exams, and mammography starting at 40 may screen for breast cancer. Abnormal results or high-risk women may need earlier screening or additional tests.