What is Cancer?

Cancer develops through ‘mutations’ or ‘abnormal changes’ in our genes, which are supposed to influence the health and growth of cells. Normally old cells in our body die and new ones develop, but in terms of cancer this process creates mutations which can ‘turn on’ genes and ’turn off’ other genes in a cell. If the mutation cell growth without control, more cells of that kind are created which develop a tumor.

What is a Tumor?

A tumor is either ‘benign’, which is considered as not dangerous, or malignant which could be of danger to our health.

Benign tumors are not seen as cancerous as their cells appear almost like a healthy cell. Cancerous tumors are called malignant, and are those cells which grow further the actual tumor and spread over different parts of our body, if left unchecked.

What is Breast Cancer?

A malignant tumor that spreads from cells inside the breast is called Breast Cancer.

’''Usually breast cancer either begins in the cells of the lobules, which are the milk-producing glands, or the ducts, the passages that drain milk from the lobules to the nipple. Less commonly, breast cancer can begin in the stromal tissues, which include the fatty and fibrous connective tissues of the breast. Over time, cancer cells can invade nearby healthy breast tissue and make their way into the underarm lymph nodes, small organs that filter out foreign substances in the body. If cancer cells get into the lymph nodes, they then have a pathway into other parts of the body.’(breastcancer. 2008).

Breast cancer always appears through a failure in genetic material. 5%- 10% of this failure can be inherited by our parents genes, but 90% of it can appear throughout the ageing process and the ‘wear and tear’ life generally. Anyhow, breast cancer is never anyone’s fault and a healthier lifestyle cannot always prevent the cancer to occur and spread.

Breast anatomy tcm8-329407

Img: Breast Anatomy, Src:


A Ducts

B Lobules

C' Dilated section of duct to hold milk

D Nipple

E Fat

F Pectoralis major muscle

G Chest wall/rib cage


A Normal duct cells'

B Basement membrane'

C Lumen (center of duct)'


SharonLegae 11:09, March 16, 2011 (UTC)