Q. I’ve had a “questionable” mammogram, and I know the next step might be a biopsy. What exactly is a biopsy? A. A biopsy is acknowledged to be the single most important tool available for diagnosing cancer. It’s simply removal of some of the lump you’ve felt in your breast, or some of the tissue identified as “questionable” in your mammogram . This tissue is then examined by a pathologist, who can determine whether or not it includes cancer cells. Q. Are there different types of biopsy, or is it one size fits all? A. There are different types. Some are done with very fine needles under local anesthetic, leaving no scar; some are full-scale lumpectomies , i.e., a portion of your breast is removed surgically, with a resultant scar or “divot” left behind. And there are other types of biopsy between those two extremes. Q. So, what kind of biopsy will I be getting? A. It depends on what your mammogram looks lik...
Do you know what breast cancer recurrence is? How about what the most common type of breast cancer? We've added a new page on Types of Breast Cancer , with FAQ sections on: Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS) Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS) Invasive or Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma (IDC) Invasive or Infiltrating Lobular Carcinoma (ILC) Recurrent Breast Cancer Less Common Breast Cancers: Inflammatory Breast Cancer and Paget's disease
"Has it spread?" Women with breast cancer wait in fear for the answer to this question when they are first diagnosed and for years afterwards. Fortunately, these days with better education and early detection techniques, most women are diagnosed before the cancer has spread.
The medical word for cancer that has spread to a distant organ is metastasis . When a breast cancer cell leaves the breast and goes to another part of the body--usually the bones, lungs, liver, or central nervous system--the disease is called metastatic breast cancer.
Still Breast Cancer
After treatment, cancer can recur in one of three ways. In a local recurrence, the cancer comes back in the breast or near the scar if the woman had a mastectomy. In a regional recurrence, the cancer shows up in the lymph nodes or tissue near the breast. With metastatic disease, the cancer has set up housekeeping in an organ far from its original home in the breast; however, it is st...
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