Breast cancer is a malignant disease characterized by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the breast tissue. This condition can affect both women and, though less commonly, men. Understanding the definition of breast cancer involves delving into its key components:
- Malignancy: Breast cancer is a type of malignancy, which means that the cells in the breast undergo genetic changes that lead to uncontrolled and abnormal growth. This growth can invade nearby tissues and potentially spread to other parts of the body.
- Abnormal Cells: Breast cancer begins when normal breast cells mutate and become abnormal. These abnormal cells are known as cancer cells, and they lack the normal regulation and order that governs healthy cells.
- Uncontrolled Growth: One of the hallmarks of cancer is uncontrolled cell division. In breast cancer, this leads to the formation of tumors, which can vary in size and location within the breast.
- Breast Tissue: Breast cancer originates in the breast tissue, which includes the milk ducts (ductal carcinoma) or the milk-producing lobules (lobular carcinoma).
Breast cancer can manifest in various forms, and its treatment and prognosis depend on factors like the type, stage, and individual characteristics of the patient. Early detection through regular screenings, such as mammograms, self-exams, and clinical examinations, is crucial for timely intervention and improved outcomes. Treatment options may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy, or a combination of these approaches. Breast cancer awareness and education play vital roles in promoting early diagnosis and better management of this disease.