Malignancy with CC

C3ne in seven women in the United States will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, making it the second most common cancer in women in this country. It is second to lung cancer in cause of cancer deaths in women. The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be 58,490 new cases of breast cancer in women in 2005. If it is found in early stages (in situ with no node involvement), the 10-year survival rate is 70% to 75% compared with 20% to 25% when the nodes are positive. Breast cancer can recur even 20 to 30 years after the first diagnosis. Carcinoma of the breast stems from the epithelial tissues of the ducts and lobules.

Breast cancer is classified as either noninvasive or invasive. Noninvasive carcinoma refers to cancer in the ducts or lobules and is also called carcinoma in situ (5% of breast cancers). Invasive carcinoma (also known as infiltrating carcinoma) occurs when the cancer cells invade the tissue beyond the ducts or lobules. The rate of cell division of the cancerous growth varies, but it is estimated that the time it takes for a tumor to be palpable will range from 5 to 9 years. When the cancer cells become invasive, they grow in an irregular or sunburst pattern that is palpated as a poorly defined lump or thickening. As the tumor continues to grow, fibrosis forms around the cancer, causing the Cooper's ligaments to shorten, which results in dimpling of the skin. Advanced tumors will interrupt the lymph drainage, resulting in skin edema and an "orange peel" (peau d'orange) appearance. Untreated cancer may erupt on the skin as an ulceration.

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