Breast Cancer and Cell Biology

Malignant tumors can invade, damage and destroy nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumor won't spread to other parts of the body, but local tissue may be damaged and the growth may need to be removed.
There are several types of breast cancer. The most common is ductal carcinoma, which begins in the lining of the milk ducts of the breast. Another type, lobular carcinoma, begins in the lobules where breast milk is produced. If malignant tumor invades nearby tissue, it is known as infiltrating or invasive cancer.
When breast cancer spreads outside the breast, cancer cells often are found in the lymph nodes under the arm. Cancer cells may spread beyond the breast such as to other lymph nodes, the bones, liver or lungs Although it is not common, some patients whose underarm lymph nodes are clear of breast cancer may still have cancer cells which have spread to other parts of the body.
Cancer that spreads to other parts of the body is the same disease and has the same name as the original cancer. When breast cancer spreads, it is called metastatic breast cancer even though it is found in another part of the body. For example, breast cancer that has spread to the bones is called metastatic breast cancer, not bone cancer.

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