Sunday, October 2, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness Part 1

So it's October again. My second October since I was diagnosed. I am sorting my files & much of them are medical papers. I hear so many fellow survivors/warriors talk about having DCIS (Ductual Carcinoma in Situ), and I realized months ago that I was never entirely clear on my exact diagnosis. I know I had Paget's disease of the nipple, which I was told is rare (you can see below how rare & understand how special I feel about that one!) So, as I went through my stuff, mostly by accident, I spotted my diagnosis on this paper: Infiltrating Ductual Adenocarcinoma. I had no idea what this really meant so I Googled it & found the best information on the American Cancer Society's website. I've pasted it below. I do not support breast cancer research that isn't researching diet and natural substances as cures for cancer because these ARE cures for cancer but they won't make anyone any money. What I do support is education on how to avoid getting cancer & how to find it if you have it or suspect you have. I also support organizations that give money to those who cannot afford tests and treatment. I am writing this because I think we all need to be aware of what breast cancer is; I feel that is the purpose of this month (no, it's not just wearing our pink wigs & passing out pink ribbons!).

Learn about what it is & how to be prepared if it happens to you. Right now "they" state it's 1 in every 8 women who will get breast cancer in their lifetime. It seems like it's effecting far more young people these days. I ask myself why? The only thing I can guess is diet, lifestyle (AKA stress), environment. Sure there are genetic factors & other things, but those three I listed seem most important. For more information on the various types of breast cancer you can read more on the American Cancer Society's website:

Next week I'll post about the treatments & what the term chemotherapy really means. In the meantime, here's my diagnosis:

Invasive (or infiltrating) ductal carcinoma

This is the most common type of breast cancer. Invasive (or infiltrating) ductal carcinoma (IDC) starts in a milk passage (duct) of the breast, breaks through the wall of the duct, and grows into the fatty tissue of the breast. At this point, it may be able to spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system and bloodstream. About 8 of 10 invasive breast cancers are infiltrating ductal carcinomas.


This is a term used to describe a cancer that begins in the lining layer (epithelial cells) of organs like the breast. Nearly all breast cancers are carcinomas (either ductal carcinomas or lobular carcinomas).


An adenocarcinoma is a type of carcinoma that starts in glandular tissue (tissue that makes and secretes a substance). The ducts and lobules of the breast are glandular tissue (they make breast milk), so cancers starting in these areas are often called adenocarcinomas.

Paget disease of the nipple: This type of breast cancer starts in the breast ducts and spreads to the skin of the nipple and then to the areola, the dark circle around the nipple. It is rare, accounting for only about 1% of all cases of breast cancer. The skin of the nipple and areola often appears crusted, scaly, and red, with areas of bleeding or oozing. The woman may notice burning or itching.

Paget disease is almost always associated with either ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) or infiltrating ductal carcinoma. Treatment often requires mastectomy. If no lump can be felt in the breast tissue, and the biopsy shows DCIS but no invasive cancer, the outlook (prognosis) is excellent. If invasive cancer is present, the prognosis is not as good, and the cancer will need to be staged and treated like any other invasive cancer.