What are the symptoms, causes and treatment of breast cancer? IBC, otherwise known as inflammatory breast cancer, accounts for less than 1% of all breast malignancies and is relatively rare. Although it is very similar to carcinomas of the breast in both appearance and location, it does not closely resemble the lumpy masses that are characteristic of this disease. Instead, it presents itself as a solid mass on the surface of the breast. The inflammation is caused by an abnormal growth of the cells that make up the tumor itself.
Irregular shaped growths on the surface of the breast are what most patients describe. They appear as growths that resemble the shape of a walnut or an orange. Others have large patches of raised tissue along their surface, making them look more like squashes or crumpled red tissue. These cells are surrounded by an area of scar tissue. Treatment for IBC begins with removal of the abnormal tissue, whether it is lobular carcinoma or lumpectomy is decided upon after thorough consultation with your oncology specialist.
Another symptom cause and treatment of breast cancer include changes in the lymph nodes. This can include lumps or masses that occur anywhere from five to ten centimeters across. Occasionally, these tumors can be quite large, although smaller tumors usually do not require any surgery to remove.
The next treatment option is usually either radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Radiotherapy uses high energy rays to kill cancer cells while chemotherapy uses medication to kill the cancer cells. Which one is used will depend on the type and extent of the tumor and whether or not the tumor is operable.
A few other symptoms cause and treatment of breast cancer include changes in skin texture and appearance, particularly the appearance of the nipple. It is possible for a woman who has undergone lumpectomy to develop a lump or change in the nipple (called a breast lump). Some women do experience a change in the color of their nipples, called a breast fade or nipple reaction. However, unless the nipple is actually “naked” (as in a breast self-exam) or the surrounding area is irritated (usually because of the swelling that occurs), this condition does not pose a serious medical threat.
One treatment that is used to remove or attempt to remove tumors with nearby tissue is lymphadenectomy. In this procedure, the doctor makes a small incision in the neck just beneath the nipple and removes the lymph nodes affected by the tumor. This is one of the procedures often combined with radiation therapy (radiation beams can also be used).