Breast Cancer and Imaging

There are still a number of cases where women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer exhibit metastatic disease at the first presentation, this despite the fact that there have been significant steps made towards early detection of breast cancer. In the United States alone, five percent of such cases have been reported with a further thirty percent of women with early-stage, non-metastatic breast cancer at diagnosis having the possibility of developing distant metastatic disease. A cure has not been found for metastatic breast cancer, however the introduction of newer systematic therapies has led to significant improvements in survival (Scott, 2015).

What is breast cancer?

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Cancers are named depending on the location of such mass of tissue, therefore when the cell division and growth in the breast is abnormal there occurs breast cancer. Most of these abnormal cell growth happen slowly and over time before they could be detected, however, a few cases of aggressive tumors may be experienced where the mass tissue grows faster. More than half of the breast cancers originate from the milk ducts, with others beginning from the lobules and a few cases may be experienced in other tissues within the breast. Both male and female persons have breast cells and tissue and can possibly develop into cancer, however, men rarely suffer from breast cancer as opposed to women. Breast cancer cannot be considered to be a single disease since its diagnosis differs from one person to another, this makes its treatment just as varied. Even though there are various cancers that may be found in the breast, the most common one is breast cancer (breast carcinomas). Some other types that may exist in the breast include lymphomas (cancer of the lymph system) and sarcomas (cancer of the soft tissue), though these are rare. There are instances where tumors may exist in the breast but not cancerous (benign) and do require different treatment.

What is metastatic breast cancer in bones?

When breast cancer spreads beyond the breast to other organs in the body (such as bones, lungs, liver or brain), it is then referred to as Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) also known as stage IV or advanced breast cancer. Even when breast cancer spreads to the bones, the consideration in treatment and even naming is still as breast cancer, therefore the drugs used in treating breast cancer are still applicable. This kind…

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