Breast cancer

An illustration of breast cancer
Breast cancer showing an inverted nipple, lump, and skin dimpling
Early signs of possible breast cancer
Tumor in the breast visualized by Breast-Computertomography (Breast-CT)
All types of alcoholic beverages, including beer, wine, or liquor, cause breast cancer.
Ducts and lobules, the main locations of breast cancers
Overview of signal transduction pathways involved in programmed cell death. Mutations leading to loss of this ability can lead to cancer formation.
Histopathologic types of breast cancer, with relative incidences and prognoses
A mobile breast cancer screening unit in New Zealand
Chest after right breast mastectomy
Internal radiotherapy for breast cancer
Breasts after double mastectomy followed by nipple-sparing reconstruction with implants
An extreme example of an advanced recurrent breast cancer with an ulcerating axillary mass
Breast cancer surgery in 18th century
Radical mastectomy, Halsted's surgical papers
The pink ribbon is a symbol to show support for breast cancer awareness.
MRI showing breast cancer
Excised human breast tissue, showing an irregular, dense, white stellate area of cancer 2cm in diameter, within yellow fatty tissue
High-grade invasive ductal carcinoma, with minimal tubule formation, marked pleomorphism, and prominent mitoses, 40x field
Micrograph showing a lymph node invaded by ductal breast carcinoma, with an extension of the tumor beyond the lymph node
Neuropilin-2 expression in normal breast and breast carcinoma tissue
F-18 FDG PET/CT: A breast cancer metastasis to the right scapula
Needle breast biopsy
Elastography shows stiff cancer tissue on ultrasound imaging.
Ultrasound image shows irregularly shaped mass of breast cancer.
Infiltrating (invasive) breast carcinoma
Mammograms showing a normal breast (left) and a breast with cancer (right)
Stage T1 breast cancer
Stage T2 breast cancer
Stage T3 breast cancer
Metastatic or stage 4 breast cancer
Stage 1A breast cancer
Stage 1B breast cancer
Stage 2A breast cancer
Stage 2A breast cancer
Stage 2B breast cancer
Stage 2B breast cancer
Stage 2B breast cancer
Stage 3A breast cancer
Stage 3A breast cancer
Stage 3A breast cancer
Stage 3B breast cancer
Stage 3B breast cancer
Stage 4 breast cancer

Cancer that develops from breast tissue.

- Breast cancer
An illustration of breast cancer

103 related topics

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Mammography

Mammography

Process of using low-energy X-rays (usually around 30 kVp) to examine the human breast for diagnosis and screening.

Process of using low-energy X-rays (usually around 30 kVp) to examine the human breast for diagnosis and screening.

Mammography
Illustration of a mammogram
A mobile mammography unit in New Zealand
Normal (left) versus cancerous (right) mammography image

The goal of mammography is the early detection of breast cancer, typically through detection of characteristic masses or microcalcifications.

Absolute risk of cancers in BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation.

BRCA mutation

Mutation in either of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which are tumour suppressor genes.

Mutation in either of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which are tumour suppressor genes.

Absolute risk of cancers in BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation.
BRCA mutations are inherited in a genetically dominant fashion, from either parent.
The BRCA genes are tumour suppressor genes pictured here on their respective chromosomes. BRCA 1 has the cytogenetic location 17q21 or the q arm of Chromosome 17 at position 21. BRCA 2 has the cytogenetic location 13q12.3 or the q arm of Chromosome 13 at position 12.3. Both genes produce proteins that help repair damaged DNA, keeping the genetic material of the cell stable. A damaged BRCA gene in either location can lead to increased risk of cancer, particularly breast or ovarian in women.

Only 5–10% of breast cancer cases in women are attributed to BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations (with BRCA1 mutations being slightly more common than BRCA2 mutations), but the impact on women with the gene mutation is more profound.

Radiation therapy of the pelvis, using a Varian Clinac iX linear accelerator. Lasers and a mould under the legs are used to determine exact position.

Radiation therapy

Therapy using ionizing radiation, generally provided as part of cancer treatment to control or kill malignant cells and normally delivered by a linear accelerator.

Therapy using ionizing radiation, generally provided as part of cancer treatment to control or kill malignant cells and normally delivered by a linear accelerator.

Radiation therapy of the pelvis, using a Varian Clinac iX linear accelerator. Lasers and a mould under the legs are used to determine exact position.
Radiation therapy for a patient with a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, with radiation dose color-coded.
Histopathology of radiation cystitis, including atypical stromal cells (“radiation fibroblasts”).
The beam's eye view of the radiotherapy portal on the hand's surface with the lead shield cut-out placed in the machine's gantry
A teletherapy radiation capsule composed of the following:
Varian TrueBeam Linear Accelerator, used for delivering IMRT
A SAVI brachytherapy device
X-ray treatment of tuberculosis in 1910. Before the 1920s, the hazards of radiation were not understood, and it was used to treat a wide range of diseases.

For example, non-melanoma skin cancer, head and neck cancer, breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, cervical cancer, anal cancer, and prostate cancer.

Anastrozole, a non steroidal aromatase inhibitor and a widely used drug in the treatment of breast cancer.

Aromatase inhibitor

Anastrozole, a non steroidal aromatase inhibitor and a widely used drug in the treatment of breast cancer.
Often used as a cancer treatment in postmenopausal women, AIs work by blocking the conversion of androstenedione and testosterone into estrone and estradiol, respectively, which are both crucial to the growth of developing breast cancers (AIs are also effective at treating ovarian cancer, but less commonly so). In the diagram, the adrenal gland (1) releases androstenedione (3) while the ovaries (2) secrete testosterone (4). Both hormones travel to peripheral tissues or a breast cell (5), where they would be converted into estrone (8) or estradiol (9) if not for AIs (7), which prevent the enzyme CYP19A1 (also known as aromatase or estrogen synthase) (6) from catalyzing the reaction that turns androstenedione and testosterone into estrone and estradiol. In the diagram, Part A represents the successful conversion of androstenedione and testosterone into estrone and estradiol in the liver. Part B represents the blockage of this conversion by aromatase inhibitors both in peripheral tissues and in the breast tumor itself.
Arimidex (anastrozole) 1 mg tablets

Aromatase inhibitors (AIs) are a class of drugs used in the treatment of breast cancer in postmenopausal women and in men, and gynecomastia in men.

A bottle of raloxifene.

Raloxifene

Medication used to prevent and treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women and those on glucocorticoids.

Medication used to prevent and treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women and those on glucocorticoids.

A bottle of raloxifene.

It is also used to reduce the risk of breast cancer in those at high risk.

Morphology of human female breasts with the areola, nipple, and inframammary fold

Breast pain

Symptom of discomfort in the breast.

Symptom of discomfort in the breast.

Morphology of human female breasts with the areola, nipple, and inframammary fold

In about 2% of cases breast pain is related to breast cancer.

crystal structure of a rad51-brca2 brc repeat complex

BRCA2

BRCA2 and BRCA2 are a human gene and its protein product, respectively.

BRCA2 and BRCA2 are a human gene and its protein product, respectively.

crystal structure of a rad51-brca2 brc repeat complex
Recombinational repair of DNA double-strand damage - some key steps. ATM (ATM) is a protein kinase that is recruited and activated by DNA double-strand breaks. DNA double-strand damages also activate the Fanconi anemia core complex (FANCA/B/C/E/F/G/L/M).  The FA core complex monoubiquitinates the downstream targets FANCD2 and FANCI.   ATM activates (phosphorylates) CHEK2 and FANCD2  CHEK2 phosphorylates BRCA1.   Ubiquinated FANCD2 complexes with BRCA1 and RAD51.  The PALB2 protein acts as a hub, bringing together BRCA1, BRCA2 and RAD51 at the site of a DNA double-strand break, and also binds to RAD51C, a member of the RAD51 paralog complex RAD51B-RAD51C-RAD51D-XRCC2 (BCDX2).  The BCDX2 complex is responsible for RAD51 recruitment or stabilization at damage sites.  RAD51 plays a major role in homologous recombinational repair of DNA during double strand break repair. In this process, an ATP dependent DNA strand exchange takes place in which a single strand invades base-paired strands of homologous DNA molecules.  RAD51 is involved in the search for homology and strand pairing stages of the process.
structure of a brca2-dss1 complex
Absolute risk of cancers in BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation.

If BRCA1 or BRCA2 itself is damaged by a BRCA mutation, damaged DNA is not repaired properly, and this increases the risk for breast cancer.

Her2 and Her3 distribution on a breast cell, (3D Dual Colour Super Resolution Microscopy SPDMphymod / LIMON, marked with Alexa 488 and 568)

HER2/neu

Protein that in humans is encoded by the ERBB2 gene.

Protein that in humans is encoded by the ERBB2 gene.

Her2 and Her3 distribution on a breast cell, (3D Dual Colour Super Resolution Microscopy SPDMphymod / LIMON, marked with Alexa 488 and 568)
Her 2 staining on patient breast cancer tissue identified as stage 3
The staining is seen as a cell membrane with continuous brown color.

Amplification or over-expression of this oncogene has been shown to play an important role in the development and progression of certain aggressive types of breast cancer.

A baby breastfeeding

Breastfeeding

Process by which human breast milk is fed to a child.

Process by which human breast milk is fed to a child.

A baby breastfeeding
When the baby suckles its mother's breast, a hormone called oxytocin compels the milk to flow from the alveoli (lobules), through the ducts (milk canals), into the sacs (milk pools) behind the areola, and then into the baby's mouth.
Maternal hormone levels during pregnancy and after delivery of the placenta. Estradiol, estriol, progesterone, testosterone, and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) all increase throughout the pregnancy, and experience an abrupt drop-off after delivery of the placenta.
Two 25 ml samples of human breast milk. The sample on the left is foremilk, the watery milk coming from a full breast. To the right is hindmilk, the creamy milk coming from a nearly empty breast.
Newborn rests as a caregiver checks its breath sounds with a stethoscope
Example and indicators of a good latch
Example and indicators of a poor, shallow latch
Anterior tongue-tie
Formula and pumped breastmilk side by side. Note that the formula is of uniform consistency and color, while the expressed breast milk exhibits properties of an organic solution by separating into a layer of fat at the top (the "creamline"), followed by the milk, and then a watery blue-colored layer at the bottom.
Manual breast pump
Sign for a private nursing area at a museum using the international breastfeeding symbol
Percentage of babies exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life. Data from 2004 to 2011. 
CaptionBreastFeeding.png
Macierzyństwo ("Maternity"), a 1902 painting by Stanisław Wyspiański
Ilkhanate prince Ghazan being breastfed
The International breastfeeding symbol
Standing mother breastfeeding her baby, Canjambari, Guinea-Bissau, 1973
Breastfeeding – Cradle hold.
Breastfeeding – Cross cradle position.
Breastfeeding – Football hold.
Breastfeeding – Semi-reclining position.
Breastfeeding – Side-lying position.
Breastfeeding – Supine position.
Breastfeeding – Twins, cross cradle position I.
Breastfeeding – Twins, football or clutch hold.
Breastfeeding – Twins, parallel position II.
Newborn twins being breastfed
Woman breastfeeds 2 year old twins whilst reading them a book.
Woman tandem nurses an infant and a toddler.

Long-term benefits for the mother include decreased risk of breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Micrograph showing fibrocystic breast changes. H&E stain.

Fibrocystic breast changes

Condition of the breasts where there may be pain, breast cysts, and breast masses.

Condition of the breasts where there may be pain, breast cysts, and breast masses.

Micrograph showing fibrocystic breast changes. H&E stain.
Micrograph showing apocrine metaplasia associated with FCC. FNA specimen. Pap stain.

Diagnosis typically involves ruling out breast cancer.