The team at the INTEGRIS Cancer Center is steadfast in its commitment to provide top-of-the-line care for our patients with breast cancer. We believe this starts with education about the disease, its symptoms, and its treatment. Our team brings decades of experience diagnosing and treating every type of cancer. We serve the entire state from our hospital locations in Oklahoma City, Yukon, Edmond, Enid and Miami.
A breast cancer diagnosis means cells of breast tissue have begun to grow and multiply at an abnormal rate. With regular preventative care, this type of cancer is often caught early enough for treatment to be very effective. INTEGRIS is committed to being on the front line of new and advancing breast cancer treatments, which are providing more cures now than ever before.
If you are concerned about a breast abnormality please contact your primary care physician, or any of the INTEGRIS breast care centers located in Oklahoma City, Edmond, Yukon or Enid.
Listen to your body and be your own advocate - Meet Gladys Chatmon and learn her story.
Think of all the women you know: mothers, sisters, friends, daughters – you. Now think about this. One in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. It’s a sobering statistic, but the good news is that when breast cancer is detected early, at a localized stage, the survival rate is 98 percent. Meet Kristen Todd and learn her story.
Rita Doussett received the unfortunate news after a routine mammogram that she was in need of a biopsy and further testing. A cancer diagnosis was determined shortly after and Rita underwent two surgeries, a year of radiation and 6 weeks of chemotherapy in her battle against breast cancer.
Different types of breast cancer
Breasts are made up of a number of different types of tissue. When cancer is diagnosed, the specific type of cancer is determined by what types of cells have begun behaving abnormally.
- Ductal carcinomas begin in the lining of ducts in and around breast tissue. These can sometimes be felt as a lump inside the breast tissue. This is the most common type of breast cancer.
- Lobular carcinomas occur in the lobules, which are milk-producing glands. These tumors can also sometimes be palpated and felt as lumps inside the breast. Lobular carcinomas are another common type of breast cancer.
- Paget’s disease is a more rare form of breast cancer. This is cancer of the glands in or under surface skin, causing scaly red patches on the skin. Because Paget's disease often originates from breast duct cancer, the eczema-like cancer usually appears around the nipple.
- Inflammatory breast cancer is another rare form of breast cancer. It is also more invasive. Instead of a palpable lump or tumor, this type of cancer causes breast skin to appear red, with a thick and pitted texture.
- Triple negative breast cancer is also called “invasive ductal carcinomas.” With this form of breast cancer, the actual surfaces of the cells have a different protein structure than the cells of other cancers, which affects its treatment. These tumors also tend to grow and spread more quickly. Triple negative breast cancer is more often found in younger women and African-American women.
Breast tissue is surrounded by a dense network of lymphatic ducts through which cancerous cells can spread to other areas of the body. If unhealthy cells reach the lymphatic system, it’s more likely they will be able to spread to other areas of the body. When cancer cells spread beyond their organ of origin, the cancer is said to have “metastasized.” It’s therefore possible to have breast cancer in other body organs because the cells originally migrated from breast tissue.
Symptoms of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer in its early stages usually has few or no symptoms. Some types of breast cancer have no symptoms until they are quite large. Regular breast self-examination is recommended for all women. Mammograms are also recommended for all women, although frequency depends on individual variables. Men should also check themselves, because it’s also possible for men to get breast cancer. Those with higher risk should be mindful to self-check regularly.
When doing a self-check, it’s important to look for:
- Lumps, swelling, or thickening of tissue in the breast or nearby, such as in the underarm.
- Skin distortion, skin irritation, or changes in the feel of the skin on or around the breast, including the areola and nipple. This could include dimpled, puckered, red, swollen, or scaly skin.
- Changes in the shape or size of the breast
- Nipple discharge, erosion, inversion or extra tenderness
Women and men who notice any of these symptoms should see a doctor as soon as possible. These symptoms may or may not be symptoms of breast cancer, though they could also be signs of other health issues. It is also possible for non-cancerous, benign tumors to grow in breast tissue. These are rarely a threat to a person’s health and are easily treated, often with surgical removal.
Each person’s treatment program is specific to the individual. Upon diagnosis, a plan is mapped out, taking into consideration the individual’s age, overall health and health history, the type of breast cancer, how much the cancer has advanced, predicted course of the disease, tolerance for available procedures and medications, as well as the person’s preferences and opinions.
Patients with breast cancer are assigned one or more oncologists, as well as a plastic surgeon, in cases of breast cancer surgery. addition to surgery, chemotherapy with powerful anticancer drugs might also be used, as well as radiation therapy.
For more information on breast cancer visit our health library. If you have concerns about cancer please request a consultation with your primary care physician, or contact the INTEGRIS Cancer Institute in Oklahoma City.