Breast Cancer

Breast cancer precursors – 2022

breast cancer

Breast cancer precursors

If the cells are not cancer cells but a cell change, then one speaks of breast cancer precursors.

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How Do Doctors Diagnose and Treat Breast Cancer?


Breast Cancer

Which treatment is suitable for breast cancer depends, among other things, on the stage of the disease. In this guide, pflege.de informs you about the different stages of breast cancer and the different treatment approaches. You can also read practical tips for dealing with possible side effects, such as homelessness or lymphatic congestion. You will also find an overview of the steps that can follow after treatment in the hospital.

Course & Stages of Breast Cancer

The course of breast cancer largely depends on the stage at which the tumor was diagnosed and the therapy started. The principle applies here: the sooner, the better. The course also depends on the initial health situation of those affected. Especially in old age, there are often pre-existing conditions that may influence the treatment of breast cancer.

Breast cancer precursors

If the cells are not cancer cells but a cell change, then one speaks of breast cancer precursors. Thanks to highly developed examination devices, cell changes can now be detected early in the breast. These cell changes are not always breast cancer, but in around 6,500 cases per year in Germany they are precancerous. They are also called “precancerous lesions” in technical jargon. Not every precancerous stage inevitably develops into breast cancer – depending on the type of precancerous stage, there is a different level of cancer risk. If a precancerous stage has been identified, this offers the chance of close monitoring so that breast cancer can be detected at an early stage.

Early stage/stage 0 breast cancer

Breast cancer is in the early stages when the tumor cells have not yet spread further in the breast or body. This means there are no metastases (i.e. secondary ulcers) and the tumor is limited to the breast tissue.

Breast cancer stages 0 to 4

Breast cancer is divided into stages depending on how far it has spread. To do this, the TNM cancer classification is used first. The size of the tumor (T), whether and how many lymph nodes are affected (N) and whether metastases are present (M) are assessed. On this basis, breast cancer is divided into cancer stages from 0 to 4. The higher the stage number, the more advanced the cancer.

Metastases in breast cancer

If breast cancer has been diagnosed, it is also checked whether secondary ulcers (so-called metastases) have already formed in other parts of the body. Breast cancer is a type of cancer of old age that metastasizes frequently and early in the disease course.

But where does breast cancer spread? Most often, secondary ulcers form in the lower part of the spine and in the long bones in the arms and legs. These metastases can usually be recognized by the pain in the affected bone. The bones are very sensitive – even a small load can cause a bone fracture. In addition, breast cancer can spread to the skin, lungs and pleura, as well as to the liver and brain. In women, metastases can also form in the ovaries and uterus. When breast cancer spreads, experts speak of “metastatic breast cancer”.

According to the current state of medicine, metastatic breast cancer is considered incurable. This means that it is not possible to permanently remove all cancer cells from the body. In many cases, the metastases and not the actual breast cancer are the cause of cancer death.


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