More and more we hear about breast cancer, but do we really know what it is? Do we know the different types that exist, and which are the most common? Probably not, because it is not until this disease knocks on our door as a diagnosis that we begin learning about it and this is totally normal.
Nonetheless, education is crucial when it comes to preventing or dealing with any type of medical condition. Perhaps you are here today reading this because it was you or a loved one who received a diagnosis. Educating yourself and learning as much as you can, will help you feel more prepared when talking to doctors about your condition and possible treatments.
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is a disease in which breast cells grow and multiply abnormally. This can occur when the genes that control cell growth stop working properly in a cell. As a result, the cell begins to divide uncontrollably until it forms a tumor.
Treatment for each breast cancer classification
The type of breast cancer is determined by analyzing a sample of the tumor, which is obtained through a breast biopsy or surgery. The classification of different types of breast cancer is determined according to how these cells respond to different hormones, their genetic makeup, and protein levels, among other factors. The type, size, and spread of cancer help doctors determine the course of treatment, the therapies, and predict how that patient’s cancer will respond.
How doctors describe it when diagnosing:
· Local: the cancer is found only in the breast
· Regional: the cancer has spread to the axillaries, under the arm
· Distant: the cancer has metastasized or has spread
Invasive and non-invasive cancer
· Non-invasive: abnormal cells are contained in the milk ducts of the breast and do not have the ability to spread to surrounding tissue or another part of the body.
· Invasive: the cancer has spread beyond its origin and has reached the surrounding breast tissue, with the potential to spread to other parts of the body.
Stages of breast cancer
This type of cancer is classified into 5 stages ranging from 0 to 4. As the number increases, so does the severity of the cancer.
· Stage 0: It is just a small group of cancer cells in the duct or lobule.
· Stage 1: It is a tumor smaller than 2 centimeters.
· Stage 2: It is a tumor of up to 5 centimeters that has not disseminated to the axillary lymph nodes.
· Stage 3: It is a tumor of any size that may have spread to the axillary lymph nodes.
· Stage 4: It is a tumor of any size that has metastasized and passed to other tissues besides the breast and lymph nodes.
There are many types of breast cancer and many types of tumors as well. The 3 most common types of tumors are invasive or infiltrating ductal carcinoma (IDC), invasive or infiltrating lobular carcinoma (ILC), and ductal carcinoma-in-situ or intraductal carcinoma (DCIS). Ductal carcinoma covers 70-80 % of cases, being the most common, according to GEICAM, Breast cancer research.
Arm yourself against cancer
Facing a cancer diagnosis is never easy. Therefore, TOLIC offers your 3 cancer policies that adjust to your needs:
· Suma Única Plus: Our cancer policy that pays you the total sum in a single payment. It is the only cancer coverage, Lump Sum type, in Puerto Rico that does not expire after a positive cancer diagnosis.
· Cancer Única Plus: Extensive coverage for cancer and 43 specific illnesses. It has 57 benefits that are paid directly to the Insured.
· Cancer Elite Plus: Our basic policy for cancer and 43 specific illnesses. It has 34 benefits, and it can be purchased by people over 70 years old.