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Types of Secondary (Metastases) Bone Cancer

Symptoms for breast cancer

The source of secondary cancer in the bone is always a primary cancer somewhere else in the body. At times only one area of bone has cancer cells but mainly cancer will multiply in other areas. It is yet not known why some people develop secondary cancer in the bone and others don’t. Occasionally a secondary bone cancer is found before the primary cancer is diagnosed. Sometimes the primary cancer can’t be found and this is called a cancer of unknown primary (CUP).

Common Types of Secondary (Metastases) Bone Cancer

Any type of cancer can spread to the bone. But the most common types of secondary metastases) bone cancers are as follows:

1) Breast Cancer

A lump in the breast is the most common symptom of breast cancer. Most breast lumps are not cancer. They are usually fluid-filled lumps (cysts) or a fibroadenoma, made up of fibrous and glandular tissue. But it is important to get anything that is unusual checked by the doctor. The earlier breast cancer is treated, the more successful treatment is likely to be.

The Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system helps to protect us from infection and disease. It is made up of fine tubes called lymphatic vessels. These connect to groups of bean-shaped lymph nodes (sometimes called lymph glands) all over the body.

The lymph nodes filter bacteria (germs) and disease from a liquid called lymph, which travels around the body in the blood. Once the lymph is filtered, it is returned to the blood. If you have an infection, for example a sore throat, the lymph nodes close by often swell while they fight it.

Sometimes, cancer can spread through the lymphatic system. If the cancer cells spread outside the breast, they are most likely to go to lymph nodes in the armpit. There are also lymph nodes near the breastbone and behind the collarbone.

Following are different types of breast cancer

Knowing the type of breast cancer helps to plan right treatment as each patient has different unique medical case.

a) Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS) is the earliest form of breast cancer. DCIS is when there are cancer cells in the ducts of the breast. But these cells are contained (in situ) and have not spread into normal breast tissue. DCIS may show on a mammogram and is usually diagnosed when women have a breast screening.

b) Lobular Carcinoma in Situ (LCIS) is not breast cancer, although its name can be misleading. There are changes in the cells lining the lobes that show a woman has an increased risk of developing breast cancer later in life. But most women with LCIS don’t get breast cancer. They have regular check-ups with breast examinations and mammograms.

c) Invasive Breast Cancer - Invasive breast cancer means the cancer cells have spread outside the lining of the ducts or lobes into the surrounding breast tissue.

Uncommon Types of Breast Cancer

d) Inflammatory breast cancer: This is when cancer cells grow along and block the tiny channels (lymph vessels) in the skin of the breast. The breast then becomes inflamed and swollen.

e) Paget’s disease of the breast: This shows as a red, scaly rash (like eczema) on the skin of the nipple. Women with Paget’s disease may have DCIS or invasive breast cancer.

Some of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer include:

  • lump in the breast
  • change in the size or shape of the breast
  • dimpling of the skin or thickening in the breast tissue
  • nipple that’s turned in (inverted)
  • rash (like eczema) on the nipple
  • discharge from the nipple
  • swelling or a lump in the armpit
  • pain or discomfort in the breast that doesn’t go away.



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