Breast cancer can spread when the cancer cells get into the blood or lymph system and are carried to other parts of the body. The lymph system is a network of lymph (or lymphatic) vessels found throughout the body that connects lymph nodes (small bean-shaped collections of immune system cells). The clear fluid inside the lymph vessels, called lymph, contains tissue by-products and waste material, as well as immune system cells. The lymph vessels carry lymph fluid away from the breast. In the case of breast cancer, cancer cells can enter those lymph vessels and start to grow in lymph nodes. Most of the lymph vessels of the breast drain into:
Lymph nodes under the arm (axillary nodes) Lymph nodes around the collar bone (supraclavicular [above the collar bone] and infraclavicular [below the collar bone] lymph nodes) Lymph nodes inside the chest near the breast bone (internal mammary lymph nodes)
There are many different types of breast cancer and common ones include ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and invasive carcinoma. Others, like phyllodes tumors and angiosarcoma are less common. Once a biopsy is done, breast cancer cells are tested for proteins called estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors and HER2. The tumor cells are also closely looked at in the lab to find out what grade it is. The specific proteins found and the tumor grade can help decide treatment options.
Scientific Tracks Abstracts: Immunotherapy: Open Access
Posters & Accepted Abstracts: Virology & Mycology