Saturday, February 11, 2017

Breast Nodes

Get Abreast Of The Situation

A relative of mine was going to have a biopsy to test for cancer because she was told that she had nodes in her breasts. She has already had a mammogram and a sonogram.  She has also been experiencing some pain in her breasts and takes a medication that may increase the risk of breast cancer. I was inspired to look into the situation and came up with the following.

What Are Nodes?
The term “nodes” is usually used in reference to the lymph system: lymph nodes but it can also refer to another type of structure consisting of a small mass of differentiated tissue.

A lymph node (also referred to as a lymph gland) is an organ that is found throughout the body. It is part of the lymphatic system and immune system. It acts as a filter for foreign particles and cancer cells. Obviously, lymph nodes are not cancer in themselves, although as shown in the photograph above, cancer can invade a lymph node. What are other terms for node-like structures that can be found in the breast?
Papilloma: a papilloma (plural papillomas) is a benign epithelial tumor that grows outward.

Under normal conditions, they do not last forever, but only for a matter of weeks up to 10 years.

The term papilloma is used with reference to infections (squamous cell papilloma) that are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), such as warts and other localized skin conditions.

“There is no evidence that papillomas are premalignant.” (Wiki). In other words, it has been scientifically confirmed that papillomas are not a sign of cancer.
An intraductal papilloma is a non-cancerous breast condition, even when it causes a discharge.
“Intraductal papillomas are most common in women over 40 and usually develop naturally as the breast ages and changes.” (Breast Cancer Care)

Breast Cysts
“A cyst in the breast may feel like a lump, but upon examination the lump is a small, generally harmless sac filled with fluid rather than a cancerous or benign lump of cells. You may have one cyst or many cysts that appear together.” (National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.,)

These cysts can be determined using an ultrasound. They naturally come and go and do not need any treatment. They are not an indication of breast cancer.

A tumor is a mass of abnormal tissue. There are two types of breast cancer tumors: those that are non-cancerous (benign) and those that are cancerous (malignant).

Breast Cancer
Generally, breast cancer refers to a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth as a tumor that is malignant and has the potential to invade or spread to another part of the body.

Can Breast Cancer Cause Pain?
Pain ("mastodynia") is an unreliable tool in determining the presence or absence of breast cancer, but it may be indicative of other breast health issues.

Pain and discomfort are typically not present in the breast due to cancer.

The Breast and Side-Effects Of Drugs
Some drugs such as risperidone may cause swelling and soreness of the breast. There is some literature that this drug may increase the risk of breast cancer, but there is also evidence denying this connection.  It is agreed that some drugs may increase the risk of developing breast cancer, such as hypertension and high blood pressure medications.

Is A Biopsy Recommended?
Yes, a biopsy is recommended by doctors when other tests show that you may have breast cancer. The question is whether you agree with the interpretation of the tests that you may have breast cancer. It is a subjective calling and doctors are often under pressure to encourage medical tests even when in doubt, including biopsies. In addition, the result from a biopsy is inconclusive. It may be inaccurate for a number of reasons. However, if it is negative, this result may have a positive effect on the person’s frame of mind. If the result of the biopsy shows cancerous cells, a second opinion would seem in order.

My view is that having a biopsy is an invasive procedure that is to be avoided. However, I also do not recommend having mammograms or sonograms. In fact, I would recommend natural measures to avoid getting cancer and also natural treatment if one found a lump in the breast and thought it was cancer. Alternative options are available and I wrote about this in several articles on my Simple Food Remedies blog (see links below).


An Invitation to Good Health-NHS style, Simple Food Remedies blog, (in reference to mammograms)

Bras and Breast Cancer, Simple Food Remedies blog,

Blood Cancer – Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Simple Food Remedies blog,


Breast Cyst, National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.,

Cancer in lymph node By Nephron - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0. Micrograph showing a lymph node invaded by ductal breast carcinoma and with extranodal extension of tumour. Many thanks for photograph,  

High Blood Pressure Medication Linked to Breast Cancer, everyday Health,

Natural Treatment for non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma & Cancer in General, Simple Food Remedies blog,

NHS H’Arm Against Cervical Cancer, Simple Food Remedies blog,

Papilloma, Intraductal Papilloma: Symptoms, Treatments & prevention - Healthline,

Risperidone Side Effects,

Some Blood Pressure Drugs May Raise Breast Cancer Risk, Live Science,