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Blausen Medical
Blausen Medical

Blausen Medical

Medically accurate and informative 3D animations

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Breast Cancer Medication: Paclitaxel

The female breast is primarily composed of fatty tissue and mammary glands. Mammary glands drain into the lactiferous ducts, which connects them to the nipple. During pregnancy, mammary glands swell in order to accommodate milk production. This process is regulated by hormones. Breast cancer is a malignant neoplasm of the mammary gland. It is one of the most common causes of cancer fatality in women. Early detection through regular breast self-examination and mammography is key. Through self-examination irregularities, such as lumps or masses, can be detected before the disease has had a chance to spread. The danger associated with all cancer, but especially with breast cancer, is that the disease can travel quickly once it has invaded the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system provides the perfect harbor for cancers to travel throughout the body. This is called metastasis. Using diagnostic images, like CT scans or MRI, your doctor can scan your body to see if cancer has metastasized. This means cancer has spread to other parts of your body and is beginning to replicate there. When cells in the body replicate, they go through a process of division. Normal cell division is controlled by microtubules that pull apart the chromosomes. Healthy cells only replicate as needed. Cancer cells, however, do not stop dividing on their own. They grow into masses without any limit or control. These masses of abnormal cells can become malignant tumors. Some drugs, like Paclitaxel, target the growth of cancer cells by stopping them from replicating. The drug interacts with the microtubules of the dividing cells and stops them from finishing the separation of the chromosomes. The cell cannot divide properly and will die instead of growing. This can stop spread of cancer by reducing the metastatic growth in your body. Your doctor will be able to scan your body to see the improvement.

Duration: 02:18
Licence: CC - Attribution
Original Language: English
Published: 2/14/2018
Diseases and Conditions: Cancer
Format: 3D Animation

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Breast Cancer Medication: Paclitaxel

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