Facts on Breast Cancer Causes, Risk Factors, and Types

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Breast cancer facts

  • Statistics indicate that breast cancer affects over 230,000 women each year in the U.S.
  • Risk factors for developing breast cancer include female gender, age, certain inherited genetic mutations, and personal or family history of the condition.
  • Awareness of the importance of breast cancer screening can help ensure that tumors are identified at an early, treatable and more curable stage.
  • Common breast cancer symptoms and signs may include a lump in the breast, nipple discharge, and breast pain.
  • Most breast cancers are of the infiltrating ductal type.
  • Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a form of ductal cancer that consists of atypical cells that have not spread beyond the ducts of the breasts into the adjacent breast tissue.
  • Because DCIS is not an invasive cancer, it is highly curable.
  • Inflammatory breast cancer is an uncommon, aggressive form of the disease.
  • Therapy for breast cancer depends partially upon the thr presence or abscence of by the hormone receptors and the HER2 protein in and on the cancer cells.
  • Surgery is a mainstay for diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer. Other treatments can include radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy.
  • Survival rates for breast cancers diagnosed in the early stages are excellent.
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy is a technique to determine whether a breast cancer has spread to the nearby lymph nodes.

What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is called a malignancy in which abnormal cells arise in the breasts. In invasive types of breast cancer, these cells both appear abnormal and can invade into adjacent tissues in the breast and can spread, or metastasize, to other parts of the body. Breast cancer affects both men and women, although it is far more common in women. Each year, over 230,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with breast cancer, and about 40,000 women die from the disease every year. Male breast cancer accounts for about 1% of all breast cancers. This article focuses on breast cancer in women.

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Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/13/2017

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