Breast Cancer Information

Many people seek out information on breast cancer to gain a better understanding of the disease. Some of the important things to learn about include screening and early detection of the disease -- detection of cancer before the onset of symptoms may provide more treatment options. Other important information concerns the risk factors for the disease, such as having dense breast tissue or a family history of breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Information: An Introduction

Women in the United States get breast cancer more than any other type of cancer, except for skin cancer. Each year, more than 211,000 American women learn they have breast cancer.
 
Breast cancer is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in women. Breast cancer occurs in men also, but the number of cases is smaller.
  

Types of Breast Cancer

There are several types of breast cancer. The most common is ductal carcinoma, which begins in the lining of the milk ducts. Another type, lobular carcinoma, begins in the lobules where breast milk is produced. If a malignant tumor invades nearby tissue, it is known as infiltrating or invasive cancer.
 
(Click Types of Breast Cancer for more information.)
 

Prevention and Screening

Screening for breast cancer before symptoms of the disease are present is important in enabling doctors to detect and treat the disease early. A recommendation for a breast cancer screening does not necessarily mean you have cancer. Common breast cancer screening tools include mammograms and breast examinations. There are risks associated with breast cancer screening tools, which your doctor can discuss with you.
 
Your doctor may suggest the following breast cancer screening tests:
 
  • Screening mammogram
  • Clinical breast exam
  • Breast self-exam.

 

There are a number of protective options that women may consider as part of breast cancer prevention. These include:

 

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Medications
  • Prophylactic mastectomy
  • Prophylactic oophorectomy.

 

(To get more information, click Breast Cancer Prevention or Breast Cancer Screening.)

 

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