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Each year, more than 200,000 American women learn they have breast cancer, and over 40,000 women die from it. Men can get the disease as well, but it is not as common. Breast cancer can be either invasive or noninvasive. The most common type of invasive breast cancer is infiltrating ductal carcinoma (also called invasive ductal carcinoma). This type is found in approximately 60 percent of cases.
 
In general, the causes of breast cancer are unknown; however, in 5 to 10 percent of cases, there is a hereditary component. Other risk factors include excessive alcohol use, hormone use, being Caucasian, and starting menstruation at an early age.
 
(For more information on this topic, click Breast Cancer. This article explains what cancer is, how it affects the breasts specifically, possible symptoms, treatment options, and more.)
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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