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Understanding Breast Cancer

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 that they have breast cancer. Most of the causes of breast cancer are not known. In 5 to 10 percent of these cases, there is a hereditary component. Common breast cancer symptoms include:
 
  • A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm area
  • A change in how the breast or nipple feels
  • Nipple tenderness
  • A change in how the breast or nipple looks
  • A change in the size or shape of the breast
  • A nipple turned inward into the breast
  • Nipple discharge (fluid).
     
In general, breast cancer treatment options can include:
 
The best treatments can vary by the stages of breast cancer (see Breast Cancer Treatment by Stage).
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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