Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in U.S. women. It is estimated that each year about 210,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and around 40,000 die from the disease.
Breast cancer is a disease in which cancer cells form in the tissues of the breast. The disease usually develops in the ducts or lobules, also known as the milk-producing areas of the breast. There are two main categories of breast cancer - noninvasive and invasive. Noninvasive breast cancers are confined to the ducts or lobules and do not spread to surrounding tissues. Invasive breast cancers penetrate through normal breast tissue and invade surrounding areas. They are more serious than noninvasive cancers because they can spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones, liver, lungs, and brain.
Did You Know?
Focus On: Early Detection
Breast changes occur in almost all women. Most of these changes are not cancer. However, some breast changes may be signs of cancer. See your health care provider about a breast change when you have:
Some people do not have any signs or symptoms of breast cancer at all. That is why screening is so important. The following three recommendations can help you find and treat breast cancer early:
To learn more about breast self-exams, visit the National Women's Health Information Center Web site at www.womenshealth.gov/faq/bsefaq.htm.
For information on low-cost or free mammograms, contact your health department, call the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Information Service at (800) 422-6237, or find a local program on breast and cervical cancer from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/cancercontacts/nbccedp/contacts.asp.
Prevention Tips: Healthy Habits
There are things you can do to help lower your risk of
For information on breast cancer prevention, visit the National Cancer Institute at www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/prevention/breast/Patient/page3.