Cancer – breast; Carcinoma – ductal; Carcinoma – lobular; DCIS; LCIS; HER2-positive breast cancer; ER-positive breast cancer; Ductal carcinoma in situ; Lobular carcinoma in situ
Definition of Breast cancer
Breast cancer is a cancer that starts in the tissues of the breast. There are two main types of breast cancer:
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Over the course of a lifetime, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
Early breast cancer usually does not cause symptoms. This is why regular breast exams are important. As the cancer grows, symptoms may include:
Signs and tests
The doctor will ask you about your symptoms and risk factors. Then the doctor will perform a physical exam, which includes both breasts, armpits, and the neck and chest area.
Treatment is based on many factors, including:
New, improved treatments are helping persons with breast cancer live longer than ever before. However, even with treatment, breast cancer can spread to other parts of the body. Sometimes, cancer returns even after the entire tumor is removed and nearby lymph nodes are found to be cancer-free.
Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 12/28/2010