Every year, almost 200,000 women in America are diagnosed with breast cancer, making it the most common cancer diagnosed in women aside from skin cancer. Approximately one in every eight females will develop breast cancer at some point in her life. Only lung cancer claims more lives than breast cancer in women overall, but breast cancer serves as the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among some populations, such as Hispanic women.
I Want a General Understanding of the Condition
Experts don’t know what makes up the biochemical cascade that causes changes in a woman’s genes. But they do know that certain factors can lead to the disease.
Breast cancer is something we'd rather erase from our history. But knowing how far advances in medical history have come puts the importance of the fight against breast cancer in perspective.
Research shows that post-menopausal women who walk for as little as an hour a day have a 14 percent lower risk of breast cancer. More exercise leads to an even greater risk reduction.
I Want to Know About Types
Metastatic breast cancer is a point where a cancerous (malignant) tumor in the breast has spread past its origin into other tissues in the body. Learn how it spreads and how it's diagnosed.
If you’ve been told that you have metastatic breast cancer, it means your cancer has advanced to the last stage of the disease, also known as “stage 4.”
Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare form of breast cancer. It is characterized by redness, swelling, and tenderness in the affected breast. Know its signs and how it differs from other types.
Lobular breast cancer, also known as invasive lobular carcinoma, is a rare form of breast cancer. It begins in the breast lobules (milk-producing glands). It doesn't normally form a breast lump.
HER2 is a protein that stimulates the growth of breast cancer cells. It can be found in your blood and urine. Sometimes it’s referred to as a “tumor marker.” Learn about survival rates and other statistics.
Unlike other types, TNBC doesn’t grow in response to estrogen, progesterone, or HER2/neu. So, there aren’t yet targeted treatments available like there are with other forms of the disease.
Intraductal papilloma is a small, benign (noncancerous) tumor originating in a milk duct in the breast. A singular tumor growing in large milk ducts is'nt associated with a higher risk of cancer. But, papillomas that grow in smaller ducts may increase cancer risk.
I Want to Understand Treatment Options
Before a diagnosis can be complete and a treatment course outlined, breast cancer first must be staged. The process determines whether cancer has spread from the breast to other parts of the body.
Your course of treatment will depend on the type and stage of your cancer, hormone sensitivity, and your medical history. The ultimate aim of all therapies is to increase long-term survival rates and to help ease your recovery.
You and your doctor may decide on certain drugs to treat your cancer. See which drugs are commonly used. Find out how they work, who they're for, and possible side effects.
Taking part in a clinical trial may lead to treatment breakthroughs that benefit you and many others. Get connected to new breast cancer treatments and clinical trials in your area.
A recently published study demonstrates that women with high levels of vitamin D are more likely to survive breast cancer than women with low levels.
I Want to Learn About Procedures
Breast cancer testing plays a key role in addressing the many aspects of the disease. There are tests to determine genetic risks, to detect early cancer, and to determine its spread. These tests guide treatment plans and monitor their effectiveness.
A breast self-exam is a screening technique women can do at home to check for breast lumps. The exam is sometimes referred to as a “BSE.” It can help screen for tumors, cysts, or other abnormalities in the breasts.
A mammography is a screening tool used to detect and diagnose breast cancer. Together with regular clinical exams and monthly breast self-examination, mammograms are a key element in the early diagnosis of breast cancer.
A breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan is a type of imaging test that uses magnets and radio waves to check for abnormalities in the breast. An MRI gives doctors the ability to see the soft tissues of the body.
A breast biopsy is a simple medical procedure where a sample of breast tissue is removed and sent to a laboratory for testing. A breast biopsy is the best way to evaluate if a suspicious lump or portion of the breast is cancerous.
Ultrasounds can be used to help guide a surgeon while they remove a tissue sample from a lump in the breast. This is called an ultrasound-guided core needle biopsy.
Stereotactic breast biopsies use the X-rays from mammograms to locate problems within the breast. The images help guide a specialist so that they can extract a small sample of the tissue.
Breast lump removal (lumpectomy) is the surgical removal of a cancerous lump inside the breast. The goal of the surgery is to remove the lump and (usually) some healthy tissue around the tumor.
Mastectomy is one surgical option. It removes one or both breasts in their entirety. Depending on how extensive the cancer is, surgery may be combined with radiation or chemotherapy.
A flap procedure is a type of breast reconstruction surgery used to restore the shape of the breast after mastectomy. It replaces breast tissue with tissue from another area of the body, such as the abdomen.
Following mastectomy, many women opt for breast reconstruction surgery. This plastic surgery procedure attempts to return the breast to its former shape, size, and appearance.
I Want to Connect with the Community
Whether you’ve recently been diagnosed with breast cancer or you want to help a friend or family member, there is support. Get information about breast cancer resources, from advocacy groups to in-hospital and individual support systems.
From family to friends, nearly everyone knows someone affected by breast cancer. Learn the history of the names, symbols, and events associated with breast cancer awareness.
Hearing the perspectives of others who have walked in your shoes can help you cope. Many passionate bloggers focus on the topic of breast cancer, and you can learn from them.
While everyone’s journey is unique, knowing that others before you have been through something similar can give you the strength and inspiration you need to keep everything in perspective.
I Want Advice for Living with Breast Cancer
Apps can do a number of things for people with breast cancer. They can help track treatment, teach women how to do self-exams, provide games, and help to weigh the different treatment options for breast cancer.
Every time the phone rings or you open the mailbox after your mammogram, you wonder if this is the day you’ll find out the results of your test. Find out how to cope with the wait and what to do when you find out.
Your partner has a big job ahead of her: to become a breast cancer survivor. You have a big job, too: to keep your home together and be the rock for the family. You’ll need support. Here's where to turn.
After winning the battle against cancer, you may have a difficult time remembering what normal was for you, or you might even want to create a new normal.