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Breast Cancer Diagnosis Screening DetectionBreast cancer diagnosis includes screening methods, such as mammograms, clinical breast exams, MRIs, and breast self-exams, tissue biopsy, and specialized testing to look for tumor markers.
Breast Lumps and PainBreast changes are common. From the time a girl begins to develop breasts and begins menstruating and throughout life, women may experience various kinds of breast pain and other breast changes. Causes of pain and lumps can include fibrocystic breast disease, premenstrual syndrome, cyclic mastalgia, normal hormonal fluctuations, onset of puberty or menopause, pregnancy, breastfeeding, estrogen therapy, chest wall tenderness, injury to the breast, shingles, use of certain medications, an infection in the breast, and breast cancer. If you have a lump in your breast, your doctor will check for various possible causes.
Breast ReconstructionBreast reconstruction is surgery to restore the breast of women after mastectomy (removal of the breast). Breast reconstruction may involve implants or using the woman's own tissue. A surgeon may perform breast augmentation or require breast reduction to achieve symmetry. Complications include infection and shape irregularities.
MammogramMammogram is a special X-ray of the breast used to detect breast cancer early. There are few risks associated with mammography. Mammograms may show suspicious areas of the breast, white spots, and microcalcifications. Risk factors for breast cancer include age, genetic predisposition, family history, medical history, fibrocystic breast disease, therapeutic radiation exposure, menstrual cycle, previous pregnancies, hormone therapy for menopause, oral contraceptive use, breastfeeding, alcohol, smoking, obesity, and lack of physical activity.
Breast Self-ExamMonthly breast self-examinations (BSE) have not been shown to reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer. However, a monthly breast self-exam is important for a woman to become familiar with her breasts and any changes that may occur over time that may signal a breast disease or condition. Symptoms and signs to look for when performing a breast self-exam are nipple discharge; red, swollen, scaly, or itchy nipples or breast tissue; sudden breast pain that does not go away; changes in breast size or shape; dimpling of the breast or nipple; or a lump or lumps in the breast. Notify your health-care professional if you detect any unusual changes in your breasts.
Can a Little Girl Have Breast CancerChildren can get breast cancer, though it is rare. Children and teens who develop breast cancer usually have hereditary markers, have some other cancer that has metastasized to the breast tissue or have a history of prior cancer treatment with radiation.
Cancer: What You Need to KnowCancer is a common and deadly disease, and it's surrounded by myths. There are certain basics a patient needs to know when they're confronted with a cancer diagnosis; everything from clinical facts and practices to learning how to navigate the health insurance bureaucracy.
Difference Between a Cyst and Breast CancerCancerous breast lumps and breast cysts have some characteristic tactile differences, but they may feel similar enough the only way to really tell one from the other is a diagnostic test like a mammogram or ultrasound.
LumpectomyLumpectomy is surgery to remove a suspected malignant (cancerous) tumor, or lump, and surrounding tissue from a woman's breast. The size and location of the lump determine how much of the breast is removed. Lumpectomy replaced radical mastectomy to because it leaves the breast mostly intact. After surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy may be recommended.
Male Breast CancerMale breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. A family history of breast cancer and other factors can increase a man's risk of breast cancer. Male breast cancer is sometimes caused by inherited gene mutations (changes). Men with breast cancer usually have lumps that can be felt. Survival for men with breast cancer is similar to survival for women with breast cancer.
MastectomyA mastectomy is a procedure to remove a woman's entire breast -- and sometimes underlying muscle and lymph node tissue -- in the hopes of eradicating breast cancers. There are different types of mastectomies, including types that preserve nipple tissue in the interest of breast reconstruction and prophylactic mastectomies that are performed before any cancer is detected. Plastic surgeons can aid in breast reconstruction if a woman chooses to undergo the additional procedures.
What Are the Four Stages of Breast CancerBreast cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the breast grow out of control. Breast cancer is the most common female cancer in the U.S., and the second-leading cause of cancer death in women. While breast cancer is more common in women, men can get it too. The progression of the disease is classified in four stages corresponding to the growth and metastasis of the cancer.
What Are the Seven Warning Signs of Breast CancerBreast cancer is the disease in which cells in the breast grow out of control due to various causes. Seven warning signs include lumps, changes in breast skin, pain in the breast and other signs and symptoms.
What Are the Symptoms of Stage 1 Breast CancerSymptoms of stage 1 breast cancer include skin irritation or dimpling, swelling/redness/scaling/flaking/thickening of the nipple or breast skin, change in the size or the shape of the breast, nipple turning inward, change in the appearance of a nipple, nipple discharge that is not breast milk, breast pain, nipple pain, new lump in the breast, and a lump in the armpit.
What Are the Warning Signs of Breast Cancer?Breast cancer occurs when cells in the breast become abnormal and grow out of control. The American Cancer Society’s warning signs and symptoms of breast cancer include swelling or thickening of the breast, nipple pain, and others.
What Causes HER2 Positive Breast CancerBreast cancer is caused by an abnormal growth of cells. HER-2 positive breast cancer is when there are higher than normal levels of a growth-promoting HER2 protein.
What Do Breast Cancer Lumps Feel LikeBreast lumps aren’t the only warning sign of breast cancer. Changes in the size or shape of the breasts, dimpling skin on the breast, pulling-in of a nipple and/or discoloration of breast skin.
Survival Rate for Stage 3 Breast CancerThe five-year survival rate for stage III breast cancer is relatively high -- it can be over 80%, depending on the sub-stage.
Expert Views and News
- Most Common Cancer: Breast Surpasses Lung
- Treat Obesity Like Breast Cancer, With Empathy
- Sharp Climb in Weight Gain With Breast Cancer
- New Data on Menopausal Hormone Therapy
- Breast Cancer Drugs May Severely Inflame Lungs
- Full Chemo Doses Early On for Breast Cancer
- FDA OKs First PI3K Inhibitor for Breast Cancer
- FDA Expands Use of Breast Cancer Drug to Men
- FDA Warns Against Thermography for Breast Cancer
- Incontinence Drug May Help Ease Severe Hot Flashes
- Does Breastfeeding Reduce Cancer Risk?
- Breath Tests for Cancer Detection
- Complementary Therapies in Breast Cancer Endorsed
- Chemo Not Needed for Most Early Breast Cancer
- The Case for Early Screening Mammography
- Breast Cancer Risk and Tamoxifen Use
- Fast MRI Improves Breast Cancer Screening
- More Breast Cancer Risk Gene Variants Discovered
- Breast Cancer and Underarm Lymph Nodes Cancer
- Managing Menopause Symptoms After Breast Cancer
- BRCA Testing Has Skyrocketed, but Misses High-Risk
- Breast Cancer Deaths Increasing for Black Women
- FAQ: Parabens and Breast Cancer
- Blood Test Could Give Early Breast Cancer Warning
- The Future of Cancer Detection
- Risks of Breast Cancer Screening in Women Over 70
- Drug Determines Extent and Severity of Cancer
- FDA Approves Silicone Gel-filled Breast Implant
- Gene Variants Predict Breast Cancer Drug Benefit
- Angelina Jolie's Double Mastectomy: Q&A
- Q&A: Breast Cancer in Young Women
- Existing Breast Cancer Drugs May Help More Women
- Fruits, Veggies Tied to Lower Breast Cancer Risk
- Longer Tamoxifen Use Helps Breast Cancer Survival
- Adding 3-D Mammograms May Improve Accuracy
- African-American Women: Breast Cancer More Deadly?
- After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, Are Other Tests Overdone?
- Obesity May Affect Breast Cancer Recovery
- Breast Cancer Radiation for Older Women?
- Anti-Estrogen Combo Better for Late Breast Cancer
- Big Babies May Boost Mom's Breast Cancer Risk
- FDA Approves New Breast Cancer Drug Perjeta
- Test May Predict Spread of Early Breast Cancer
- Child Cancer Radiation Raises Breast Cancer Risk
- 'Magic Bullet' Drug Delays Breast Cancer Worsening
- IVF at Young Age May Raise Breast Cancer Risk
- Night Shift Linked to Increased Breast Cancer Risk
- Studies Point to Reasons for Mammograms in 40s
- Breast Cancer Study Could Change Treatment
- Exercise Benefits Breast Cancer Patients
- Eat Broccoli (or Bok Choy), Beat Breast Cancer?
- Mammograms Spot Cancers That May Not Be Dangerous
- Dietary Cadmium, Breast Cancer Link?
- New Guidelines to Help Breast Cancer Survivors
- New Mammogram Benefits for Women in Their 40s
- 1 in 4 Partial Mastectomy Patients Have Second Surgery
- Avastin May Help Fight Early Breast Cancer
- Are Fears That Deodorant Causes Breast Cancer Unfounded?
- Bone Drug May Extend Lives of Young Women With Breast Cancer
- Carriers of Breast Cancer Gene at Risk of Second Cancer
- Many Women Don't Get Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy
- Steps Women Can Take to Reduce Risk of Breast Cancer
- New Treatments Target Advanced Breast Cancer
- Gene Test May Help Guide Treatment of Early Breast Tumors
- FDA Rejects Avastin for Breast Cancer
- Chemo the Cause of Mental Fog After Breast Cancer?
- Breast Reconstruction May Quickly Improve Quality of Life
- Light Drinking Over Time May Raise Breast Cancer Risk
- Women With Breast Cancer Get Nipple-Sparing Surgery
- Radiation Plus Surgery Cuts Risk of Breast Cancer Return
- Does Fertility Treatment Raise Breast Cancer Risk?
- Breast Cancer Death Rates Decline
- Breast Implant Safety Studies Will Continue
- FDA Questions Studies of Breast Implant Safety
- Breastfeeding May Cut Risk of Some Breast Cancers
- Fat Injections: Safe for Breast Reconstruction After Cancer?
- PSA Test May Help Check for Breast Cancer
- Mammogram Guidelines
- Vitamin D Linked to Aggressive Breast Cancer
- Soy Safe to Eat After Breast Cancer?
- Breast Milk May Hold Clues to Breast Cancer Risk
- Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer May Raise Risk of Falls
- Breast Cancer Drug Eribulin Extends Survival
- Breast Cancer Rates No Longer Declining
- Herceptin: Long-Term Benefits for Breast Cancer
- Lymph Node Removal Not Needed for Breast Cancer Patients
- Breast Cancer Survivors May Face Early Hip Fracture Risk
- MRIs Boost Accuracy of Breast Cancer Testing
- Women Who Smoke May Raise Breast Cancer Risk
- Breast-Conserving Therapy Better Than Mastectomy?
- FDA Moves to Pull Avastin Breast Cancer Approval
- Multivitamins May Prevent Breast Cancer Recurrence
- False-Positive Mammograms Linked to Breast Cancer
- Weight Lifting May Be OK After Breast Cancer Surgery
- Breast Cancer Portable Scanner Coming Soon?
- HRT-Related Breast Cancer Is More Advanced
- Dense Breasts Linked to Breast Cancer Return
- Exercise Fights Breast Cancer
- Sex Complaints Common After Breast Cancer
- Cleaning Products Linked to Breast Cancer?
- Avastin Not for Breast Cancer, FDA Panel Says
- Breast Cancer Patients Forgo Implants
- Breast Cancer: Progress in Predictions
- Breast Cancer Blood Test Soon?
- Multivitamins May Cut Breast Cancer Risk
- Pomegranates May Fight Breast Cancer
- Breast Cancer Drug Shrinks Tumors
- Bone-Building Drugs May Cut Breast Cancer Risk
- Alcohol Raises Risk of Breast Cancer Recurrence
- Soy Appears Safe for Breast Cancer Survivors
- Pregnancy Protein May Slow Breast Cancer
- Tamoxifen: Risk of Rare Second Breast Cancer?
- Femara vs. Tamoxifen for Breast Cancer
- Weight Lifting May Be OK After Breast Cancer
- Breastfeeding May Cut Breast Cancer Risk
- Migraines Linked to Lower Breast Cancer Risk
- Ear Wax, Body Odor: Breast Cancer Link?
- BP Drug Blocks Newly Found Breast Cancer Gene
- Walnuts May Fight Breast Cancer
- Black Cohosh Tied to Breast Cancer Spread
- Shorter Breast Cancer Treatment Effective
Breast Cancer Topic Guide - Visuals
Slideshows, Pictures, Images, and Quizzes:
Breast Cancer Topic Guide - Medications and Vitamins
Fulvestrant is used in postmenopausal women with hormone-related breast cancer that is advanced or has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic)....learn more »
Trastuzumab is used to treat certain types of breast cancer or stomach cancer, sometimes in combination with other cancer medicines...learn more »
Toremifene is used in postmenopausal women to treat metastatic breast cancer (cancer that has spread to other parts of the body). Your doctor may test your ...learn more »
Anastrozole lowers estrogen levels in postmenopausal women, which may slow the growth of certain types of breast tumors that need estrogen to grow in the bod...learn more »
Megestrol is used to treat loss of appetite and wasting syndrome in people with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).learn more »