What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is a disease characterized by cells in the breast that become abnormal and multiply uncontrollably, forming a tumor. If left untreated, malignant cells may eventually spread beyond the original tumor to other parts of the body, a process called metastasis.
Breast cancer is a disease with many types. Each type of breast cancer is identified by the cells in the breast that become malignant. Hormones also play a role in the development of certain types of breast cancer. Signs of breast cancer include skin changes, pain, nipple discharge, a lump and other symptoms.
Click on the tabs below to learn more about breast cancer types, symptoms, risk factors and stages.
Breast cancer incidence
According to the National Cancer Institute, one in eight women who live to be age 80 will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. This makes the disease the second most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women, after skin cancer. An estimated 266,120 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the United States in 2018, according to the American Cancer Society.
One in four cancers diagnosed in the U.S. is breast cancer, yet women are not the only ones receiving the diagnosis. Although the incidence of breast cancer is much less common among men, approximately 2,550 American men will learn they have breast cancer in 2018, the American Cancer Society estimates.
Breast cancer is one of the most highly publicized cancers in the media today. Local and national breast cancer awareness events are reminders of its prevalence. Many of us know someone who previously had or is currently battling breast cancer. Fortunately, advancements in breast cancer research provide new treatment options and technologies for those battling the disease.