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Breast cancer

About breast cancer

Breast cancer is the most common non-skin cancer among American women, with one in eight women developing invasive breast cancer during her lifetime. Advances in breast cancer treatment mean many women can expect to beat the disease and maintain their physical appearance.

Breast cancer is characterized by abnormal breast cells that multiply uncontrollably and form a tumor. Untreated, malignant cells may spread beyond the original tumor to other parts of the body, a process called metastasis.

Breast cancer is a disease with many types—including rare types like inflammatory breast cancer, common types like invasive ductal carcinoma and molecular types like HER2-positiveeach identified by the breast cells that have become malignant (cancerous). 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.

An estimated 271,270 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the United States in 2019, according to the American Cancer Society. One in four cancers diagnosed in the United States 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 2,670 American men will learn they have breast cancer in 2019, the American Cancer Society estimates.

At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), we use advanced diagnostic tools, such as genomic testing, and a wide range of treatments, including breast-conserving surgery, immunotherapy and new options that may be available through clinical trials.