What you should know about Breast Cancer

Cancer is a general term for more than 100 diseases in which abnormal cells multiply uncontrollably. Breast cancer, in particular, is a term for several cancers that begin in the breast. The most common form of breast cancer is called ductal carcinoma and begins in the lining of the ducts.

In the United States, breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in women. The good news is that with early detection and treatment, the majority of women diagnosed with breast cancer will be alive and well more than five years after their diagnosis.

Some of the treatments currently used to treat breast cancer include:

  • Surgery ranging from lumpectomy (removal of the tumor) to radical mastectomy (removal of the breast, lymph nodes and chest muscles).
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormone therapy

The treatment, or combination of treatments, recommended depends on five factors: the size of the tumor, how much the cancer has spread, test results, age, and your medical history.

Your best defense in the fight against breast cancer is to follow a healthy life style and the early detection screening guidelines.

Early detection is the key to more successful treatment

Breast cancer is one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers in women. Early detection of breast cancer can save lives and increase treatment options. The following breast cancer screening schedule is recommended by the American Cancer Society.

  • Age 40 and over should receive a mammogram and clinical breast exam (CBE) yearly.
  • Age 20 s and 30 s should have a CBE every 3 years.
  • Starting in 20 s should choose whether or how often to do a breast self-exam (BSE).

Please note that many experts recommend doing a monthly BSE starting at age 20. Return to the Mammography Overview