There are several different types of breast cancer. The most common is ductal carcinoma, in which a tumor develops in the cells that form the lining of a breast duct. Lobular carcinoma is the second most common, and this form of cancer begins in the breast lobules.
Of all the types of cancer, breast cancer may be one of the most well-known. And there’s good reason for this: No form of cancer is more common among women.
Often, breast cancer can be present with no symptoms appearing. That's why getting an annual mammogram or a physical examination by a doctor is so important. This should take place if you are older than 40 or at a high risk for breast cancer because of such other factors as family history.
Other times, breast cancer gives subtle warning signs that a tumor is present in the breast. Signs include skin changes on or around the breast, breast swelling and a lump in or around the breast. Regular physical exams and self exams are the best way to detect these issues.
Treatment of Breast CancerIn most cases, surgery is the first line of defense when it comes to the treatment of breast cancer. In some instances, surgeons can remove just the cancerous tissue without removing the whole breast. Other times, however, the entire breast must be removed to fully remove the cancer and allow for the best possible outcome. Breast reconstruction is often an option for women who have one or both breasts removed.
In addition to surgery, other therapies used to treat breast cancer include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy and targeted therapy. Both chemotherapy and radiation therapy are treatments designed to kill cancer cells that may remain in the breast after surgery. Some hormones actually contribute to breast cancer and breast cancer risk, so a variety of different treatments called hormone therapies help to block the production of these hormones. Targeted therapy refers to a medication that blocks the action of the HER2 protein, which contributes to breast cancer in some women.
SOURCES: U.S. National Cancer Institute; BreastCancer.org.
In study of those under 50 with invasive form of disease, 12 percent had BRCA1, BRCA2 mutations
Circulating tumor DNA analysis spots stray cells months before scans detect recurrence, researchers say
Majority had issues such as anxiety, sleeplessness, often persisting long after being declared cancer-free
Even 'sham' acupuncture beat one frequently used medication
Researchers estimated that only 3 percent of women with DCIS will die from it within 20 years of diagnosis
Findings suggest heavy women might need more focused screening
Limit alcohol consumption, especially if you've ever smoked, experts say
Women who don't have BRCA mutations could have other high-risk genes that affect treatment choices
Treatment offers fewer side effects and better quality of life, researchers say
Access to care, not insurance, is a key issue, researcher says
Study found benefit from drugs known as aromatase inhibitors and bisphosphonates
Studies found it lowered chances of recurrence, but did not boost overall survival
Variations in tissue type throughout the breast account for difference, study says
And that could increase risk of cancer recurrence, as well as heart disease and diabetes, researchers say
Effect was not seen in men, and held even after researchers factored out a lack of exercise
Study found getting what amounted to lower doses per pound of body weight meant poorer outcomes
Study found counties with higher screening, detection rates had no significant difference in deaths
But, due to aging population, actual number of cancer deaths is rising
Experts often recommend this breast-conserving surgery, but many with early disease still choose mastectomy
Higher exposure to DDT in the womb linked to four times the risk of disease
But whether lack of sleep -- or the causes of sleeplessness -- to blame is unclear, experts say
Researchers report the increased risk was as high as 58 percent
Many cancer patients mistakenly believe removing both breasts will extend survival, researchers say
But conclusion wasn't unanimous, one expert says
No difference found in survival for women with low-grade DCIS who did or did not have surgery
Experts say findings make sense, but note they are preliminary
Study suggests that taking more tissue the first time might reduce need for subsequent procedures
Adding Ibrance to standard hormone therapy kept disease from progressing for nine months
Throat, lung cancers were leading cause of deaths, study finds
Over roughly six years, no difference seen in survival
Finding suggests scans may have value beyond detection
Breast screening MRI may provide important information about future breast cancer risk, new study finds.
These include tests for colon, breast and cervical malignancies
No differences in survival or recurrence in women who chose to keep nipple, researcher says
Study finds most breast cancer patients will need two or more procedures to complete process
Breast cancer patients who breastfed their children at lower risk of recurrence, new study finds.
Strongest benefit seen in most common types of tumors, researchers say
Better pre-surgical chemotherapy means more of the breast can safely be saved, researchers say
The sooner, the better, researchers found
Experimental devices might reduce risk of side effects, lower costs, researchers say
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening every 2 years for all after 50
Finding may help explain greater breast cancer risk in this population, researchers say
Elderly women will account for growing proportion of cases, study predicts
Side effect is very rare, tied to drug-linked inflammation of hands, experts say
Angelina Jolie's decision for surgery might not be right for everyone carrying BRCA mutations
Study shows recent advances help improve odds, but medical bills are rising
But almost half don't have conversation with doctor about potential for future problems
2010 study led to a change in practice
New focus on tumor subtypes could help patients, according to medical groups
Small, but steady declines in deaths seen over past decade