Breast Cancer Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide, claiming the lives of hundreds of thousands of women each year. Although it’s rare, men can also be diagnosed with breast cancer. With breast cancer continuing to impact so many people, it’s important to understand the disease and what strides researchers are making. More than 3.1 million breast cancer survivors live in the U.S. today. The lifetime risk of getting breast cancer in the U.S. is about 1 in 8 for women and 1 in 1,000 for men. Research shows only 5-10% of breast cancers are hereditary. Dense breasts can be six times more likely to develop cancer. If you have dense breasts, ask your doctor about extra screening tests, like ultrasound or MRI, to check for tumors that a mammography might have missed. A lump isn’t the only sign of breast cancer. Call your doctor if you notice a change in the size or shape of your breast, a nipple turned inward, fluid other than breast milk, dimples in your breast or scaly, red or swollen skin on your breast, nipple or areola.
DiagnosisDiagnosing a head and neck cancer includes one or more of the following tests: Tests and procedures used to diagnose breast cancer include:
- Breast exam
- Breast ultrasound
- Removing a sample of breast cells for testing (biopsy)
- Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Blood tests, such as a complete blood count
- Mammogram of the other breast to look for signs of cancer
- Breast MRI
- Bone scan
- Computerized tomography (CT) scan
- Positron emission tomography (PET) scan
TreatmentYour doctor determines your breast cancer treatment options based on your type of breast cancer, its stage and grade, size, and whether the cancer cells are sensitive to hormones. Most women undergo surgery for breast cancer and also receive additional treatment before or after surgery, such as chemotherapy, hormone therapy or radiation. Surgery. Surgery involves the physical removal of the tumor, typically along with some of the surrounding tissue. One or more lymph nodes may be biopsied during the surgery; increasingly the lymph node sampling is performed by a sentinel lymph node biopsy. Standard surgeries include:
- Mastectomy: Removal of the whole breast.
- Quadrantectomy: Removal of one-quarter of the breast.
- Lumpectomy: Removal of a small part of the breast.