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Understanding Breast Cancer
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is a malignant (cancerous) tumor that starts from cells of the breast. A woman's breast is made up of lobules (glands that make milk), ducts (small tubes that connect lobules to the nipple), fatty and connective tissue, blood vessels and lymph vessels. Most breast cancers begin in the ducts (ductal), some in the lobels (lobular) and the rest in other tissues.
What causes breast cancer?
We do not know yet what exactly causes breast cancer, but we know there are risk factors that increase a person's chance of getting cancer. Being a woman is the main risk. A woman's hormones may also stimulate breast cancer growth. Age, genetic risk factors, family history, personal history, race and several other factors play into evaluating your risk. However, 70 percent of women who get breast cancer have absolutely no risk factors. Consult with your doctor to learn more about your risks.
How is breast cancer found?
Mammograms, clinical breast exams and breast self-exams are the best ways to find breast cancer.
What are my chances of survival if I am diagnosed with breast cancer?
If breast cancer is deteceted early, before it spreads, 98 percent of women will be alive for five years later. If breast cancer is not detected until it is more advanced, cure and survival rates drops dramatically. Numerous studies have shown that mammography consistently detects breast cancer at the earliest stages possible.