What is breast cancer? Breast cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the breast. It can start in one or both breasts. Cancer starts when cells begin to grow out of control. Breast cancer occurs almost entirely in women, but men can get breast cancer too.
It’s important to understand that most breast lumps are benign and not cancer (malignant). Non-cancer breast tumors are abnormal growths, but they do not spread outside of the breast. They are not life-threatening, but some types of benign breast lumps can increase a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer. Any breast lump or change needs to be checked by a healthcare professional to find out if it is benign or malignant (cancer) and if it might affect your future cancer risk.
A picture of breast cancer development in women.
The breast has different parts:
The exact causes of breast cancer are still unknown, leaving many women wondering what may have led to their diagnosis. While doctors cannot always determine why one woman develops breast cancer and another does not, it is clear that the disease is caused by damage to a cell's DNA. While certain risk factors, such as age and family history, may increase the likelihood of developing breast cancer, it is important to remember that anyone can be affected and early detection is key to successful treatment.
THESE DO NOT CAUSE BREAST CANCER:
There is no sure way to prevent breast cancer. But there are things you can do that might lower your risk. This can be especially helpful for women with certain risk factors for breast cancer, such as having a strong family history or certain inherited gene changes.