Quantcast Breast Cancer Overview

Breast Cancer


There are a number of different types of breast cancer. The most common form of breast cancer is ductal carcinoma, which begins in the cells of the ducts. Cancer that begins in the lobes or lobules is called lobular carcinoma and is more often found in both breasts than are other types of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is an uncommon type of breast cancer in which the breast is warm, red, and swollen.

Hereditary breast cancer makes up from 5 percent to 10 percent of all breast cancer diagnoses. Women who have certain gene mutations, such as a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, have an increased risk of developing breast cancer and are also at increased risk of ovarian cancer. Other risk factors include estrogen (made in the body), dense breast tissue, age at menstruation and first birth, taking hormones for symptoms of menopause, obesity, and not getting enough exercise.

In 2017, the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program estimates​ 252,710 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 40,610 will die of the disease. From 2007 to 2013​, the five-year survival rate for those diagnosed with breast cancer was 89.7 percent. 

Men can also develop breast cancer, making up slightly less than 1 percent of those diagnosed each year. Radiation exposure, high levels of estrogen, and a family history of breast cancer can increase a man’s risk of the disease.

Source: National Cancer Institute​


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