What is Breast Cancer? What Causes It?

English: pink ribbon

English: pink ribbon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Breast cancer starts in the cells of the breast as a group of cancer cells. Those cells can invade surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to other areas of the body.

Breast cancer occurs when malignant tumors develop in the breast.  These cells can spread by breaking away from the original tumor and entering blood vessels or lymph vessels, which branch into tissues throughout the body. When cancer cells travel to other parts of the body and begin damaging other tissues and organs, the process is called metastasis.

Facts about Breast Cancer in the United States

  • One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
  • Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.
  • Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women.
  • Each year it is estimated that over 220,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die.
  • Although breast cancer in men is rare, an estimated 2,150 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 410 will die each year.  Usually detected as a hard lump under the nipple or areola.

Risk Factors

  • Age
  • Family History
  • Race
  • Personal Health
  • Early Menstruation

Types of Tumors

  • Benign
  • Malignant
  • Metastatic

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About nursenicoleco

Registered nurse Nicole M. Brown is the author of the Adventures of Nurse Nicole series.

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Books by Nicole M. Brown

The Adventures of Nurse Nicole: N is for Nurse

The Adventures of Nurse Nicole: N is for Nurse

The Adventures of Nurse Nicole: Wash Hands

The Adventures of Nurse Nicole: Wash Hands

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