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Breast Cancer Health Center

Medical Reference Related to Breast Cancer

  1. Breast Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - General Information About Breast Cancer

    Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. The breast is made up of lobes and ducts. Each breast has 15 to 20 sections called lobes,which have many smaller sections called lobules. Lobules end in dozens of tiny bulbs that can produce milk. The lobes,lobules,and bulbs are linked by thin tubes called ducts. Anatomy of the breast,showing ...

  2. Male Breast Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Treatment Options for Male Breast Cancer

    Initial Surgical ManagementPrimary standard treatment is a modified radical mastectomy with axillary dissection.[1,2,3] Responses are generally similar to those seen in women with breast cancer.[2] Breast conservation surgery with lumpectomy and radiation therapy has also been used and results have been similar to those seen in women with breast cancer.[4] (Refer to the PDQ summary on Breast Cancer Treatment for more information.)Adjuvant TherapyIn men with node-negative tumors, adjuvant therapy should be considered on the same basis as for a woman with breast cancer since there is no evidence that response to therapy is different for men or women.[5]In men with node-positive tumors, both chemotherapy plus tamoxifen and other hormonal therapy have been used and can increase survival to the same extent as in women with breast cancer. Currently, no controlled studies have compared adjuvant treatment options. Approximately 85% of all male breast cancers are estrogen

  3. Breast Cancer Screening (PDQ®): Screening - Patient Information [NCI] - General Information About Breast Cancer

    Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast.The breast is made up of lobes and ducts. Each breast has 15 to 20 sections called lobes, which have many smaller sections called lobules. Lobules end in dozens of tiny bulbs that can produce milk. The lobes, lobules, and bulbs are linked by thin tubes called ducts.Anatomy of the female breast. The nipple and areola are shown on the outside of the breast. The lymph nodes, lobes, lobules, ducts, and other parts of the inside of the breast are also shown.Each breast also contains blood vessels and lymph vessels. The lymph vessels carry an almost colorless fluid called lymph. Lymph vessels lead to organs called lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are small bean-shaped structures that are found throughout the body. They filter substances in lymph and help fight infection and disease. Clusters of lymph nodes are found near the breast in the axilla (under the arm), above the collarbone, and in the chest.See

  4. Genetics of Breast and Ovarian Cancer (PDQ®): Genetics - Health Professional Information [NCI] - High-Penetrance Breast and / or Ovarian Cancer Susceptibility Genes

    BRCA1andBRCA2IntroductionEpidemiologic studies have clearly established the role of family history as an important risk factor for both breast and ovarian cancer. After gender and age, a positive family history is the strongest known predictive risk factor for breast cancer. However, it has long been recognized that in some families, there is hereditary breast cancer, which is characterized by an early age of onset, bilaterality, and the presence of breast cancer in multiple generations in an apparent autosomal dominant pattern of transmission (through either the maternal or paternal lineage), sometimes including tumors of other

  5. Genetics of Breast and Ovarian Cancer (PDQ®): Genetics - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Low- and Moderate-Penetrance Genes Associated With Breast and / or Ovarian Cancer

    BackgroundMutations in BRCA1, BRCA2, and the genes involved in other rare syndromes discussed in the High-Penetrance Breast and/or Ovarian Cancer Susceptibility Genes section of this summary account for less than 25% of the familial risk of breast cancer.[1] Despite intensive genetic linkage studies, there do not appear to be other BRCA1/BRCA2-like high-penetrance genes that account for a significant fraction of the remaining multiple-case familial clusters.[2] These observations suggest that the remaining breast cancer susceptibility is polygenic in nature, meaning that a relatively large number of low-penetrance genes are involved.[3] On its own, each low-penetrance locus would be expected to have a relatively small effect on breast cancer risk and would not produce dramatic familial aggregation or influence patient management. However in

  6. Breast Cancer Prevention (PDQ®): Prevention - Patient Information [NCI] - Questions or Comments About This Summary

    If you have questions or comments about this summary, please send them to Cancer.gov through the Web site's Contact Form. We can respond only to email messages written in English.

  7. Breast Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - Treatment Options for Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS)

    Treatment of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) may include the following:Breast-conserving surgery and radiation therapy with or without tamoxifen.Total mastectomy with or without tamoxifen.Breast-conserving surgery without radiation therapy.Clinical trials testing breast-conserving surgery and tamoxifen with or without radiation therapy.Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with ductal breast carcinoma in situ. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

  8. Breast Cancer Screening (PDQ®): Screening - Patient Information [NCI] - Breast Cancer Screening

    Tests are used to screen for different types of cancer.Some screening tests are used because they have been shown to be helpful both in finding cancers early and in decreasing the chance of dying from these cancers. Other tests are used because they have been shown to find cancer in some people; however, it has not been proven in clinical trials that use of these tests will decrease the risk of dying from cancer. Scientists study screening tests to find those with the fewest risks and most benefits. Cancer screening trials also are meant to show whether early detection (finding cancer before it causes symptoms) decreases a person's chance of dying from the disease. For some types of cancer, the chance of recovery is better if the disease is found and treated at an early stage. Clinical trials that study cancer screening methods are taking place in many parts of the country. Information about ongoing clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.Three tests are used by health care

  9. Breast Cancer Screening (PDQ®): Screening - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Harms of Screening Mammography

    Mammography screening may be effective in reducing breast cancer mortality in certain populations, but it can pose harm to women who participate. The limitations are best described as false-positives (related to the specificity of the test), overdiagnosis (true-positives that will not become clinically significant), false-negatives (related to the sensitivity of the test), discomfort associated with the test, radiation risk and anxiety.False-Positives Leading to Possible Additional InterventionsThe specificity of mammography (refer to the Breast Cancer Screening Concepts section of this summary for more information) affects the number of additional interventions due to false-positive results. Even though breast cancer is the most common noncutaneous cancer in women, fewer than 5 per 1,000 women actually have the disease when they are screened. Therefore, even with a specificity of 90%, most abnormal mammograms are false-positives.[1] Women with abnormal

  10. Male Breast Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - Inflammatory Male Breast Cancer

    In inflammatory breast cancer, cancer has spread to the skin of the breast and the breast looks red and swollen and feels warm. The redness and warmth occur because the cancer cells block the lymph vessels in the skin. The skin of the breast may also show the dimpled appearance called peau d'orange (like the skin of an orange). There may not be any lumps in the breast that can be felt. Inflammatory breast cancer may be stage IIIB, stage IIIC, or stage IV.

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