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Breast Cancer - What Happens

Breast cancer occurs when cells in the breast grow abnormally. As the breast cancer grows, it can spread to nearby tissues and lymph nodes camera.gif. Advanced breast cancer can affect the bones, liver, and brain.

Your doctor will find out more about your breast cancer when the cancer cells are examined under the microscope. Tests for hormone receptors and gene changes are usually done after surgery. For the tests, your doctor uses tissue taken from your breast.

Your doctor will also stage the cancer to see how far it has spread within the breast, to nearby tissues, and to other organs. Your doctor will find the stage by using tests, such as chest X-rays or CT scans. The stage of your cancer will help guide your treatment options.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: January 30, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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