Breast Cancer

As in all forms of cancer, the abnormal tissue that makes up breast cancer is the patient's own cells that have multiplied uncontrollably. These cells may also travel to locations in the body where they are not normally found. When that happens, the cancer is called metastic. Breast cancer usually begins with the formation of a small, confined tumor(lump), or as calcium deposits (microcalcifications) and then spreads through channels within the breast to the lymph nodes or through the blood stream to other organs. Different types of breast cancer grow and spread at different rates.

In the United States, breast cancer is the most common non-skin cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related death in women. Each year, a small number of men are also diagnosed with or die from breast cancer. Although the breast cancer diagnosis rate has increased, the overall breast cancer death rate has dropped steadily since the early 1990s.

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