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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer occurs when abnormal cells develop and grow unchecked in the breast tissue. It is more common in women, but can occur in men as well.
What causes breast cancer?
Breast cancer is caused by damage to cells in the breast tissue. The exact causes of this damage aren't known, but the BRCA1, BRCA2 and TP53 genes are associated with a higher risk of developing the disease.
How is breast cancer diagnosed?
Breast cancer is diagnosed with scans such as mammograms, MRI and CT scans and a tissue biopsy.
How is breast cancer treated?
Treatment for cancer depends on the type and stage. In general, treatment involves surgery to remove the tumor, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone therapy.
Can breast cancer be inherited?
Inherited breast cancer cases account for about one in ten breast cancers.
If I have a lump in my breast, do I have breast cancer?
A lump in the breast does not necessarily mean you have breast cancer. There are other conditions that can cause lumps in the breast, such as cysts or abscesses.
What are the symptoms of breast cancer?
Sometimes breast cancer has no symptoms. When there are symptoms they include a lump in the breast, changes to the size and shape, or hardening and swelling of the breast. You may also experience a tightening in the nipple area and armpit pain, a …
Are there different types of breast cancer?
Yes. Breast cancer is described according to the area it originates in. Most breast cancers are ductal carcinomas, which originate in the lining of the milk ducts. Lobular carcinoma, which is less common, originates in the lobes of the breast.
About this article
Author: Jonathan Meddings BMedLabSc (Hons)
First answered: 12 Oct 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Votes: 753 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Breast cancer