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- Breast cancer fact sheet (PDF, 155 KB)
Breast cancer fact sheet
- What is breast cancer?
- Why should I be concerned about breast cancer?
- More information on breast cancer
Cancer is a disease in which cells become abnormal and form more cells in an uncontrolled way. With breast cancer, the cancer begins in cells that make up the breasts — usually in the tubes that carry milk to the nipple or the glands that make milk. The cancerous cells form a mass of tissue called a tumor. Sometimes, the cancer spreads to other parts of the body.
Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women. It also is the second-leading cancer killer of women, after lung cancer. Every woman has a chance of getting breast cancer. About 1 in 8 women will find out she has breast cancer at some point in her life. This might sound scary. But today, most women with breast cancer survive it. With breast cancer screening, including mammograms, doctors often can find cancer early. Treatment has the best chance of success when cancer is found early.
For more information about breast cancer, call womenshealth.gov at 800-994-9662 (TDD: 888-220-5446) or contact the following organizations:
- American Cancer Society
- National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program
- National Cancer Institute, NIH, HHS
- Susan G. Komen for the Cure
- Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization
The information on our website is provided by the U.S. federal government and is in the public domain. This public information is not copyrighted and may be reproduced without permission, though citation of each source is appreciated.
Content last updated December 8, 2008.
A federal government website managed by the Office on Women's Health in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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