Breast Cancer

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Three women

Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. When cancer starts in the breast, it is called breast cancer. As it grows, breast cancer can cause changes in how the breast looks or feels. Different women have different warning signs for breast cancer. Some women do not have any signs or symptoms at all. A woman may find out she has breast cancer after a routine mammogram.


Key Facts

  • Mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early, when it’s easier to treat.
  • Most breast lumps are not caused by cancer; many conditions can cause them.
  • Breast cancer symptoms vary, and some women don’t have symptoms.
  • Men can get breast cancer, but it is not very common. For every 100 cases of breast cancer, less than 1 is in men.


Pink breast cancer ribbon

Breast Cancer Awareness

Breast cancer claims the lives of thousands of women in the United States each year. Learn basic information about breast cancer and how to prevent and recognize it.

Three sisters

Know Your Family History

If you have a close relative with breast cancer, ask your doctor how you can lower your risk.

Bring Your Brave

Facts for Young Women

Bring your brave. Breast cancer in young women.

Woman getting a mammogram

Mammograms Save Lives

The best way to find breast cancer early is with a mammogram. If you are a woman aged 50 years or older, be sure to have a screening mammogram every two years.

Prevention Tips

  • Keep a healthy weight and exercise regularly.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
  • If you are taking hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills, ask your doctor about the risks and find out if it is right for you.
  • Know your family history of breast cancer. If you have a close relative with breast cancer, ask your doctor how you can manage your risk.
  • A mammogram can’t prevent breast cancer, but it can help find it early. Talk to your health care provider about whether screening is right for you.

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Page last reviewed: September 22, 2017