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Overview of Breast Cancer

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If you or a loved one were diagnosed with breast cancer, how would you feel? You would probably feel very afraid and worried. Breast cancer is a common and potentially deadly form of cancer that affects both men and women. There are risk factors for getting the disease and there are different types of treatment for people who have been diagnosed with the disease. There are also steps that people can take to try to prevent getting breast cancer or at least catch it early. Luckily there are many organizations working to raise awareness of the disease, to educate the public about it, and to support research about it.
Breast cancer is a kind of cancer that begins in breast cells. Breast cancer can be labeled as invasive or non-invasive. In invasive cancer, the cancer cells spread from inside the breast to other parts of the body. The cancer cells can reach the lymph nodes and spread to other organs like the bones, lungs, or liver. In non-invasive breast cancer the cancer is still only found in the breast.
The most common symptom of breast cancer is finding a new lump in the breast. Other possible signs of breast cancer are having a swollen breast, having irritated, red, thickening or dimpled skin on the breast, having pain in the breast or nipple, having a breast nipple turning inward, and having discharge from the nipple (other than breast milk for nursing mothers). A person may notice a lump or swelling in his or her arm pit or collar bone if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes found there.
Breast cancer affects one in eight women living in the United States during their lives. Breast cancer kills more women in the United States than any cancer except lung cancer. In 2012, an estimated 232,340 new cases of i...

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