Breast cancer is cancer that develops from breast tissue. Risk factors for developing breast cancer include being female, obesitylack of physical exercise, drinking alcoholhormone replacement therapy during menopauseionizing radiationearly age at first menstruationhaving children late or not at all, older age, prior history of breast cancer, and family history. The balance of benefits versus harms of breast cancer screening is controversial.
A core needle biopsy uses a long, hollow tube to extract a sample of tissue. Here, a biopsy of a suspicious breast lump is being done. The sample is sent to a laboratory for testing.
Cells in the body normally divide reproduce only when new cells are needed. Sometimes, cells in a part of the body grow and divide out of control, which creates a mass of tissue called a tumor. If the cells that are growing out of control are normal cells, the tumor is called benign not cancerous.
Staging and grading usually happens after your breast tumour has been removed by surgery, as a pathologist will need to test the tissue in a laboratory and examine it under a microscope. The grade of a tumour indicates what the cells look like and gives an idea of how quickly the cancer may grow and spread. Tumours are graded between 1 and 3. Grade 1 — the cancer cells look small and uniform like normal cells, and are usually slow-growing compared to other grades of breast cancer.
Early breast cancer is contained in the breast. Or, it has only spread to the lymph nodes in the underarm area. This term often describes stage I and stage II breast cancer.
Most women with breast cancer have some type of surgery as part of their treatment. There are different types of breast surgery, and it may be done for different reasons, depending on the situation. For example, surgery may be done to:.
Back to Breast cancer in women. You may have one of these treatments, or a combination. The type or combination of treatments you have will depend on how the cancer was diagnosed and the stage it's at.
The first step and most common form of treatment for breast cancer is surgery. Surgery involves removing the tumor and nearby margins. The margin is the surrounding tissue that might be cancerous.
Skip to Content. Use the menu to see other pages. This section explains the types of treatments that are the standard of care for early-stage and locally advanced breast cancer.