Breast cancer is cancer that develops from breast tissue. Signs of breast cancer may include a lump in the breast, a change in breast shape, dimpling of the skin, fluid coming from the nipple, or a red scaly patch of skin.
In those with distant spread of the disease there may be bone pain, swollen lymph nodes, shortness of breath or yellow skin.
Risk factors for developing breast cancer include being female (men do also get breast cancer but it is less common), obesity, lack of physical exercise, drinking alcohol, hormone replacement therapy during menopause, ionising radiation, early age at first menstruation, having children late or not at all, older age and family history.
About 5 - 10% of cases are due to genes inherited from a person's parents, including BRCA1 and BRCA2 among others.
The diagnosis of breast cancer is confirmed by taking a biopsy of the lump. Once the diagnosis is made, further tests are done to determine if the cancer has spread beyond the breast and which treatments it may respond to.
Outcomes for breast cancer vary depending on the cancer, extent of the disease and the person's age. Worldwide, breast cancer is the leading type of cancer in women, accounting for 25% of all cases.
(Information from Wikipedia)
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