Breast Cancer Basic Information

Breast Cancer Pink Ribbon

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women in the United States. Although deaths from breast cancer have declined, it still remains the second leading cause of cancer death among women.

Possible Symptoms of Breast Cancer

  • New lump in the breast or armpit
  • Swelling of any part of the breast
  • Dimpling of breast skin
  • Inversion of the nipple or pain in the nipple area
  • Nipple discharge (other than breast milk)
  • Change in size or shape of the breast
  • Pain in the breast

See your doctor right away if you have any signs or symptoms that worry you.

Risk Factors you cannot change

  • Getting older- most breast cancer is diagnosed after age 50
  • Genetic mutations such as BRCA1 and BRCA2
  • Having dense breasts
  • Family history of breast cancer
  • Previous radiation therapy to the chest area

Risk Factors you can change

  • Become physically active
  • Lose weight
  • Don’t take hormones
  • Reproductive history-having first child after age 30 and not breastfeeding can raise risk
  • Stop drinking alcohol

Breast Cancer Screening


  • X-ray of the breast
  • Best way to find breast cancer early
  • Having regular Mammograms can lower your risk of dying from breast cancer.

Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

  • Uses magnets and radio waves to take pictures of the breast
  • May be used along with mammograms to screen women who are at high risk

Clinical Breast Exam

  • Examination by doctor or nurse to feel for lumps or changes

Self-Breast Exam

  • Being familiar with how your breasts look and feel can help you notice symptoms

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