November 17th, 2009
08:07 PM ET

Breast Cancer: Facts & Figures

American Cancer Society

Cancer is a group of diseases that cause cells in the body to change and grow out of control. Most types of cancer cells eventually form a lump or mass called a tumor, and are named after the part of the body where the tumor originates.

Breast cancer begins in breast tissue, which is made up of glands for milk production, called lobules, and the ducts that connect lobules to the nipple. The remainder of the breast is made up of fatty, connective, and lymphatic tissue.

• Most masses are benign; that is, they are not cancerous, do not grow uncontrollably or spread, and are not life-threatening.

• Some breast cancers are called in situ because they are confined within the ducts (ductal carcinoma in situ) or lobules (lobular carcinoma in situ) of the breast. Nearly all cancers at this stage can be cured. Many oncologists believe that lobular carcinoma in situ (also known as lobular neoplasia) is not a true cancer, but an indicator of increased risk for developing invasive cancer in either breast.

Find more facts and figures about breast cancer...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Health Care • Women's Issues
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