About Breast Cancer

What is Breast Cancer?

Cancer can be thought of as a disorder of cellular growth. Breast cancers can appear in the cells lining the ducts (ductal carcinomas) or from the lobules of the breast (lobular carcinomas).

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among American women. About 1 in 8 (12%) women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.  The American Cancer Society estimated that in 2012 approximately 226,870 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the US. In addition, 63,300 new cases of in situ breast cancer will be discovered. After an increase of more than 20 years, the incidence rates of breast cancer have been somewhat stable since 2004. The American Cancer Society evaluates the five-year survival rate of breast cancer patient at around 85%. This survival rate has been steadily increasing since the early 90’s, primarily due to awareness and screening campaigns. In fact, early detection of breast tumors tremendously impact the prognosis: a tumor detected in stage I will have a survival rate close to 100%, whereas a stage IV tumor only has a survival rate of 20%.

At this time there are more than 2.9 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.

Reference:1 American Cancer Society website