Breast cancer is cancer in the breast.
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Mammograms showing a normal breast (left) and a cancerous breast (right).
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In the world, breast cancer is the fifth-most common cause of cancer death. The first four are lung cancer, stomach cancer, liver cancer, and colon cancer. In 2005, breast cancer caused 502,000 deaths (7% of cancer deaths; almost 1% of all deaths) in the world. Among all women in the world, breast cancer is the most common cancer.
In the United States, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, and the second most common cause of cancer death in women (after lung cancer). In 2007, breast cancer caused about 40,910 deaths (7% of cancer deaths; almost 2% of all deaths) in the U.S. Women in the United States have a 1 in 8 chance of getting breast cancer in their lives. They have a 1 in 33 chance of death from breast cancer.
There are many more people getting breast cancer since the 1970s. This is because of how people in the Western world live. Because the breast is composed of identical tissues in males and females, breast cancer also occurs in males, though it is less common.
When a person gets breast cancer, they can try to cure it in three ways. Doctors can cut out the cancer (mastectomy or lumpectomy). They can give the person drugs (chemotherapy). They can also try to kill the cancer with energy (radiation). If one cure does not work, they may need to try another.
- WHO (February 2006). "Fact sheet No. 297: Cancer". Retrieved 26 April 2007.
- American Cancer Society (2007). "Cancer Facts & Figures 2007" (PDF). Retrieved 26 April 2007.
- American Cancer Society (18 September 2006). "What Are the Key Statistics for Breast Cancer?". Retrieved 22 May 2007.
- Laurance, Jeremy (29 September 2006). "Breast cancer cases rise 80% since Seventies". The Independent. Retrieved 9 October 2006.
- "Breast Cancer: Statistics on Incidence, Survival, and Screening". Imaginis Corporation. 2006. Retrieved 9 October 2006. External link in
- "Male Breast Cancer Treatment - National Cancer Institute". National Cancer Institute. 2006. Retrieved 16 October 2006. External link in