Treatment for Breast Cancer

The treatment choices for each woman depend on the size and location of the tumor in her breast, the results of lab tests (such as hormone receptor tests), and the stage or extent of the disease. Learn more about treatment for breast cancer ›

Diagnosis Procedures for Breast Cancer

It is important to remember that a lump or other changes in the breast, or an abnormal area on a mammogram, may be caused by cancer or by other, less serious problems.

To determine the cause of any signs or symptoms, your physician will perform a careful physical exam that includes a personal and family medical history as well as determining current overall health status. In addition, an examination may include the following:

  • palpation - carefully feeling the lump and the tissue around it - its size, its texture, and whether it moves easily. Benign lumps often feel different from cancerous ones.

  • nipple discharge examination - fluid may be collected from spontaneous nipple discharge and then sent to the lab to look for cancer cells. Most nipple secretions are not cancer, as an injury, infection, or benign tumor may cause discharge.

Learn more about diagnosis procedures for breast cancer

Are you at risk for breast cancer?

Determine if you're at risk for the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.

Surgery for Breast Cancer Treatment

Surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible is the primary treatment for breast cancer. Today, women have many surgical options and choices. The type of surgery performed depends upon:

  • the size and location of the breast lump or tumor

  • the type and stage of the breast cancer (If the cancer has spread within the breast or has spread outside of the breast to the lymph nodes, or to other parts of the body.)

  • the size of the breast

  • the woman's preference

There are several types of breast surgery. Your physician can explain the benefits and risks of each type, in addition to answering any questions or concerns you may have prior to surgery.

Learn more about surgery for breast cancer treatment

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Did You Know?

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On the day of your mammogram, it's important that you don't wear deodorant.