Saint Francis Breast Center in Tulsa, OK, treats breast cancer and raises community awareness about the disease to increase survival rates. Public support for breast cancer awareness and research funding has helped improve diagnosis and treatment methods. Survival rates have increased and the number of deaths has steadily declined, thanks to a number of factors such as early detection, new treatments and a better understanding of the disease.
Breast Cancer Facts and Statistics
Breast cancer is a malignant (cancerous) tumor that starts in the cells of the breasts. The main parts of the female breast are lobules (glands that make breast milk), ducts (milk passages that connect the lobules and the nipple), fatty and connective tissue, blood vessels and lymph vessels. Most breast cancers begin in the ducts (ductal), some in the lobules (lobular) and the rest in other tissues.
is one of the most common cancers among women, second only to skin cancer
. According to the latest National Cancer Institute reports, 12.4 percent of women born in the United States today will develop breast cancer at some time during their lifetime. Breast cancer occurs mostly in women, but there have been male cases. Often, there are no symptoms of breast cancer, but signs can include a breast lump or an abnormal mammogram. Breast cancer stages range from early to metastatic, with a variety of treatment options available at each stage.
Types of Breast Cancer
Cancer can develop in any area of the breast; however, occurrences generally originate in two locations:
- Ductal carcinoma starts in the ducts that move milk from the breast to the nipple. Most breast cancer cases fall into this category.
- Lobular carcinoma starts in the lobules that produce milk.
Breast cancer may be invasive or non-invasive. Invasive means it has spread from the milk duct or lobule to other tissues in the breast. Non-invasive, or “in situ,” means the cancer has not yet invaded other breast tissue.
- Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), or intraductal carcinoma, is breast cancer in the lining of the milk ducts that has not yet invaded nearby tissues. It may progress to invasive cancer if untreated, which again underscores the vital importance of early detection and screenings. (As recommended by the American Cancer Society, women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam as part of a regular health exam by a health professional preferably every three years. Starting at age 40, women should have a clinical breast exam by a health professional every year.)
- Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) is a marker for an increased risk of invasive cancer in the same or both breasts.
Learn About Breast Cancer Treatment at Saint Francis Health System