Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. Most cases occur in women over the age of 50 but breast cancer can occur in younger women. If you notice any lump or change to your normal breast then you should see a doctor promptly. If breast cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, there is a good chance of a cure. In general, the more advanced the cancer (the more it has grown and spread), the less chance that treatment will be curative. However, treatment can often slow the progress of the cancer.
Breast tissue is attached to muscle on the chest wall. A tail of breast tissue extends up into the armpit. The breasts contain:
- Many lobules which are made up of glandular tissue. They make milk after pregnancy.
- Ducts. These are channels which take milk from the lobules to the nipple.
- Fatty tissue and supporting connective tissue.
- Blood vessels, lymph channels and nerves (like all other areas of the body).