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Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the second-deadliest cancer among American women (the first is lung cancer). Other than adopting a healthier lifestyle, early detection with regular mammograms remains the single most effective way for combating the disease. According to the American Cancer Society, women diagnosed with breast cancer that has not spread outside the breast have a higher survival rate. Steady declines in breast cancer mortality among women since 1989 have been attributed to a combination of early detection and improvements in treatment.


  • In the U.S., one in eight women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer during her lifetime.
  • In the U.S. in 2015, 231,840 women and 2,350 men are expected to be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer.
  • In 2015, breast cancer is expected to claim the lives of 40,290 women and 440 men in the U.S.
  • In Texas in 2015, an estimated 15,420 new cases of female and male breast cancer are expected, with 2,975 deaths.

Symptoms and Signs

Women are encouraged to consult their physician immediately for evaluation if any of the following signs and symptoms are present. The signs for breast cancer are not the same for all women, and some women show no signs in early stages.

  • A lump in the breast
  • Change in breast size or shape
  • Thickening of breast or underarm
  • Nipple retraction
  • Dimpled skin near the breast
  • Tenderness
  • Pain in breast or nipple
  • Nipple discharge
  • A lump under arm or around collarbone
  • Irritation, redness, scaliness, or swelling on the breast, nipple, or skin near the nipple

Treatment Options

Anyone with breast cancer should consult with a medical oncologist to determine their specific treatment needs. Treatment options can include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, proton therapy, targeted therapy, bone-directed therapy, or hormone therapy. A combination of treatments may be used to provide the best chance of disease control

Sources: American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, Texas Cancer Registry, and U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

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