Breast cancer

Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer.

 

What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer.

Breasts are made of fat with connective and glandular tissue divided into lobes. A network of milk ducts spreads from the lobes to the nipple.

Breast cancer happens when these cells begin to grow abnormally and multiply quickly, forming a tumour.
 

 Both women and men can get breast cancer, but it’s rarer in men.

The risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer by age 85 is 1 in 8 for women and 1 in 631 for men.

Different types of breast cancer

Non-invasive means the cancer cells haven’t spread from their original location.

• Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) – in DCIS, cancer cells are found within the milk ducts of the breast
• Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) – in LCIS, abnormal cells are found within breast lobules – but it’s not cancer. LCIS increases the risk of developing cancer, although most women with this condition won’t go on to develop breast cancer

‘Invasive’ means the cancer cells have spread to nearby tissue.

• Early breast cancer – in early breast cancer, cancer cells have spread from the ducts or lobules into nearby breast tissue. The cancer may also have spread to lymph nodes in the armpit. The most common types are invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) and invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC)

• Locally advanced breast cancer – in locally advanced breast cancer, the cancer has spread to other areas nearby, such as the chest (including the skin, muscles and bones of the chest) and lymph nodes

Secondary, metastatic or advanced breast cancer means that the cancer cells have spread from the breast to other areas of the body, such as the bones, liver or lungs

Non-invasive means the cancer cells haven’t spread from their original location.

• Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) – in DCIS, cancer cells are found within the milk ducts of the breast
• Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) – in LCIS, abnormal cells are found within breast lobules – but it’s not cancer. LCIS increases the risk of developing cancer, although most women with this condition won’t go on to develop breast cancer

‘Invasive’ means the cancer cells have spread to nearby tissue.

• Early breast cancer – in early breast cancer, cancer cells have spread from the ducts or lobules into nearby breast tissue. The cancer may also have spread to lymph nodes in the armpit. The most common types are invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) and invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC)

• Locally advanced breast cancer – in locally advanced breast cancer, the cancer has spread to other areas nearby, such as the chest (including the skin, muscles and bones of the chest) and lymph nodes

Secondary, metastatic or advanced breast cancer means that the cancer cells have spread from the breast to other areas of the body, such as the bones, liver or lungs

Kylie's breast cancer story

Common symptoms of breast cancer

Swelling in all or part of the breast

Irritation or dimpling on the skin

Pain in the breast or nipple

Nipple turning inwards (retraction)

Redness or scaliness

Treatments we cover

Radiotherapy kills cancer cells. It’s used in the early stages of cancer treatment or after it has started to spread. It can also be used to relieve pain and discomfort from cancer that has spread.

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Chemotherapy is medication that treats your cancer. The drugs kill cancer cells, preventing them from dividing and spreading further.

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Radiotherapy kills cancer cells. It’s used in the early stages of cancer treatment or after it has started to spread. It can also be used to relieve pain and discomfort from cancer that has spread.

Read more

Chemotherapy is medication that treats your cancer. The drugs kill cancer cells, preventing them from dividing and spreading further.

Read more

Meet our doctors

Everything we do is focused on designing better care for our patients. With a network of 12 specialist oncology treatment centres across the UK, we provide the most up-to-date treatments and technology as standard.

We attract and retain some of the most experienced doctors in the country, who all have a passion for improving patient outcomes and specialise in the treatment of different types of cancer.

Meet our doctors

Search for a centre near you

Maidstone

17 Kings Hill Avenue, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent, ME19 4UA

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Birmingham

Little Aston Hall Drive, Sutton, West Midlands, Coldfield B74 3BF

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Nottingham

The Park Cancer Centre, Sherwood Lodge Drive, Burntstump Country Park, Notthingham, NG5 8RX

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Portsmouth

Portsmouth, Bartons Road, Havant, Hampshire, PO9 5NA

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Guildford

BMI St Martha Oncology Centre, 46 Harvey Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 3XL

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Southampton

Southampton Centre, Chalybeate Close (off Tremona Road), Southampton, SO16 6UY

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Chelmsford

Springfield Cancer Centre, Lawn Lane, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 7GU

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Elstree

Unit 710, Centennial Park, Elstree, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, WD6 3SZ

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Oxford

Sandy Lane West, Peters Way, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX4 6LB

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Milton Keynes

Sunrise Parkway, Linford Wood East, Milton Keynes, BuckinghamShire, MK14 6LS

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Newmarket

The Oaks, Fordham Road, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 7XN

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Windsor

69 Alma Road, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 3HD

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